Alkali plans to start October off strong with the launch of the RPD line early in the month. We were able to take a close look at the new gear as well as play with some of it, so here’s the inside scoop on the RPD stick and skates in the lineup.
Let’s start with the skates this year: the top of the line CA9 RPD. While it shares similar features to the 2011 CA9 skate, Alkali made some impressive technological improvements. The main focus of the improvement are the carbon fiber fully reinforced heel & tendon pieces.
The reinforced tendon piece allows for better energy transfer and a stronger build with better control and feel. The boot’s EPP foam and surlyn construction creates a very lightweight design that is heat moldable. Since the trend with roller players recently is to wear stiff, ice hockey-like boot, Alkali responded with the RPD. As a result of the tendon piece and a redesigned structure of the boot, the RPD is significantly stiffer than the previous models. Another feature Alkali added is new and improved internals designed for comfort and better fit. For all you floppers out there, the RPD features an extended tongue length for premier flop.
The RPD rolls on 4 x 80mm Labeda Addiction wheels which will provide incredible grip and durability. Though this setup leaves the skater noticeably higher off the ground, it’s a design to which one can adjust.
Next let’s take a look at the CA9 RPD stick. In previous years, Alkali sticks failed to impress me but the RPD really stepped it up. Alkali designed this stick specifically for roller hockey players (surface & pucks).
The stick has a matte finish with small Alkali logos providing textured grip and an overall soft feel. After shooting with the stick, we found that the blade didn’t need tape. The soft, chalk-like feel of the blade complements the plastic floor and puck to provide excellent feel without the added weight of tape. Overall, the CA9 RPD stick seems like an ideal choice for the roller hockey player looking for a high quality, roller specific stick, without the 200+ price tag.