The Balance and the Pressure: these are two of our flagship skates that are made for performance. The Balance is a great mid-range skate that will give you a lot of grip and control. As for the Pressure, our newest showpiece, it will give you the opportunity to achieve top performances. I went to the speed skating rink with former Dutch junior all-around champion Jesse Stam for a comparative testing.
Since my test last year, I've been skating for a full season on the Balance clap skate, and I am very satisfied with it. As for Jesse, he was trying on the Balance for the first time. The Pressure was a new experience for both of us, as it is one of the newest additions to the Cádomotus collection.
The Balance: comfortable & relaxed
“It feels good right away,” Jesse says, positively surprised, when we put on our skates. After the awkward first meters, he is already skating very smoothly. We skate a few easy laps to warm up, then we start putting the Balance to the test with some drills: a few build-ups, a longer set, a few good accelerations on the long stretch and in the corner and, finally, a few starts. Jesse notices that the Cádomotus skates are as stiff as his Groothuis and Viking skates. “It seems to me that these skates have more padding on the inside. They feel a bit more comfortable,” he says while giving his first impression. “The blades ensure that you can skate in a very relaxed way, that is very positive. The Balance has an effortless acceleration. You can easily find your grip, transfer your power onto the ice, and speed up. I’ve skated on a Viking PM blade, which was easy to steer on the straight part but wasn’t stiff enough to build pressure and speed. I can do that with these blades. It is easy to generate speed.”
The Pressure: support and stability
We are switching over to the Pressure. In our hands, the one-piece boot feels very stiff. As an inline skater, I like a rigid boot. When I put them on, I get the same feeling as when I slip on my inline skate boots. “You have to like that,” Jesse says skeptically. On the ice, the boot seems naturally moulded around my feet. It is a different feeling from the one conveyed by the Balance, in a positive way. “You have a lot of support," Jesse notices. “Because the boot is mouldable, the hardness basically doesn’t matter,” he adds. “The boot feels snug around my feet and I like that extra support.”
I experience that support as well. I also feel that the gliding ability of the blades is incredible, even though the ice in Utrecht is not so smooth anymore. It feels stable, I can put an enormous amount of pressure without losing grip and can continue to skate technically towards peak speed. Jesse has the same experience. “The blade is stiffer. I feel stable, especially in the corners. On the straights, I feel that the skate wants to go forwards, which is good for sprinting. It is stable and the stiffness gives you more grip in the corners.”
Speed comes easy with the Pressure and Balance
The most surprising thing is the rebound you get from the Pressure blade, although that of the Balance certainly has something extra here as well. “I found both blades stable during the starts,” Jesse says. “I can feel that the Pressure is a bit stiffer, it finds more easily the grip needed to build up speed. But they both accelerate very well. It comes easily.” I notice the same thing when I want to accelerate out of the corner, with a slightly better rebound on the part of the Pressure, which helps me propel myself onto the straight part.
After having tested both models individually, we decide to put the Balance skate on our right foot and the Pressure on the left for direct comparison. And the difference can be felt instantly. We notice that the blade of the Pressure glides better, and the blade of the Balance feels easier. “In general, I think that they are very similar," Jesse analyses. “But I would recommend the Pressure blade for sprinters and that of the Balance for marathon skaters. Although the Balance clap skates are a bit cheaper, your skating feels more relaxed on them”.
On smooth, fast ice, the Pressure is the best choice, according to Jesse. “When you go fast, you want to feel enough grip to put pressure on the ice, and it feels good to have a stiffer blade. I think that the Pressure blade does better than the Balance blade at a higher speed. When the ice quality is not optimal, the more flexible blade of the Balance feels better. You can skate with less effort, navigating through rougher surfaces or cracks.
No cramps in your feet
When we want to swap the blades, we notice that the bridges of the Balance and those of the Pressure are different. According to Jesse, it is a small point of criticism. “If you want to skate on natural ice with the Balance, or if you want to test them both, it would be handy if you could only take off the tubes, instead of the whole blade. That way, you are sure that the blade is always in the same place under your boot. I also think that the toes should have a little more vertical room. The toe box is tight and it feels like you need a bigger size to release some of the pressure at the toes. But chances are that your foot will start sliding inside the boot if the size is too big. A minor adjustment on the toe box could help prevent this. The footbed, on the other hand, is great in both boots. I didn’t have a single cramp in my feet. It just feels good, even without any moulding.”
‘Just an awesome skate’
“The Pressure is a pure racing skate and just an awesome skate,” Jesse concludes. The Balance gives you more comfort and will be, in our shared opinion, great for long-distance skating and natural ice. The Pressure is a skate for speed work, on smooth ice, where every stroke has to be on point. The connoisseur will love this skate, and more important: break personal records with it. If you dream of top performances, with the Pressure you’re definitely not limited by your gear.
Balance clap skate (€699,-)
- The boot is made of two parts: the carbon shell and the leather upper part. This is efficient and cost-effective manufacturing technology.
- The tube is made of stainless 304 steel; half-hard temper is strong, reliable and easy to maintain.
- The tubes helping control the skate, which is ideal for relaxed skating on the speed skating rink or natural ice
- The clap system is lighter due to its smaller bearings, but strong enough to skate for hours on natural ice
Pressure clap skate (€999,-)
- The boot is made out of one piece: the shell and the upper part are fully integrated; no pressure points.
- The tube is made of DP980 dual-phase steel; strong steel that can absorb a lot of energy. Because of this material, the tube offers more ‘rebound’; i.e. the response feeling that you get from the skate after a powerful push-off. This will improve your responsiveness and help you to achieve more explosive push-offs,