Affectionately referred to as being ‘forever fourteen,’ twenty two year old, Bristol-born Niko Salaman (@nikoarthurasalaman) brings needed blood [and knees] to the UK skate scene. Niko has big shoes to fill by the likes of Bristol legend Guy Crawford, yet steps into the role without hesitation. His dedication to blading has not come without issues though. A serious ankle injury has had a lasting effect on his skating, coming at a crucial time when Niko was on the brink of fulfilling his fullest potential.
Niko’s growth into a more mature person has allowed him the right decisions and not give in to the obvious frustrations. This resulted an expedient recovery and a better understanding of mind and body during the healing period. Putting that time to good use, he relocated to Kingston to pursue an art degree. Now with that tougher time behind him, the future looks bright for Niko. Prior to his injury, he filmed a section for Best Before. We look forward to seeing what is next for this star in the making.
Boot | Seba SX2 Black with a touch of blue paint-work, Size 8 UK.
The structure of the SEBA boot coupled with the low ride height of the Kaltiks and riding flat 64mm wheels has proven to be instrumental in progressing my skating. Having a history with ankle injuries, a supportive and responsive boot is essential for me to be able to trust my skates. I’m extremely partial to deep H-block grooves as that is the root of my stability for nearly all of my tricks and the Kaltiks come through easily as having one the deepest out there, rivaled closely by the Oysi frames. The combination of all these elements has allowed me to push my skating to the next level in every aspects, be it in a bowl or hitting handrails.
I try to keep each set of skates going for as long as I can so that my body has the time to grow into their movements. I’ve been riding my pair of the SX2’s since December 2018. They are actually a size too big though. I modified the toe area with extra neoprene support, so now my toes aren’t floating in orbital space (That’s the worst feeling)! I always swap out stock insoles for juicier ones!
It’s worth mentioning that in September 2019, I made the transition to riding flat on this skate, which was difficult at first. After 10 years plus on anti-rocker, it took about a month to become comfortable with my grinds again. Once the acclimation period was over, every aspect of skating just started to feel amazing.
What parts do you wear through the quickest?
Bearings, buckles and straps the most. I wear down my soul plates and frames fairly heavily, but I tend to just keep skating them. I get very attached to the grooves I’ve made!
What part do you break most often?
Mid-straps seem to have taken the highest toll this year. Bearings are close behind (that’s usually the case).
Which parts are you paranoid about breaking?
Bearings, always. And rounding off bolts! What a nightmare that can be.
What spares/tools do you keep in your backpack?
Allen keys, extra bolts, electrolyte tablets, and always a spare Blade Clothing tee!
Where do your parts go once you are done with them?
I tend to keep bits and bobs like frames and wheels. I reuse what I can or do something creative with them. I’ve often used old parts for various art and design projects like painting with the frames and wheels. I’ve given a few old boots to people starting out. I plan on using most of my old parts for a community-based skate school project that’s just getting started in London run by the homie Louis Devereux.
Do you skate different setups for different terrains?
Just the two sets of skates: Seba for the skate park and street skating and FR for cruising, distance, and speed. Though recently I have been using the FR setup at the skate park and rough street spots. It’s pretty cool how it opens up the terrain and gets you to think differently about the potential of the space and your own movements.
Anything you plan to change on your current setup?
I plan to ride these Seba skates until they are dust. I do however have a fresh set of the white Seba CJ’s, Kaltiks, and Famus wheels waiting in the wings for when that day comes. I wouldn’t say no to trying the Medium Oysi or new Ergota frames should they become readily available in the U.K.
Your favorite products by your favorite companies. Support Be-Mag with every purchase.