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Bont Semi-Race Skate Review

I followed Bont's message board when I heard they were developing the Semi-Race skate.  Intrigued by the lower 3 pt./4 100 design and the super light-weight, I thought I would treat myself, and treat, I did!  While I've never owned a Bont before, the features and the price of these skates got me.  In fact, I supposedly got the first pair to enter the USA. 

The Semi-Race comes with aluminum frames.  Aluminum being heavier than magnesium, I looked for a dealer that would swap-out the standard frame and include what I wanted, the magnesium 12.5".  The advertised price was lower than Bont's on G-Skate.com, and they were willing to reasonably exchange the frames.  If you ever considered 4 110, Bont's are so crazy light weight that these would be a good skate to try them on if you can get a dealer to make the exchange.  I would also had that if you're a heavier skater and are apt to punish your equipment in excess, aluminum frames are stronger and you may not want to change a thing.  It's a great package at a great price. 

The boots, since my purchase, have been changed slightly.  The original tongues were super dense and cardboard like.  Fortunately, they are heat moldable, too.  My first impression was "what were they thinking?", and I was told others had the same reaction.  Since the same material was used on the tongues of their "Jet" model, buyers quickly reacted and so did Bont.  Well, after 4 moldings of the tongues, I'm very happy that I have them as I am very prone to lace bite.  That's not even a concern any more.  The newer tongues are supposed to be less dense and not require extensive heat molding.  It, too, is probably just fine as Bont was very quick to listen to customer concerns.

In addition to the heat moldable tongue, the entire boot is supposed to be super heat moldable.  I haven't tried to do any other heat molding because they fit me so well out of the box.

I wear my skates loosely on top and snugly tied and strapped around the foot and ankle.  The velcro strap at the top doesn't provide me with any support, and I find it largely unnecessary because the ankle support is there without the use of the strap.  There is no side-to-side "mush" in these boots.  I could probably skate untied, unbuckled, and totally unfastened and barely notice a difference because my ankles are so well supported in these boots.  These boots are more "race" than "semi" anything.  They are actually a little hard to slip into because of the rigidity and height of the supporting material.

And speaking of material, some people complained about the color of the Semi-Race, bright red and black.  Bont listened.  For '08 there will be a black and white offering for the less daring.  The current material is a super glossy patent leather-like whose durability, over the long haul, I question.  I'm just glad I haven't fallen in them . . . . yet!  Boots never really stay pretty anyway . . .

Anyway, it's a lot of "bang for the buck."  I'd buy them all over again.  Skate equipment just keeps getting better.  I've had Millers, Mogemas, and several models of Powerslides, and the opportunity to try other manufacturers' products, too. 

Also, a review by me isn't necessarily a review for all.  I believe it has to stay in context of other similar skaters due to factors such as weight, age, gender, experience, push, and terrain.  I'm an old gal, 140lbs., 10 yrs. of experience with a whimpy push.  I usually skate flat surfaces, but when I have skated hills, these skates are very ease to pick-up and help me to look more experienced than I actually am.  Now downhill, is another story . . . Oh!  For $25, a brake is available for the Semi-Race, too.


roadskater's picture

Nice Review of Semi-Race

Hey clairem, thanks for a great review that spoke to specifics. Sorry to take so long to appreciate it. I'm working on background matters and have not allowed myself time to reply before. Today, however, I'm going crazy not writing so I decided to write some to make it possible to get back to other work! I'm that heavier skater who punishes equipment I think, but not because of any great push, I fear. Very interesting about the moldable tongue, and impressive about the lateral stability! I had wondered about the durability of the outer skin and hope you'll update us if it becomes an issue after a fall, and of course hope you don't fall! Are you skating these days? I have some new boots to test that were too good to pass on and we'll see if they fit whenever I get back to skating. I feel the pull again...not the hamstring...the magnetoskatricity of Country Park...though time is short and I must back to the webwork return. Thanks again for posting a nice, specific review. I'd love to hear what you liked and did not about all your other purchases these past years too!

Semi-Race Pricing

I had some time to check the current pricing on the Semi-Race. It wasn't too hard to find 2 dealers @ $285. The high end was the list price at $399. If you are looking to swap-out the frames that may complicate things. If you want the stock version, this whole set up is cheaper than some frames out there.
eebee's picture

Great Review!

"...a review by me isn't necessarily a review for all." This can be said for any skate review by any skater, really, given all the possible combinations. What makes your review valuable and informative to me is your detail on your preferences, plus the bottom line on boot & frame weight, height, etc. Any pics of your new present to you?

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