K9 – The Top Dog
The K9 comes into this season with even more upgrading. Check out this new unboxing video. The new K9 Rabid has all the treats as the model shown in the video plus one extra straight out of the BONEFIGHT competition…
‘’Some of the races in BONEFIGHT were ultimately so close that we’ve had to put the K9 under the microscope. Following analysis and feedback from our pro-riders we’ve introduced a new ankle/heel section made with ultralon foam that can be heated and moulded to your unique foot shape. Obviously this gives a super close fit and may give you the extra edge in competitions and extra control and security generally. Another tweak is the new 40 mm strap – up from the original 35mm – which enables the rider to strap a bigger area, with the aim of providing extra stiffness and control at high speeds.’’
Sled Dogs Snowskates K9 Rabid Test
After Sled Dogs Snowskates came out with the perfected basic line, the R&D section of the company immediately started to improve the existing skates using the pro team’s feedback to make equipment especially for higher impact/demand.
The result is the K9 Rabid, which quickly became the flagship skate. This is the equipment for those who want to experience the limits of what Sled Dogs can do. We subjected this special model to a full test during the season, so let’s see what these snowskates have to offer:
When you unbox the Rabid and remove the plastic wrapping you immediately get the feeling that this is something really top of the line: They’ve clearly put time into the visual appeal – the white cuffs and the translucent green boots trimmed with orange is a mouthwatering combination and a real head-turner. You get a feeling of speed just from looking at them! Likewise, touching the materials, you can feel the quality, a bit like when you’re opening the door of an expensive car or feeling the seat of a new motorbike.
Moving onto the hardware, the first thing you will notice is that both buckles have been replaced with extra strong aluminium casts and the lower buckles have been inverted. This apparently minor modification, for high-demand riders, is actually a real game-changer, as you will see in the test. The next thing you notice as you look inside the boot, is that the liner has been completely redesigned – again with those higher-demand riders in mind. When I first tried out the F model, I felt that the liners were just perfect – they were very comfortable and warm enough even during a whole week of trialling. These new liners made specially for the K9 Rabid are less general-purpose and rather tailored for speed and impact: You’ll notice they are a bit higher and feel more rigid, and this is to increase control. Likewise, the insoles in the K9 Rabid have been moulded to include shock-absorbing pads under the heels …Little modifications which the designers say add up to something big, and it shows that the developers are continually listening to the feedback from pro-riders who are out there continually pushing the limits!
Obviously I was stoked about seeing how these changes work out on the different slopes!
I tested the K9 Rabid in different conditions, eagerly expecting some minor improvements here and there, but in fact I was blown away – all those little tweaks really have combined to deliver a big overall step-up in performance! On the black slopes when the speed was a bit higher, the new liner quickly showed the big advantage of its new, user-specific fit. I had much more control which was really handy for the fast runs.
Later I discovered that with the new inverted lower buckles I was able to make VERY tight curves – I am able to turn almost on the side of the skates, something that was never possible before! The previous buckles, at this angle, would get in the way and pop open. Naturally I set about immediately pushing these sharp turns to the limit and after a few runs I found myself doing every turn with my hand on the snow!
On the jumps meanwhile, the extra shock absorption worked well and once again I was glad for the stronger, inverted buckle staying firm on those times I wiped out.
Ingi Freyr Svejnbjörnsson, Sled Dogs Snowskates pro skater on the new K9 Rabid:
The biggest deal is the upside down buckle, which changes the experience and takes turning to another level. The shock absorber in the heel helps in the big jumps, it takes some of the impact away from your feet and legs. The joint on the boot itself is not as stiff and more flexible than on the F5 which I think is better for doing tricks and riding the parks. I like these skates very much, good job Sled Dogs!
So to summarize I would definitely recommend the K9 Rabid for everybody who is truly serious about snowskating: This new model represents a step-change in performance at this level. At the same time, it’s probably true that until you reach a certain level in riding Sled Dogs you won’t really miss the improvements built into the K9 Rabid. Mid-level users might well prefer the comfort and all-round practicality of the more basic models. While these more basic models will definitely give the casual user the fun factor, when you really start getting the feeling and start pushing your limits, the special features of the K9 Rabid will definitely be worth the higher price of upgrading!