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Xsjado 2.0 First Impression Review

It’s been a very long wait for the Xsjado 2.0! I’ve been excited about these skates since I first heard about them. I haven’t bought a brand new skate in about 6 years because very few actually excited me. I felt that this one deserved my full attention. As soon as I found out they were released in Europe I had to order them. I got them from Grindhouse.eu and they did not disappoint!

I have NOT skated these yet. This is a thorough “first impression” review. There are many pictures and I have completely disassembled a boot to critique each component.

From everything I’ve heard, read and seen it seemed like Xsjado “fixed” all the little things I disliked about the original Xsjados with the 2.0. I skated the Latimer 2s and the Farmer 1s as well as a few of the early Conference models. After that I gave up because of the low quality parts that came with these skates.

Now we have “A cuff with cuff bolts means they will finally have some forward flex”. “An XS soul plate means they will actually fit my feet”. These two improvements were enough to make me pay close attention. My expectations were high and I was not let down. From genuine leather to even more options to change the way these fit, feel and skate I think Xsjado has really changed a skate that was already unique and great to something that has something for everyone and a quality that  can compete with the original Salomon made Xsjados.

Allow me to start out with some nice shots of the skeletons:ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

This is the XS shell. US mens 4.5-7.

It fits the length of my foot perfectly. I wear most skate brands in a size 7.

The cuff padding is HUGE. It measures about 3/4″. No less than 1/2″ when compressed. I’m sure it will thin out and break in over time. Way too much padding for my tastes but I cannot deny that it is very comfortable!Image

Xsjado 2.0 footwrap.

The footwraps seem to be good quality. Mostly suede upper with genuine leather trim. High quality materials here. Same outer soles as the most recent Xsjado footwraps. Same great padding as usual. My only complaint here is that while they use the same size outer soul as before, they have made much more room for your toes by making the toe box bigger. I ordered a US mens 7.5 expecting them to fit properly but they are huge on me. I should have probably ordered a size 6 or 6.5. I have size 8.5 feet but I wear most skate brands in a size 7:ImageImageImage

Side by side comparison of the original Xsjado souls in a size small(left) and the Xsjado 2.0 souls in a size XS(right).

The 2.0 souls are a bit wider. This is partially because they do not have a beveled edge like the original soulplates. Also rather than being perfectly symmetrical from front to back like the original soul plates they are slightly rounded in the front making them slighter wider in the front.

Here are the measurements from the edge of the frame channel to the outer edge of the souls:

Orignal Xsjado souls:

Positive(outer) soul: 1 1/2″ or 38mm

Negative(inner) soul: 1 1/4″ or 32mm

2.0 souls:

Front positive(outer) soul: 1 5/8″ or 41mm

Back positive(outer) soul: 1 21/32″ or 40mm

Front negative(inner) soul: 1 15/32″ or 37mm

Back negative(inner) soul: 1 3/8″ or 35mm

I believe they will become symmetrical after the first session or two because they are rounded in the front and because the difference is so minimal. I’m a big fan of symmetrical soul plates. It makes grinding on ledges and cess slides feel more natural.

The groove is possibly the best stock groove I’ve ever seen. It’s fairly deep with plenty of material to grind into all while being perfectly symmetrical. I know I can go to a skate park with these and lock my farves without any problems and without having to groove them on a ledge.

I have to note the detail in aesthetics on the bottom of these. The part of the skate you will never see is gorgeous. I love that it’s a hidden piece of artwork:Image

A quick look at the cuff in comparison to the original.

As expected they are exactly the same height since this XS cuff has to fit the small and XS soul plate. The heel pads seem to be exactly the same as the originals:Image

Front view comparison.

Note the difference in the plastic of the tongues. Also the 2.0 does not come with a toe strap pad. This piece was always useless to me and I always threw it out on my original Xsjado skates. Also the buckle and both instep straps seem to be exactly the same as the originals though they have replaced the thumb screw on the right with a standard allen key screw. I think this is a more reliable method. The front frame bolt receptor is no longer riveted in place allowing for easy replacement if damaged:Image

Top view comparison.

