ONE Staff / December 20th, 2010 / Gear
GEAR: Carbon II

Daniel Prell

First of all, I have to say that this review is based on my personal experiences and opinions. I know it sounds really positive, but that’s just because I’m seriously in love with the Carbon II.

As I skated the Deshi Carbon, several USD Carbons, a prototype of the Carbon II, and now the Carbon II white, I thought some people might be interested in what I have to say about the skate. One day I received a package from USD — I thought it was the new clothing line — and I was right. But the package also contained a pair of Carbon IIs. I don’t know if the skate weights even less than the “old” Carbons but it’s defninitely extremely light.

Actually, the white Carbon II is the first skate that instantly got me juiced right out of the box in a really long time. It just looks so perfect, “I’m loving it.” (Ed’s note: Is that a Mickey D’s reference?)

I have to admit that I didn’t read anything about the skates so I can’t hook you up with any definite facts. The biggest change is definitely the cuff. Though equipped with a cuff, the Carbon II has a way better flex. Topsides on curbs have never been easier. What I like even more about the cuff is the amazing v-cut that allows you to move your feet in a way that’s more natural. Most other skates restrict your natural foot movements, and thus make my skating look stiff. I don’t know how it works, but besides being flexible the Carbon still offers the perfect support for gaps. When I skated the Deshi Carbon I was afraid of breaking my ancle 24/7 — the Carbon II is the perfect mix between the Deshi and the USD Carbon I.

I can’t really tell you much about the liner as my prototype was too small and I just received the white Carbon II some days ago. I think USD put a lot of effort in re-working the “liner.” No, it is still not removable, which is good! Not having an extra liner makes the Carbon II a really slim sneaker-like skate. As there isn’t that 8 centimeters of padding, the skate is really close to your feet. Meaning you have an incredible amount of direct control. When I move my foot the carbon moves, I don`t have to push through sofa-sized padding; the skates react instantly. Still the skate is extremely comfortable, though I have to admit that I don’t like skates that are too soft, so ff you come from supersoft liners you might consider the Carbon II a bit uncomfortable in the beginning, but after you got used to it it’s just perfect.

The tongue also got a facelift, and now it’s softer and dosen’t move around anymore, but then I didn`t have the chance to skate the Carbon II for a long period of time, so this might or might not change after some time.

Something else I’m really happy about is the completely new buckle (metal)! I always fuck up the buckles first, but I haven’t had any problems with the Carbon II buckles yet. The Powerstraps look pretty much the same, but the area where it’s attached to the boot looks like it is a bit better protected due to the cuff. Talking about the cuff, with the prototype I had some trouble with the screws — they opened quite often – but the final skate has different screws so that problem might be solved. In any case, I alwas put some glue on my screws when I tighten them the first time and after that “never” have trouble with the screws loosening (but am still able to open them if I want to). Oh, and the cuff has a little opening to hold the overlapping part of the buckle (when closed) so you don’t get stabbed or something — a nice little add on.

An other nice add on that you might consider less important is the big stylish carrying strap — I hated the tiny ones on the old Carbon. The new one is big enough to comfortably “stick your whole hand through it” if you have small hands.

In my too-small black Carbon IIs I had to remove the shock absorber because otherwhise the skate was way too small. Anyway, the shock absorber works perfectly and doesn’t move around. If you experience something different I advise you to fix it with double-sided tape, I`ve been doing that for ages and never had problems with moving shock absorbers.

The material of the skates seems to be long-lasting and is well protected by the soul plates.

The lacing system: you can lace the skate up to the top, if you like it really tight, or if you’re like me and like it a bit more loose you can just leave off the last two holes. Combine that with the buckle and the powerstrap and you have a skate that is exactly as loose or tight as you want it to be.

The soulplate is the same, at least it looks and feels the same as the Carbon I soulplate. It works perfectly for backslides and torques (for me), slides fast, has no sharp edges or anything annoying. The negative space is big enough to do nagative grinds even on rails (though not as humongous as the Xsjado one). It’s pretty much perfect.

The sizing seems to be the same as with the Carbon I. I wear 41-42 shoes and skate the Carbon in 42. I could skate it in 41 but it’s a bit too small and doesn’t feel too good.

For now the skate comes in black, and there is a limited amount of all-white skates (which will hopefully be available for purchase soon).

Just for the sake of a relatively complete review I’m going to mention the insole. It’s an insole — basically that’s it. It’s comfortable, contains a little exta shockabsorber, prevents your foot from moving. That’s it.

Conclusion: The Carbon II is definitely the best thing that could have happened to me, even better now that it’s finally out and I don’t have to skate it two numbers too small. I love the looks. The skate looks at least 1-2 sizes smaller than most other skates of the same size. I can definitely advise everyone to get a pair cause in my opinion it’s the best skate on the market. USD put a lot of effort in making the Carbon I better; actually, they did more, they reinvented the Carbon, and till now I didn’t know a single thing would change. If you have any further questions feel free to post them in a comment. — Daniel Prell

Carbon II <3 Check out Daniel's blog where you can find this sort of thing first.

Discussion / GEAR: Carbon II

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  • icariin - December 24th, 2010

    Really nice looking skates, not very affordable is the word on the streets but thats not what the project is about so I totally appreciate it. If you want low cost skates get some thrones and don’t get carbon, if you want carbon then pay for carbon.

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