Before choosing to go for the Richie Eisler first, three choices that came to mind (in no particular order) were the Seba Wellsmore, the Werbeski Xsjado and the Eisler Carbon Free. After some customs mixups, Skates.co.uk managed to get to us our brand new pair of USD Richie Eisler’s in Kamloops, Canada. Many people had asked if I had tried the Carbon free boot in the past and now we were finally ready to get ourselves educated about them.
Here are 15 things about Richie Eisler Carbon Frees (Black Edition):
1. There’s no shortage of people absolutely killing it in these skates
In fact some of the best recent skating has happened in these skates. Here are three amazing examples:
2. They come with all straps = Easy in and easy out
Try and watch a regular person get in and out of a buckle on rollerblades... It’s hard to watch. Most people who don’t rollerblade can’t navigate a buckle and get confused. Richie was smart to include all straps. The simplicity is refreshing not just to me but I’m sure to the people at the shop trying the skates on. Bravo to all straps and no buckles.
3. They’re chunkier than I thought
They look great from the sides but from the top down the skate was a bit bulkier than I expected. Doesn’t at all effect performance of course but this is a mental thing that can effect people when they look down at their skates. Here’s some comparison photos to some other size 9 skates.
4. They are timeless looking
They will look good years down the road and they won’t embarrass you when you look at a photo of yourself 10 years down the road. Big high five for the all black, simple look to this skate. The more beat up they get the better they look. Nice to see an all black boot with black stitching, black laces, no bright logos or pointless design touches.
5. You can sexy them with mink oil.
I am not huge on making skates overly sexy but I was seduced by the results from putting some Red Wing mink oil on these bad boys.
6. The stock souls felt flexy and cheap (definitely switch them out)
The souls were missing that solid feel I really love. Carbon plates felt a bit thin and flexy. I’m pretty sure Richie and Eugen use the Xsjado 2.0 plates and I switched to a Seba soul plate. As far as I know there’s no mods you need to do to fit these other plates on. I wish the skate came how Richie actually preferred it. Maybe next model will come stock with the Xsjado 2.0 plates?
7. The stock wheels aren’t that great (this is a problem with all skates) I wish they were his Undercover Wheel.
Obviously if Richie’s USA poured Undercover wheel was on here the skate would be a lot more expensive (and keeping skate cost down is always a good thing...) BUT the skate would be a speed machine right out of the box. The stock wheels are the “softer made in China” kinda wheels that wear out really quick in heat and rougher pavement. I had some coning/rough wear going after a short one hour session. The stock wheels are definitely useable but you would have a much better experience if you replaced the wheels with his UC pro wheel. They are worth the extra money... TRUST ME. I went with 72 Seba Deluxe wheels which are also a great (but expensive choice.)
Lower quality stock wheels are a reality for most complete setups (not just this one) and if there’s anything you can take away from here: Spend extra money on better wheels and your skates will be rocket boots.
The Stock wheels:
Richie's Undercover Pro Wheel:
8. Future models could possibly be toe cut?
I’m a 9 in most skates (these skates were a 9)and because of the thick padding I definitely stubbed the shit outta my toe a few times on the hard plastic toe area. Could just be a break in issue but I feel like there’s already a protective layer of material with the leather that could do the job. The K2 Varsity does a great job of keeping the toe area soft but protected and I feel like this skate could have something similar. Future models of this skate could have less plastic and more soft area in the toe so people could downsize.
9. Love the Low Cut
As someone who has always enjoyed Remz and K2’s I really appreciated the ankle mobility in these skates. Nice simple, low cuff which can enhance personal style and work those ankle muscles that will keep you young and springy in the feet.
10. Longer Break in Time
Because of the thicker padding you’re going to want to give the skates more than a few sessions for the padding to start to pack out a bit as it’s quite puffy (and comfortable). Also the skate is a bit stiffer around the ankle area first few sessions but really starts to get some nice flex after break in.
11. Seba Instep Buckles fit!
This setup is not for everybody but I was surprised to see how perfectly Seba instep buckles fit. If you really want to lock your heel down and get your shit tight this is a great option. No I don’t work for Seba.
12. I Put Yellow Superfeet in most skates
The insoles were actually pretty solid that came with these skates. Decent arch support and shock absorption. However coming from a hockey background they were a bit too thick for me so I put the super thin, responsive and supportive yellow Superfeet insoles in. No I don’t work for Superfeet.
13. These skates are a smart setup (not quite aggressive and not quite freeskate)
Richie and Dustin were both smart to have their skates come with a 72mm all 8 down setup AND still have options for grinding. I think this setup is a great buy for anyone who wants some speed and rec skate feel with bigger wheels but also wants to go to a skate park or skate some street (just don’t try the fat Granville Street bridge rail Richie made famous in 72mm flat...)
14. Love the frames
The Kizer Level 3 frames are super solid, have a nice shallow groove for H-block tricks (deep grooves and 72mm wheels = death) and slide fast. I’ll definitely be experimenting with this frame with other boots. Great to have the speed of 72mm wheels but a nice shallow groove to get your sliding h-block on. These are excellent for stock frames.
15. I did a really nice negative acid in them
Like Haffey skates... Richie must sprinkle magic power over the skates to help you with your steez.