For some reason the cuff padding wraps to the front a bit further. This seems completely unnecessary to me. Note the difference in thickness of the tongues and length of the size XS soul(4.5-7) compared to the size small soul(4.5-9.5):Image

Side view comparison.

This one speaks for itself:Image

The new toe strap looks great. A super thin yet durably nylon strap covered in genuine leather that I’m sure is very durable.

The strap mounts are molded into the plastic but the strap is replaceable. You can see on the far side of it that it hooks onto the other strap mount in the same way a Carbon 2 or 3 instep strap works.

You can also see that the strap is shifted on the mount. I believe this was intentional as you can now adjust where the strap sits on the front of your foot. Once you tighten it, it does not seem to shift.Image

I know that a lot of people(including myself) were considering using these new 2.0 souls on USD Carbon skates. Though I do not know when they will become available as a replacement part. Here is a size US mens 6 USD Carbon 2 Kelso with size XS Xsjado 2.0 souls. They fit perfectly. Based on this I would follow the sizing closely. The XS Xsjado 2.0 soul is size US mens 4.5-7 so you would want to fit these soulsplates on a size US mens 6 or 7 USD Carbon and so on. You may also want to cut off or tape down the toe strap mount or just put a strap though them so they don’t make a lot of noise. I wish they could have come up with a way to make these mounts replaceable since they are just moulded right into the plastic:

ImageImage

Inside view of the baseplate/soulplate.

You will notice that they do not have sizing on the notches anymore. This makes sense to me as I don’t believe the the sizing was accurate or the same for every person regardless of footwrap sizing. The front frame bolt receptor is no longer riveted to the soul. I like this feature simply because it makes it easy to replace if you strip or damage it. When I adjusted the cuff position and tightened the screw holding down the frame receptor in the heel the plastic stripped out with no effort. I adjusted them again to see if the other side would be stronger but it also stripped with no effort. So the only thing that keeps the cuff in the proper position is the rear frame bolt. Make sure you tighten that bolt well!

These are 100% compatible with the original Xsjado cuffs:Image

Heel cup/cuff base.

It is very low cut but I was surprised to find that it did not improve lateral(side to side) flex. The cuff/heel cup combination is very stiff laterally compared to the original Xsjados. It may break in over time. It seems to be made of the exact same plastic as the original Xsjado cuffs. The cuff bolt receptor is the same standard USD cuff bolt receptor found in USD Thrones and other models while the cuff bolt is new. It now requires a 4mm hex star key(included) instead of the standard 4mm allen key. The forward flex however is immense. They bend very easily. Which was one of the main things I disliked about the original Xsjados. They had no forward flex. They may have over done it for most people with this revision but I love the free motion. I suppose my only complaint is that the instep pad/tongue of the skate moves over the top of your footwrap when you bend forwards and backwards. It digs in a little bit when you bend forwards but it’s definitely nothing to complain about. I found no discomfort when I tried them on. This will of course will fit on the original Xsjado baseplates/soulplates:ImageImage

2.0 symmetrical cuff.

The cuff could very well be my favorite part of this skate. It is perfectly symmetrical(left cuff could fit on the right heel cup). It no longer has the gap that allows the cuff padding to move independently from the cuff itself. Instead it has two holes on either side that allow you to change out the straps with a buckle. Or you could just unscrew the middle strap piece from the top of the tongue and you would get more freedom. I used to do this with my original Xsjado skates. I believe doing so would resolve the issue of the tongue moving when you bend the cuff forwards. There is ample strap protection from the protectors protruding from the sides, though I can’t imagine they would protecting any buckle I’ve ever seen. These cuffs seem like they would fit on many other models of skates and because of the mould indents on the inside(large circle at the back) I believe they may be based on USD Throne cuffs. Also take note of the indent on the side of the cuff in the first picture. If you are not getting enough flex I believe you could cut this section out and the flex would improve. I’m sure I will end up doing this as I normally do this with all my normal cuffs such as Remz and Nimh/SSM:Image

As you can see here there is a slight indented line in the back of the cuff making a v-cut very easy for anyone that would prefer it:Image

Cuff straps.

