Ever thought about upgrading your skates or putting together a custom set that's totally you? Well, I recently got my hands on the NN dragon+ frame and, of course, I went for the best in the market with such an amazing frame.
For this project, I picked the Powerslide NEXT black boot's shell since the frame had a trinity mounting standard instead of the 165mm with a raised heel that I usually roll with (just my preference). On the flip side, the trinity mounting standard gives a slightly lower centre of gravity. The two mounting points at the front make adjusting your weight feel more like a push than a lean, at least for me. But hey, everyone's got their own feel.
This excuse to work with Powerslide’s best boot was absolutely amazing. You can clearly see why this boot is the favourite of many people. With an adjustable cuff and heatmoldable liner and the way everything is put together with amazing eye for detail is just next level (pun intended).
I swapped the myfit liner for an intuition premium liner after some testing because it fits my feet better than the myfit liner that comes with the NEXT skates. It's a small but important tweak, since it seriously boosts my skating experience. Liners are a personal thing, though. For me, a slightly downsized intuition liner just locks my feet in better in most boots, making my skating experience more enjoyable.
Onto the frame – it's a beast. If you're more of a city skater and speed isn't your main thing, this frame is definitely worth picking up. Super nimble and steady thanks to its "V.m rocker" and 90mm outer wheels. It cruises over cobblestones or bumps like a dream, thanks to this version of a natural rocker and its length.
Sure, it's a bit long and not the lightest, so it might not be everyone's cup of tea. But if you're into that smooth, 'flowy' ride (not even sure if that's a word, but it works), I highly recommend it.
Now, the fun part – wheels and bearings. Why fun? Because these things can either make or break your setup.
For bearings, I went with Wicked’s ABEC 9 – a bit different from my usual pick. They're easier to maintain than Twincam’s MW9 bearings, which is a plus because this frame eats up 4 or 8 extra bearings compared to my other setups. Yeah, it might be the lazy choice, but at least I'm still committed to keeping them clean.
As for the wheels, that's always a bit tricky. I never know what I want, mainly because style and quality don't always match up. In the end, I chose the amazing Luminous Flamingo 90mm wheels for the style and decent performance (yes, they're pink, and yes, they've got LEDs – bite me) and FR Downtown Black 80mm wheels for that nice allround experience. They give a smooth ride with a decent power transfer for freestyle wheels. Usually, I'd lean towards the FR Street Invaders, but they didn’t have the exact colour I was looking for.
So, there you have it – a quick look at my custom skate. What I think of it so far? It is absolutely amazing. The NEXT boot is one of the most recommended boots these days for a good reason. Its liner might fit weirdly for some people (like me), but that is why I love hardshells, since you are able to just replace the liner with one you like better.
Hope you enjoyed this little and maybe got some inspiration for building your own.
Have fun skating!
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