Bont Refines the 3-Point
Bont is updating its innovative line of 3-point speed skates and introducing a new version aimed at budget-minded skaters.
Bont Jet 3-point speed skate
The new 3-point Jet will sell for $475 (complete with wheels and bearings), making it one of the lowest priced speed skates on the market.
The Australian skate maker introduced its 3-point skates last year. They differ from other inline speed skates in the way the frames are mounted to the boot. They attach at three points, rather than two.
Bont says the design makes for more structural integrity. As a result, less material (and weight) is needed to insure the strength of the boot and frame.
Bont claimed its initial 3-point models were the lightest speed skates in the world. But the 2007 models, which arrive in March, will be even lighter.
The new top-of-the-line Vaypor boot will weigh only 340 grams, the company says. Add Bont's magnesium S-frame (110 grams), and the skate is still under a pound.
Bont Apache 3-point speed skate
The mid-range Apache will weight 15 grams more; the Jet, 56 grams more. (See comparison chart below.)
Bont was able to cut weight by using new materials and construction techniques. It also built the boot over a new last, designed to improve comfort and control.
Bont boots have always been among the most heat-moldable on the planet. But Bont has upped the ante by giving the new boots heat-moldable footbeds and tongues.
The company has also improved the look of the 3-point. While last year's models were boxy (reminiscent of wooden shoes), the new boots are sleek, more like an Italian boot. The frames are also more streamlined.
Bont enjoyed some success with the new skates last year, although most international racing teams stuck with traditional boots.
But that may change this year as the Vaypors become the official skate of the newly reconstituted Bont International Racing Team.
So far, there's no word on who will be on the team. But apparently some top skaters will be wearing the new skates. The names of three of the new Vaypor versions are: Presti White, Duggento Blue, and Begg Pink.
Copyright © 2007 by Robert Burnson
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