The top straps are the best I’ve seen for any kind of skate strap. Thin and durable nylon strap with genuine leather over it. These will last a very long time. I also thought it was interesting that “Xsjado” is imprinted into the back of the fuzzy part on the strap:Image

Tongue/instep pad.

I am a huge fan of this new tongue/instep pad. It is only about 1/4″ thick from the inside of the padding to the outside of the plastic. It is very comfortable. It is made of memory foam so I have to imagine as it breaks in it could become painful. The top of the tongue wraps very far around the side of your legs and digs in when flexing. It’s slightly painful. I think the cuff padding will break into the shape and then you wont feel it. I had the same issue with the original Xsjados but it always worked itself out once it was broken in. As you can see there are now 4 screw receptors for the double d-ring for the top straps. This gives you 3 height options for the top strap or 5 if you only use one screw which I don’t think would be a problem like the original Powerslide Xsjados as it is made out out very thick leather that does not seem to bend:Image

Toe strap.

The toe strap is connected to the receptors by looping through one receptor and velcroing to itself. Then through the other side to tighten it. This is the exact same method applied in the USD Carbon straps. I wish they had made the connecting side a bit longer so that you could adjust the actual length. When I strapped this to the tightness I wanted, it hung out over the soul plate about 1 1/2″. Which is the only part of the skate that visibly says “Xsjado 2.0” which I think is really odd. The Conference loves their logos printed all over their skates! I want to show that logo off but now I have to cut it off! It is made of the same thin nylon, heavy duty velcro and thick leather as the top straps:Image

Here’s my setup with Create Originals frames 50/50 axles, Kryptonics Vinyl wheels and Crap bearings.Image

I am very impressed by all the upgrades/improvements and the overall quality such as genuine leather and suede. The quality seems to be top notch. I think this was well worth the wait.

These fit my feet exactly like the original Xsjados but with more security in the front half of the skate since it is an XS soulplate. I’ve always had pain with Xsjados where the cuff and heel pad meets the base plate on the outside of my foot. I hope I can figure out how to resolve it this time around because I may be in love with these skates already.

Overall I am giving these 2 thumbs up. The quality cannot be matched. I can’t wait to actually skate them and add to this review. I know I will not be disappointed.

-justin

Salomon skates with USD Carbon soul mod

I’ve probably done about 15 of these modifications for myself and many others. As well as countless other Salomon and other skate brand mods.

The Salomon ST boot is arguably one of the most comfortable aggressive in-line skates ever released.

For many it’s biggest downfall is it’s outdated soul-system. Though many people still prefer the classic stock boot.

With the release of the Deshi and USD Carbon skates, a soul plate was developed that made modernizing Salomon STs very practical.

With the soul plates minimal weight and shape enough material can be removed to fit these to the bottom of Salomons and give them the ability to grind like any modern skate on the market.

Here’s the most recent mod I’ve done. A pair of rare blue Salomon ST-8s in a size US 8 with size small USD Carbon soul plates:ImageImage

 

Here’s what the top of the soul plate looks like totally prepared for Salomon boots:Image

Here’s a comparison of a stock soul plate and a modified soul plate. Note that I’ve added holes for the stock screws so that the plate is securely fastened to the boot:Image

 

For additional comfort on non-UFS boots I drill a flat hole for the front frame bolt receptor. This makes the receptor flush with the bottom of the boot so that it doesn’t dig into the ball of your foot. It’s not necessary to do this for the rear receptor as there is a heel shock pad over it:Image

If you are looking to have your Salomon boots modified then please contact me at justin@thursdaycustoms.com

I charge a flat $50 rate if you are supplying the boots and soul plates.

I can obtain many Salomon models in many sizes very easily.

Carbon soul plates can be purchases for about $35 brand new.

That’s all for now,

Keep blading!

-justin