Anodizing skate frames is something I wanted to do for a while now, to get some colours in which original frames aren’t available. After finally getting in touch with a company specializing in anodization, here are the results.
The first test involved a pair of Powerslide Metro frames and the most flashy colour I could pick : turquoise. I picked the colours for the following tests before having mounted the turquoise frames. They seemed excessively flashy when I just got them, which is why I chose only much more classic colours for all the others. Too bad, because now I realize that strong and unusual colours come out great. Just look at the pictures : The turquoise and green look really good, whereas all of the others look nice but quite unoriginal.
- Matte finish : I chose only matte finish, not shiny, to have less reflection and see the colour better. The Seba Deluxe frames in matte greys come out great compared to the original shiny grey and black, though the difference is hard to see when they’re not side by side.
- Original colour : Frames which were originally anodized in dark colours come out fine newly anodized in light colours. The Fila NRK frames and the Rollerblade X5 frames were both black and look great in light grey.
- Engravings : Frames with laser engravings keep them, though they are less visible. This is because the original engraving is made after the anodization, revealing the raw aluminium colour. The new anodization fills the engraving with colour, only its depth makes it still visible. This can be seen on the (now green) Powerslide Hardcore frames.
In the end, the process is quite easy, though not viable for very limited quantities (too expensive). The main issues are that the frames need to be perfectly clean and without any decorations before the anodization. Cleaning requires some work for used frames with many hard to reach dirty corners. The difficulty of removing decorations varies a lot from frame to frame : I’ve always used acetone for that, and some come off very easily (Seba Deluxe, Rollerblade Twister and X5, Fila NRK : less than 5 minutes), but others don’t (Seba standard and GT : over half an hour).
I think that all of the future anodization I’ll be performing will involve bright flashy colours. When you go though all the fuss, it’s better to have a visually original and pleasant result than one that goes unnoticed.
Expect to see some of these on some of my custom skates very soon!