The Alpha looks more like a speed skate
Innovator Bont is at it again.
A couple years ago, the Australian company redesigned the racing skate with its innovative 3-point frames and boots.
This time, it has produced a rec skate — its first ever for adults — that looks more like a speed skate.
"It may look like a race skate," said Bont marketing manager Alexander Bont. "But we think this is the way rec skates should look."
The new skate, the Alpha, features a one-piece boot that rises up just past the ankle and is perched on mounting posts above one of Bont's innovative 3-point frames.
It has a slew of racing skate features, including a carbon composite base, heat-moldable boot and tongue, 6000-series extruded aluminum frames, one-piece axles and memory foam.
And it turns it back on the modern rec skate conventions: soft-boot design, flexible ankle cuff and heel brake
"Utilizing Bont's' Super Mold Technology, the skate doesn't need to use a molded plastic cuff or thick bulky padding," Bont said. "This means the skate is a lot lighter and the performance a lot higher than what you are used to in a typical rec skate."
A heel brake, a standard feature for most rec skates, is available as an option.
In many ways, the Alpha resembles Bont's Semi-Race skate, the company's answer to the so-called marathon category, which includes Rollerblade's Marathon Carbon and K2's Radical 100.
But the Alpha "is a tad heavier" than the Semi-Race, Bont said. And it rides on smaller wheels: 84 or 90mm.
The Alpha is more expensive than the average rec skate: $235 (US) for the 84mm version; $250 for the 90mm. But given its feature list, it appears priced to sell.
The question now is whether rec skaters are ready to try something different.
"There is a need for something new in the rec skate market and we hope the 3 point Alpha is it," Bont said.