Fila has officially entered the freeride skates segment this year with its NRK line. As a side note, I’m curious as to what NRK stands for, as I have no idea, unlike FSK which is an abbreviation of Freeskate. Maybe just brands wanting to sound hype. We’ll know once people are no longer able to differentiate skate names from motorcycle names : FSK, ZZR, FRX, YZF, NRK, GSX.. we’re getting there!
These new NRK skates are clearly aimed at urban skaters looking for stiffer and more resistant skates than the typical fitness skates. The NRK and NRK Road (the 4x80mm frames models, with plastic and fibre shells respectively) are direct competition to the Rollerblade Twister and X5 as well as the Seba FR1, while the NRK A5 and NRK A5 Road (the 4x90mm active steering frames models) are direct competition to the Rollerblade RB-10 and X7 as well as the Seba GT.
I’ve dismantled the NRK Road and detailed a few of the interesting points which are revealed by the pictures.
Being very picky, I do see a lot of imperfections :
- The frame is mounted too far back for my taste. Probably because of the low profile where the front screw needed to be separated from the second wheel. Not such a big deal, but it does also affect the looks.
- The eXtreme Slider is nearly useless : It’s too thin and the screws can get damaged very quickly, making it hard or even impossible to replace. Fila seems to have failed to see the difference between speed skaters and freeriders practising slides… I hope they fix this next year.
- The frame axles and frame/shell screws have very shallow heads, and will easily get damaged. They look even weaker than the first steel Seba axles, so be extra careful or prepare for some serious drilling.
- The adjustable cuff buttons feel shamelessly copied from the Seba FR skates (much like most of the skate, actually…), but since 9 out of 10 skates (or more!) don’t even use that feature on the Seba skates, why having even bothered?
Overall this is a quite a good skate. Skating with the NRK Road is enjoyable, as the shells are very stiff, the liners are comfortable, and the buckles work well, giving a tight and precise feeling to the skates. The original wheels (Hyper Concrete) are great, and for that price, it’s definitely a very good option for anyone looking for a decent freeride skate .