I don't deny what Seba is doing for freestyle. BUT understand that it isn't charity work. They are doing this to expand, it's a investment that will pay off in longer run. More freeskaters = bigger market for Seba. And they certainly WOULD NOT support any events if it wasn't paying off for the company.
Saying that buying competitor skates will hurt the sport is very, very bad for the sport itself. More competition among companies = faster growth of the scene, more innovations, more money involved and more freestylers. If everyone would buy only Sebas, other companies would abandon this market, and sport eventually would go in to stagnation. Buy what's better in terms of price, quality and technology for you - show other companies they need to try more.
Also I don't understand why people portray Seba as innovation powerhouse. The fact is, they don't innovate more than other companies.
Powerslide created a concept of linerless slalom skate and were first to introduce it. Sure, first models weren't great - first S3 and HC Evos had many flaws, it was still something new, and people were skeptical and preferred sticking with Highs. But they pushed it, it actually proved to be a major leap in terms of control, and eventually Seba catch up with Igors. I would say, if it weren't for Powerslide, Seba could not get the idea of linerless skates to this day. Don't forget that Igors are build on High Carbon shell. Powerslide constantly improves their molds, and you can see that indeed EVERY version of HC Evo was tuned. 2012 version have little in common with the first version. Actually boot was improved so much, it is possible to skate 2012 version cuffless, like Igors and KSJ.
Seba was late to introduce pre-rockered frames. Asian brands were first, along with Salomon which made rockered frame - 3vSL. Then Powerslide did it. Seba was late to the party. They were also the last to introduce 219mm frames.
Yes, Seba introduced carbon fiber in to slalom skates before Powerslide. But again, Asian manufacturers beat them at it. And Seba first Carbon-based skate was High Carbon, which is essentially High made from different material. And as for carbon technology - Powerslide give opportunity to take advantage of it and heat-mold skates to get better fit, and eliminate pressure points. Hell, it's even possible with S4 which are made from thermoplastic materials. Seba is yet to introduce this technology - don't try it with their current skates. Glue will melt and skin will separate from shell.
Outside of slalom, Seba did little to develop FR series further. They didn't took any risks. Rollerblade was first to release freeride skates with 84mm and 90mm wheels (Fusion X7 and Fusion 84). Seba FR-A plate is in my opinion desperate try to catch up with evolving freeskating at minimum cost. These plates are like something straight from year 95, when aggressive skating was very young - brands like Senate and 50/50 sold grindplates and souls very similar to these. Again - Powerslide took the risk and developed new frames for "powerblading" that in connection with UFS boot allow you to freeride AND grind ledges. And even though Seba plates were developed for years, Powerslide was the first to release their product.
Also - which brand constantly release improved wheels for slalom and freeride? Again, Powerslide. Matter Juice FSK are one of best wheels you can get for slalom. Crazy Glue works wonders on really smooth surfaces. Zafiros are number one for slides. Undercover Powerblading are arguably best freeride wheels at the moment, with Hyper Concretes sharing the title if someone goes after better stability. And new slalom wheels are planned for next year. What Seba did in the meantime? I don't see them developing better wheels... they have ok-ish ones and really expensive Whites. I could get Atom One 80mm for similar price and trust me, they are whole different league.
Yeah, Seba did introduce some tech that weren't present in freeskates before: mounting plates, sliders etc. But most of these things were already invented by someone else - mounting plates and sliders came from speedskating.
In my opinion Seba isn't good at innovation - but they are great at copying other companies ideas and put them together.
I know Seba is doing a lot to the sport, but it isn't the case all over the world. There are countries like Poland for example. Seba does almost NOTHING to promote slalom here. there is Polish Seba team, there is Battle Warsaw - that's all. Meanwhile Powerslide with their own team are working their asses off to make scene healthier. They sponsor events, with real money, which Seba rarely do here. EVERY slalom competition here is supported by PS in some way - people connected with Seba often just sit behind jury table and call it a day. I was a part of group that organized side-events to a skate marathon. One of them was a small slalom competiton. Rules for sponsors were simple - if you want to have your banners and ads on the site of event, donate about 100 pounds (500 PLN) or give stuff that's worth these money for prizes. Group of people connected to WSSA and Seba show up, they hang Seba ads, and after the event it turned out they didn't pay. Powerslide did. I know I can't blame the brand itself for everything their underlings do, but this incident clearly shows how things are going here. Invest as little as possible, harvest as much as you can.
Meanwhile Powerslide and their team constantly put out slalom edits, doing photo sessions, show up in magazines, and even in television, showing wider audience what freestyle slalom is about. They organize free workshops where team teach people basics of skating, slalom, and even freeride - jumping, grabs. Giving tips, spending their time with people. Without any profit. They support talented people with some free gear like wheels to make it easier for them to progress, others with huge discounts. Is Seba doing any of it here? No. Sure, they are good, and Claudia could became European no.1 in the future. But they are all like celebrites that show up only on important events and do nothing to promote skating or freestyle slalom in our country.
So tell me - why the f*** I should be starry-eyed over Seba? If anything, I would be starry-eyed for Powerslide. But I ride Rollerblades and won't switch to Powerslide skates, because Fusions suit me best. And that's my point of view, and always will - get skates that suit your anatomy and style best. To hell with fanboyism, and this whole "support company running by skater" bs. You don't want things to go like they did in aggressive, where companies like Valo and Shima Skate Manufacture ride on their owner reputation and "skater-owned" bandwagon, selling fifteen year old skates (based on Roces M12 and Razors flat), with some minor changes and packed in fancy skins. Again, it is Powerslide that innovate the most in this market. Rollerblade is producing quality skates too. And they put their money in to events. Rest is basically not moving forward in any way, and contribute very little to the sport. All because people are willing to pay for brand name, no matter if price is justified or not, simply because of hype.