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Rome Cross Rocket 156cm Snowboard Review-Keith Stubbs-NZ Winter 2013

Tags: Rome Snowboards

Overall statement: Best all-around board I've ever ridden, for my style of riding… but then I spend about 40% of my time off-trail, 25% smashing groomers, 15% in the pipe, 15% hitting jumps and only 5% on rails.

On-trail: 8/10
Camber makes a big difference to high-end performance. Full stop!

Being able to hold an edge at speed is key, especially in NZ where the snow can go from icy to slushy and back to ice in a short time - on a groomer! While the board's flex is a little soft to really hold a high edge at maximum speed, its pretty impressive pop helps you launch rollers, yet is still strong enough to stomp late back-1s when riding fast. Anything stiffer would sacrifice that great pop!

The best feature when riding on-trail is the shape - the 3D No Hang-ups Camber changes the shape of the board's side-cut when it is tilted up on edge. This means when you really lay over a euro carve (I mean whole body laid out on the snow), the side-cut gets super-tight and your turn becomes so small it's hard to believe when you look back at your track.

Off-trail: 9/10
The 3D No Hang-ups camber is the bomb here!

The camber still allows you to hold your edge in variable conditions, but the 3D nose helps you pull into turns easily in choppy snow, providing a degree of that surfy feeling you get from rocker boards. The 3D tail allows you to throw out laid-back slashes and little tail-smashes everywhere, no matter what speed you're travelling at and how small or big the banks or lips are.

The scoopy nose makes powder riding almost as easy as riding a full rocker, but with that you lose a little contact edge so keeping your speed when traversing in sketchy conditions can be sacrificed slightly.

Jumps: 8/10
Stability and pop - great combo!

The flex pattern of this board is perfect for hitting almost all sizes of jumps. It's poppy enough to put the little extra in when you realise you're going a little too slow to reach the sweet-spot, and stable enough when you land a little too deep.

Where I think this board will struggle slightly is hitting 80 footers, as the contact surface is decreased due to the shape, meaning there's a little less surface area underneath you for stomping those big spins. That said, it worked great for me on 40 footers.

Rails: 6/10
Poppy but not too playful!

Easy to pop up onto street-style features but not soft enough to provide forgiveness when things go a little wrong. While I loved the shape of the nose and tail for many things, holding a nose press on a down bar wasn't one of them - the 3D shape of the nose seemed to make it a little tricky to hold straight. Still, this board did all I wanted it to do on rails.

Pipe: 8/10
Holds a great line and helps you spin out of the lip!

Here's another aspect of riding that was really conducive to the 3D No Hang-ups camber, half pipe! I loved riding this board in both Cardrona's 22ft super pipe as well as their 12ft mini pipe. While the side-cut gets tight when you put it up on edge, the camber profile still allows you to ride the board flatter up the walls - something I am always working on with my backside airs.

The same 3D shape also allows you to spin out of the lip easily as the edge at the tail doesn't hook on the lip of the pipe. Perfect for working on those spins in the mini pipe when you have less time in the air.

We thank Keith for this great review! Keith has had a long career in NZ's snowboard industry, competing in the early days but becoming an instructor and coach in his early 20s. These days Keith trains instructors part time at Cardrona, works for Snowboard Instruction New Zealand and runs his own business 360queenstown-wanaka while testing boards for Rome. keith-stubbs.com