New to the Rome lineup this year is the National (it was dropped in an early release limited edition run in 2017)—an all-mountain freestyle deck that’s at home all over the hill. Designed with the likes of legend Bjorn Leines, who has mastered every facet of snowboarding over his storied career, from park jumps and street rails to spine lines and backcountry step-downs, this new positive camber deck immediately captivated our test team.
We tested the 156, which has a single carbon rod down the center of the deck, a trait shared with the rest of the range aside from the 158, a Bjorn-developed special edition with double arced rods adding even more snap to the package. While we didn’t get a chance to test Bjorn’s special edition, we loved the 156’s playful pop, impressive turning ability, and pliable positive camber profile.
The blunt tip and tail are rockered for float and fluid turn engagement, but camber’s at the heart of this creation, providing stability and pop by the bucketload. Rome calls the board a 7/10 on the stiffness scale, though if anything our testers thought that was a bit high, citing a soft tail as butter-friendly and the aptly-named SuperPop Core Matrix poppy enough to air over any slow signs in sight.
The board crushed moguls, as the SinterStrong Sidewalls are durable and damp enough to regain an edge quickly after a high-speed bobble. Also, while the width of the tip and tail are the same, the nose is slightly longer, supplying some powder proficiency without drastically minimizing the ability to ride switch. In fact, that longer nose isn’t noticeable until you are riding switch through moguls (it can be a bit draggy) or riding regular through pow, when those extra millimeters make a big difference.
After wielding this all-mountain deck in more technical, icy, and steep terrain, our testers craved more aggressive torsional stiffness. While the National could straight-line out of mogul lines with ease, our testers noted that it scrubbed out on a couple chundery big mountain landings.
Tester Quote: “A poppy playful stick that rails and responds, grips and rips.”
Key Attribute: Versatility
Why We’re Stoked: Speed and style are a timeless combination, and hopefully this new Rome deck stays in the line for a while.
- Powerful deck that blurs line between freestyle and freeride
- Mostly camber with rocker at tips for more forgiving feel
- Directional twin shape sports a slightly shorter, stubbier tail
- Mid-stiff flex offers powerful and responsive feel
- TurboRods Carbon Single Barrel adds pop
- Hybrid Laminate offers lightweight strength and power
- SinterStrong sidewalls withstand frequent abuse
- SinterSpeed base holds wax well and resists damage