Tech Review: Alkali RPD Max+ and Shift+ Skates

The new RPD + Skates just hit the shelves and are look to push Alkali to another strong year of growth and prosperity in the roller hockey game. While the product’s name change is minor, the innovation and update each model features is not. Alkali’s goal with this new line is to improve and elevate on their previous RPD Line, which had been their biggest success in the skate market to date. Today, we’ll be highlighting significant upgrades and key features on their top two price points; the Alkali RPD Max+ ($649.99 for a senior pair) and the Alkali RPD Shift+ ($399.99 for a senior pair).

Inline Warehouse Alkali RPD Max+ Roller Hockey Skate

Alkali RPD Max+ Skate

The Alkali RPD Max + features a totally redesigned quarter package, highlighted by it’s new Purlyn shell material which is a big upgrade from the previous RPD Max’s Hyper Light quarter package. Purlyn offers more stiffness, durability and impact resistance without losing Alkali’s known heat molding properties. The liner is also a noticeably different with it’s new Activ Wick material and enlarged comfort edge wraps. Players benefit since the liner has longer life expectancy and offers much more comfort, especially in the high ankle area. Alkali didn’t stop there either, they refined the flexible tendon guard for more strength and durability while the strategic wear patches on both sides of the quarter package will certainly increase the longevity of the new boot.

Inline Warehouse Alkali RPD Shift+ Roller Hockey Skate

Alkali RPD Shift+ Skate

The Alkali RPD Shift+ packs a ton of high-performance features into a very reasonably priced skate. I have to say this is my favorite model in the new (and old) RPD+ and RPD lines. Players get the exact same Purlyn quarter package, composite outsole, pro white felt tongue and Activ Wick liner that’s on the Max+ skate; they just don’t get the magnesium frame with the Labeda Addiction wheels. In my opinion, this skate is a great fit for intermediate level players all the way up to the most advanced players who are not consistently playing at professional level.

Alkali RPD+ Roller Hockey Skate

Alkali Movement Chassis Technology

Although this technology is carried over from last year’s RPD Line, it’s definitely worth discussing. When Alkali launched it’s debut skate line, they heard feedback that players felt the skates put them too far back on their heels, making for an unnatural feeling. After intense research and development, Alkali teamed up with Labeda to design a chassis that works synergistically with the outsole to lower a player’s center of gravity, to offer a more aggressive turning radius and to help put players in a natural skating stance. Labeda shortened the distance that the frame sits away from the bottom of the outsole, requiring Alkali to create space for the wheels that wasn’t there already. Alkali decided to implement wheel cutouts for the second wheel from the toe that allow this wheel to “sink” or “recess” into. This change isn’t just felt when you have the skates, on, you can definitely tell the chassis and wheels sit much closer to the the outsole by looking at the now tiny gap between the front and rear wheels and the boot.

Alkali RPD+ Hockey Skates - Inline Warehouse

To further help with increasing the forward canter or forward lean, Alkali adjusted the boot’s entire pitch to help guide players into a natural and more powerful skating position. They didn’t stop there either, the lowered the degree of toe spring their boots have too, also seen in the diagram above. This was another key component to drastically improve the fit, performance and comfort level of their skates from their debut skate line.

While the RPD+ Max skate is the only model with a full magnesium chassis, the rest of the line features all of this Movement Chassis Technology on their respective aluminum chassis’. Also worth noting that the previously mentioned RPD+ Max skate and it’s full magnesium chassis is the only of it’s kind on the market. All other “all 80mm” frames feature an aluminum chassis.

Make sure you head over to InlineWarehouse.com to check out all of Alkali’s great new RPD+ Skates. We have even more detailed individual product descriptions, product review videos and exclusive insight videos with Alkali’s Vice President of Product and Marketing.