My latest skate purchase was the Xsjado DW 1, which I got custom from Roller Warehouse. They were marked down quite a bit from the original price, which was $239, to $139 clearanced, boot only.
The price was only a small piece of why I picked these up. Previous to these, I had owned Xsjado Basic2LEs. The wraps were the only good part of those, honestly, the Conference had a great deal to learn about making Xsjados at that point. The plastic was fast wearing, brittle, and the dreadful monostrap SUCKED! Needless to say, I traded them away, despite the incredible custom paint job my fiancé had done on them.
After that fiasco, I had a chance to revisit the classic Salomon made Xsjados, specifically, the Dustin Latimer 1s. Granted, these were a large shell, which skates vastly different from the small shell, but, they reminded me why I wanted to skate Xsjados in the first place. They felt wonderful on my feet, almost like a natural part of me. The souls slid a bit slow, but the plastics were worlds different from the basic2les I had skated before! This was the spark that reignited my interest.
Now I saw RW had one hell of a sale ongoing, one of their 1 weekend only, Facebook deals. Join their Facebook page, Chat-with-rollerwarehouse, to be the first to know, and check their email newsletter for great deals as well. Anyway, I saw a price I couldn’t pass up, on a skate I was curious about, and I jumped. Granted, my version was a bit custom, and more expensive. First, I paid extra for the new Xsjado Jeff Stockwell black sneakers, which were totally worth it. Best sneakers I’ve worn, that I didn’t have to go to Fluevog for. Just plain incredible, and steezy as hell to boot! Second, I got 50/50 J.C.Rowe core system frames. They are a bit heavy, but they’re solid, and slide well. The groove is a little smaller than my Create Originals, and I’m not as into them as I am my Creates, but I would definitely recommend them over Ground controls or Kizers.
Third, I added crap bearings. They definitely do not match their namesake. Phenomenal product for cheap money. They roll faster than most abec 9s I’ve owned, and they haven’t had to be cleaned yet, and I’ve been skating them for over a month! That’s a first for me as I feel every grain of sand that gets in my bearings.
Fourth, I got M1 57mm Dual Durometers. All I can say is they are worth every extra penny. The perform extremely well, roll fast, land soft, and wear slowly. And they stick like a much softer compound as well. Buy them! Nuff said.
Now, the skate. I changed the colors, at no extra charge, to a red cuff, blue midsoles, and red sole plates, to match with my blue Creates, for a Boston Red Sox setup I’m working on.
The materials have improved a hundred fold since the Basic2LEs. And quite a bit from the Salomon days as well, I might add! I was shocked to see that the new compound, although harder and faster than the Salo compound, is also much more wear resistant! Big improvement there. The cuffs remind me of the classic Salomon made Xsjados, not much change, but a vast improvement from the Conferences initial foray into Xsjados, which would shatter at any impact. The straps are well made, but, I will say this is one of the flaws I see, as the Velcro sucks. Nothing some simple sewing and a $5 pack of industrial strength Velcro from home depot won’t fix. The ratcheting buckles are great. I do think some improvements could be made here, as well, as I find that as they start getting tight, I often need to pull the strap while ratcheting the buckle to get them tight enough. The cuff padding is awesome, and very comfortable. The biggest improvement here, however, is the simplest one. The “continuity instep padding” or maxi pad (lol), is a big step towards making Xsjado a mainstream skate. This really ups both comfort and control, and gives the skate solidity similar to Remz or the old TRS skates. It literally makes them feel like an open shell concept skate, and much less like the semi-skeletal feel they had without it. It makes more difference than I have the words to explain.
Bottom line, I really want to try DW 2s! I highly doubt they can improve the DW 1 much, but I’d like to find out!
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