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Rollerblade's RB 8 Platinum

Rollerblade's RB 8 Platinum

RB 8 Platinum

A hard-shell skate with big wheel ambitions

By Robert Burnson
April 3, 2008

If you miss your old plastic skates or have had your fill of mushy soft boots, you may be interested in Rollerblade's latest offering: the RB 8 Platinum.

This model combines the stability of a plastic boot with the speed and roll of bigger wheels. It's also one of the best looking new skates in years.

A Faster Twister

The RB 8 is the first plastic shell inline skate with 90mm wheels (in this case, Rollerblade's Spirals).

Essentially, it's a Rollerblade Twister on steroids.

Its two-piece plastic shell is identical to the Twister's, except for the RB's attractive black and orange color scheme.

The shell is hard plastic with plenty of vents for air flow. Inside is a comfortable liner made with dual-density foam.

The RB 8's closure system is a bit different than the Twisters. Both skates have a plastic ankle buckle (ladder style) and cloth laces, but the Twister's laces come up only as far as the ankle while the RB's loop up to the cuff.

The skates use different methods to secure the cuff: the RB 8 has a Velcro strap; the Twister, a ratcheting buckle.

Long and Light

The RB 8 comes with Rollerblade's new Alu-tech 4x90mm frame. The frame is 285mm long (11.2 inches), which is much longer than the 245mm frame on the Twister.

The longer frame and bigger wheels make the RB 8 a much faster skate. As a result, it isn't a good choice for new skaters or beginners, at least right out of the box. But you could replace the wheels with smaller models (let's say, 80mm) to slow things down.

The RB 8 also wouldn't be a good choice for freestyle skaters; to negotiate a slalom course, you need a skate with a short wheelbase, like the Twister.

But Rollerblade built the RB 8 to universal frame system specifications (UFS). So it's easy to outfit it with a shorter frame.

One big fan of the new skate is Asphalt Beach owner Steve Larios. "It's a perfect skate," he says.

"I aim it towards urban skaters, like the guys using skates for transportation who might still like to shred a parking garage and jump a few curbs on the way home."

What you get in the box:

Standard Rollerblade heel brake (on the skate)
Alu-tech 285 frame
Eight 90mm Spiral wheels
SG9 bearings
Specialized fit liner
Fully assembled

Price: $239-299 USD


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