Skate preview: 2007 K2 Front-Man
K2 Unveils Stylish New Men's Skate
Front-Man represents the marriage of aggressive Fatty and freestyle Soul Slide
By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson
(posted Wednesday, July 19, 2006)
Click photo for larger image
2007 K2 Front-Man
"In my eyes this is the men’s alternative to the Jette skates: a skate that offers fashion along with performance," says K2's Mike Powell.
This year, K2 came out with a line of designer skates for women.
Next year, it will follow up with a line of, if not designer, at least design-conscious skates for men.
The new Rocker Series skates (available: Febuary 2007) will represent a marriage of the aggressive and freestyle worlds.
From the aggressive side will come hip-hop styling. From the freestyle world will come short frames and 80mm wheels.
The flagship of the new skate line will be the Front-Man, which is a skate that could cause you to do a double-take.
At first glance, it looks like an aggressive skate. In fact, it's boot is a makeover K2's popular aggressive skate, the Fatty Pro.
But further examination will reveal its very un-aggressive frame — standard size and without grind rail.
In fact, the frame is the same one that comes on K2's Soul Series freestyle skates. It's short (247mm) and nimble, but still large enough to carry four 80mm wheels, which give the skate some speed.
What Is It Then?
With its aggressive boot and freestyle frame, the Front-Man is hard to categorize. And that's fine with K2, which apparently hopes the skate will attract buyers from the ranks of freestyle, urban and recreational skaters.
"We will not pigeonhole it and call it an 'urban skate'," said K2 product manager Michael Powell. "It skates everything well. It's ideal for urban skating or hockey, but versatile enough to go long distances."
Award-winning K2 designer Ryan Schmies (creator of the Public Enemy freeride ski) put the finishing touches on the Front-Man. His designs cover the frame and highlight the ankle strap and tongue.
"With this line, we wanted to offer a more stylish look while still providing the speed and agility of a short 80mm frame," Powell said.
Expected street price: $199
Wheels: four 80mm
Frame: UFS (Universal Frame System) compatible, 247mm
Availability: end of February 2007
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