Expert Review: Rome Katana Snowboard Bindings · 2023

Published on 05/03/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2023.
Tyler Nall, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Tyler Nall

All photos courtesy of Tyler Nall

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2023.

My take

The 2023 Rome Katanas are versatile and highly adjustable bindings, perfect for the intermediate to expert all-mountain rider.

About the bindings I own

  • Model:** **2023 Rome Katana
  • Size: L/XL
  • Burton channel compatible: Yes
  • Mini disc (reduces footprint of the binding on the board to enable more board feel): Yes

About me

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 200lbs
  • Experience: 30 years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: November 2023
  • Days tested: 20
  • Board: Yes PYL Uninc
  • Boot: K2 Thraxis
  • Where I’ve used it: Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, Anthony Lakes
  • Terrain: Powder, steeps, groomers, ice, backcountry, park

How it performs

Boot Adjustability
5/5
Comfort
5/5
Shock Absorption
5/5
Buttering
4/5
Durability
4/5
Responsiveness
4/5
Weight
4/5
Adjustability
3/5

What I was looking for

I wanted a binding that was versatile for all-mountain riding, and also featured solid responsiveness for the more aggressive riding and hard carving that fits my ride style. I like to mix some park laps into my typical day on the mountain, so I needed a binding that also had some flex and was able to butter and tweak.

Why I chose this gear

I bought the Katanas because I thought they had the best combination of responsiveness and flex. I had narrowed my choice down to these bindings, the Rome Cleaver, and the Union Atlas, and ultimately went with the Katanas due to their enhanced versatility.

What I love about them

  • Binding adjustability in boots: These are the most adjustable bindings I’ve ever owned. I can literally adjust every part of the bindings to perfectly match my boot and riding style. Start out by adjusting the base and gas pedal to the sole of the boot, then rotate the highback to match the binding angles, and adjust the forward lean to one’s liking. Plus, they feature tool-less ankle and toe strap adjustment that can be done on the mountain. And the best part is the ability to adjust the ankle strap to where it sits on the boot. Set it high on the boot for the most responsive and locked-in feel, and low on the boot for the most tweakability and butterability.
  • Comfort: These are the most comfortable bindings I have ever ridden. The straps contour the boot and have a lot of flex to them, so I can really achieve the perfect fit and crank them down if I want to—without any pressure points.
  • Shock absorption: In my opinion, these bindings are right there at the top of the market with Now bindings in terms of shock absorption. I get some good flex out of the highbacks, and can fully adjust them, so there’s no bite at all.
  • Responsiveness: The ankle straps adjusted high on the boot provide solid responsiveness, but there is some flex to the highback.
  • Carving: I find these bindings provide really quick turn initiation and allow me to hold aggressive carves.
  • Ease of turn initiation: These bindings feature effective power transfer. And while they don’t provide an “instant” turn, it’s plenty for the more aggressive rider.
  • Buttering: The Katanas butter better than anticipated. The mini-disc gives them some extra flex at the base, and a stiff, aluminum side rail is only included on the inside of the bindings, so one is able to put a lot of flex into a butter.
  • Straps: These are the most comfortable straps I’ve used that still lock the boot in. With the amount of stretch I get out of the straps, I worry a bit about longevity, but haven’t had any issues with that so far.
  • Buckles: Smooth, quick and durable, which is all I can ask for out of buckles. Plus, the buckles are one-piece forged aluminum, so I know they are going to last a long time.
  • Durability: The base, aluminum rails, and heel cup are super durable. I haven’t had any issues with the highbacks after some hard use, yet they don’t feel ultra durable to me. The same goes for the straps: they have held up perfectly, but I do worry about durability with all their flex and stretch. The ankle strap adjusters stick out a little, but are made from really strong aluminum, so I don’t expect those to break.
  • Weight: A truly lightweight, responsive binding that features aluminum rails and heel cups.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Stance adjustability: The mini-disc has its advantages, but ultimately limits this binding's adjustability. Unfortunately, it won’t work with the Slam-Back inserts that some brands are using.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment in these bindings was a variable day up at Mt. Hood Meadows. The forecast was calling for a dump, but the morning started with windblown crud and ice. I first was able to set my Katanas up for freeride mode: really good responsiveness to do some hard carving and blow through the crud, and plenty of shock absorption to dampen the rough snow. Afterwards, I got some afternoon park laps in, and was able to butter and tweak some grabs. Once the storm hit, I got some surfy turns in and did some hiking to backcountry bowls. The Katanas rode everything really well on a truly variable day.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Katanas are a little more expensive than their main competitors: Union Atlas, Burton Cartel X, Flux XF, and Now Select Pro. Though in my mind, the adjustability and versatility are worth the higher price tag—especially if I’m already spending $350+ on a pair of bindings.

Final verdict

The Rome Katanas provide peak adjustability out of a versatile binding. They’re perfect for an aggressive rider due to the amount of effective shock absorption they offer paired with the best straps in the business.

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