Italian company Ski Skett has been making roller skis since 1973, offering a wide range of ski options, from low-cost aluminum shaft skis to high-end carbon/fiber glass skis.
Carbon Flex Skate 80
Carbon Skate 100
Skate Racing Skis:
Classic Racing Skis:
As you can see, Ski Skett offers no shortage of choices, 19 models in all, though skis with the same name followed by a different two letter code are the same shaft with different wheel setups. For example, the Fire skate skis come in the PE, PL and PV versions, each featuring a different speed wheel.
Ski Skett offers two different wheel diameters in its skate lineup – either the wide diameter 100mm wheels (20mm wide), or the 80mm diameter (30mm wide). All of the training skate skis, with the exception of the Shark, come with a 600mm shaft, in either aluminum, or the new carbon/fiber glass combo. All skate racing models are equipped with a 530mm shaft while the Shark is offered with either a 600mm or 530mm shaft.
All the classic and combi models feature a 700mm shaft.
Ski Skett racing skis are obviously designed with an eye toward speed at all costs. The classic racing skis have ratchets on both front and back wheels, and the one of the skate race models also has four ratcheted wheels. The race skis are not available in the US and would only appeal to professional roller ski racers.
Ski Skett combi skis use a classic shaft and 74mm diameter x 40 mm wide wheels. Based on the performance of the Ski Skett classic ski, the combis could be promising, but we did not have a pair to test.
Ski Skett also offers two entry level skis – the El and the Pony Junior. Both have a dual back wheel for maximum stability, and can be fitted with a strap and buckle binding allowing the user to ski in running shoes. These models are designed for recreation and general fitness and are not suitable for serious ski training.
The new carbon and fiberglass skis look very nice, with an angled skate fork to keep the ski closer to the ground, and multiple wheel options. We were not provided with demo models, so have no information on actual performance.
Many Ski Skett models can be equipped with optional speed reducers on the front wheel. Speed reducers consist of a bearing and a knob – tightening the knob simply presses the bearing against the wheel. Again, we were not able to test the speed reducer.
Splash guards are also available on all models as an add-on.
We were sent two models to test, the Shark skate and the Nord classic. More details on the other models can be found at http://www.skiskett.com/demowebshop/english/web/publish.asp?levl=10&area=123
Ski Skett Shark ($169):
Summary: The Ski Skett Shark is a basic general purpose skate roller-ski featuring 100mm wheels. It is affordably priced, but otherwise has little to distinguish it from similar skis by other manufacturers.
Pros: Cheap, wide shaft, gets the job done, available in multiple wheel speeds.
Cons: Stiff aluminum shaft makes for rougher ride on bad pavement.
The Ski Skett Shark is very similar to the Pro-Ski S5e, falling into the large class of single piece aluminum shaft skis with 100mm wheels. The medium speed wheels on our test model are identical to the wheels on the S5e as well as several other skis we tested.
Performance was as expected, providing a fine training experience. The large 100mm wheels handle cracks and bumps quite well, though the stiff aluminum shaft does not do the best job of absorbing vibrations on rough pavement. The upside to the stiffness is that power return is very high.
The Shark is quite light, weighing in at 1200 grams per pair unmounted. This is a little lighter than the Pro-Ski S5e.
The one distinguishing feature of the Shark is the shaft width – just a little bit wider than similar roller skis, it provides a more “ski-like” platform. The difference is subtle, yet noticeable, and combined with the light weight, makes for a good ski experience, especially on good pavement.
Another plus of the Shark (and most Ski Sketts) is the ability to customize speed. The Shark comes with four choices of wheels and three choices of bearings. This means you can easily customize your skis to roll at any speed. And it would be simple to have an extra set of wheels for specific conditions or events – or even to match to different training partners. This is certainly cheaper than buying a second set of skis.
We tested a medium speed pair, which left it where you expect – in the middle of the pack speed-wise. This set-up was considerably slower than the Pro-Ski S5e we had and significantly faster than the Marwe. Because of the ability to customize, the speed comparisons are not that important. It is worth noting that the acceleration profile on the Ski Sketts was noticeably different than other skis tested. The skis resist the initial acceleration, but once up to speed, glide at a good rate. It gives the ski the sense of being slower than it actually is, and makes the glide phase a bit less smooth.
Replacement wheels in the most common speeds are $29 – this is not a bad price, but significantly more expensive than the RollerSkiShop.com, which sells the exact same wheels for $16.
The Shark is not available with the Ski Skett speed reducer.
FasterSkier’s Buying Advice: The Shark is a fine no-frills skate ski. The big plus is the price – starting at $169, the Shark is significantly cheaper than many similar skis.
Ski Skett Nord Classic ($250)
Pros: Light, wide shaft, good tracking.
Cons: Stiff aluminum shaft is not great on rough pavement.
The Ski Skett Nord Classic is one of Ski Skett’s many classic options, and like the Shark can be customized with a variety of wheel and bearing speeds. The skier can also choose to place the ratcheted wheel on the either the front or the back.
The ski itself features a unique shaft design for a classic ski. The fork is integrated into the shaft meaning that the entire ski is all one piece. The advantage is that the ski is lighter (less hardware) and there is no weak attachment point where the fork meets the shaft. On the flip side, a broken fork means the entire shaft must be replaced.
The Nord is quite light as classic skis go, and combined with the wider shaft, this makes for a very nice “ski-like” feel, especially when striding. Many classic skis are heavy and clunky when kicking, but not the Nord.
The main drawback of the Nord is that the stiff aluminum shaft transmits vibrations of rough pavement, decreasing performance on poor road surfaces. Additionally, the downside of the light-weight is that the ski does not feel particularly solid.
The wheels are 40mm wide. This is somewhat narrower than typical classic skis. This results in better tracking and cornering, and also means you can skate on them in a pinch. In Fact, there is a version of the Nord that is considered a combi ski. The narrow wheels also require a bit more balance, but are not too tippy to ski well on.
FasterSkier’s Buying Advice: The Nord Classic is a good option as a classic training roller ski. The customizable wheel options mean that you can easily pick the most appropriate speed, and place the ratchet on the front wheel. This ski may not be your best option if you will be skiing on poor pavement on a regular basis.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.