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Review : Seba Balance liners

I just love customizing skates, and I’m always thrilled when new high-end after-market parts get released. So when I saw the upcoming Seba Balance liners in the Seba catalogue earlier this year, my reaction was unsurprisingly “I want those!“. They just got released, I just got a pair, so I’ll share my impressions.

First off, I was surprised to see the box. These are the first liners I own which didn’t come in a simple plastic bag : They’re presented in a black Seba cardboard box, just like Seba skates, but a smaller one. Inside the box, you get the pair of liners, but also a pair of laces and the optional second pair of shock absorbers, the same as with the current Seba FR1 skates.

The liners are available in two colours : There is WHITE/black and BLACK/white. Yes, it’s confusing to start with, you just need to remember that the main colour is the one you get to see most. So for the WHITE/black version (which we will call “white”), the white is on the front, where the holes in plastic skate shells allow to see it, as well as on the top and the tongue, while the black is on the back part and the front/top elastic strap. The BLACK/white version (“black”) is exactly the opposite for all of the exterior part. Both share the same black inside and sole as well as the same white laces. Maybe black laces for the black version wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

The shape is very close to the FR liners. This makes them perfectly compatible with Seba FR skates, which my tests have confirmed, and probably too thick for the Seba High. Even though they seem thicker than the FR liners, especially on the rear lower part, their base isn’t wider. I’ve also tested them in some Rollerblade Twister Plus shells and some Tecnica CT-1 shells, and they have the same fit than the FR liners, which isn’t perfect around the heel, but good enough.

The Balance is a freeride liner on par with many aggressive liners. This is something I’ve been annoyed by for a long time now : Aggressive skates have great liners, some of which have really nice features like their own lacing, integrated neoprene socks, incredible finish etc. But most of them are really thick, and until very recently, very high and straight cut at the back, so they were rarely fitting well inside freeride shells. The after-market Salomon Brandon Campbell liner was one rare exception (still quite thick, but low), may it rest in peace. With the Balance, freeriders now have a real after-market high-end liner available!

Here are the major pros :

  • Officially available, listed in the catalogue (not just some random spare part).
  • Good finish. Not perfect, especially around the edges, but good enough to look resistant.
  • Good comfort. My feed don’t usually complain, no exception here.
  • Shock absorbers (Seba HDS). With the extra optional second pair.
  • Top 3 holes available for typical lacing.
  • Lower 3 holes available for optional lacing.
  • Strong top/rear strap to carry the skates.

Now for the cons :

  • Quite expensive (65 to 70€).
  • The laces are way too long when using the 3+3 holes lacing of the liners only.
  • The cool Yin Yang decoration is completely hidden when the liner is in place.

This is overall an excellent liner, clearly the liner of choice for all of my custom skates for the foreseeable future!

Now for all of the detailed photos :

6 comments to Review : Seba Balance liners

  • Romanus Maximus

    How can you afford al those items? Do you own a skateshop or something (because lots of photo’s were made in a skateshop, I can’t imagine those are all yours…) You have lots of high end SEBA skates. do you use them all? I can’t imagine that they are all worn out already… so
    Btw big respects for those skates. I love seba skates, especially the FR1 and High Deluxe. but whatever. Nice hobby to collect skates and customize em! wish i could afford such a hobby ;)
    Do you have a movie where i can see you skating?

    cheers

  • All of the skates seen here up to now are mine. I was passed 20 pairs last I counted. It’s a lot cheaper of hobby then customizing anything motorized or collecting anything where rare items are insanely expensive, like coins or stamps ;-) You can see some videos here : http://sat.org.es/SatVideos

  • Romanus Maximus

    Thanks for the links, nice video’s. at vimeo or youtube, you kan also post high-res video’s. So you “collect” skates?. I was wondering what skate should fit me best. I’m in doubt, should i buy the high deluxe? for hardcore slalom, or the FR1? I tend slightly to take the FR1′s because of their versatility and comfort… but the extra bit of control and swiftness of the High Deluxe, do apeal to me too.

  • Rafael

    Hi Thias,

    Nice blog ! Lot’s of interesting things about inline skates. Recently I got two pairs of FR1 Deluxe (80 and 84) which comes with those balance liners.
    Those liners are very comfortable as you wrote, but riding they are noisy (the sound of the vinyl scratching the plastic shell), which bothers me a lot. Did you noticed that too ?

    Any advice to take that sound off ?

    Rafael

  • Tomcatsk8

    And i was very surprised when my new Balance liner broken when i put my skates on. The liner lack the reinforced “tongue” of the classic liner, so even i didn’t put much pressure pulling it into my foot, the left liner’s tongue broked down.
    And that is only the last thing on my list. Seba FR1 Blue, first model, i had the classic cuff problem, the cuffs were very soft and elastic and didn’t last more than 10 times. The shell insole did not stay in place when i put the liner into the shell, broken very rapidly.
    I dont now if the problem is only with the first model of Seba FR1, but they killed my feet, that’s why i bought the Balance liner, and it seem to be much ok now, i can even tighten my laces without killing my feets. They sound like a plastic bag scratching but i can deal with it.
    I also modded the shell, i took a cutter and i cut the plastic, i made the shell more open and i punch the two more ventilation holes that are already drawed on the shell but covered in plastic.
    I had no disconfort problems with my previous skates: Oxygen ATV7, Rollerblade Geo III, Powerslide Cell and K2 Fatty Paris.

    • I definitely agree that Seba skates tend to lack a good quality finish, especially the early series of a model (think KSJ, for instance).

      It’s a shame that you had to go through all this to get your skates to feel like you wanted, but at least you were able to : I doubt you could have achieved the same with the Geo or Cell :-)

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