Expert Review: Rome Mechanic Snowboard · 2022Published on 07/13/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in February 2018.
Taking it to the streets. All photos courtesy of Gaelen Mast
About this Review: This review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in February 2018.
As an avid snowboarder, I found the Rome Mechanic (2017 edition) to be a lively all-mountain board with a ton of pop and freestyle capabilities! t’s best suited for beginner or intermediate riders who want to expand their horizons in the park and have a blast all over the mountain!
About the gear
- Model: 2017 Rome Mechanic
- Size: 154cm MW
- Height: 5ft 10in
- Weight: 155lb
- Boots: Vans Hi-Standard OG (10.5m)
- Bindings: 2017 Union Flite
- Experience: 11 years
- When I bought the board: February 2018
- Days tested: 200ish
- Binding angles: 15 and -15 degrees
- Where I’ve ridden it: Berkshire East (MA), Mount Snow (VT), Alyeska (AK)
- Terrain: Groomers, terrain parks, deep powder, glades, ice, slush
How it performs
What I was looking for
At the time of purchasing the Rome Mechanic, I was on the hunt for a super-versatile board I could take anywhere, but especially into the park. I was 17 at the time so pricepoint and getting a good-value board were important to me.
Why I chose this gear
I landed on the Rome Mechanic because, throughout my research process, it was continually recommended as a solid all-mountain/park board. Already being a fan of Rome, I decided to go with this one. At the time, the model I got wasn’t the newest model year but had nearly identical specs to the then-current 2018 model, just at a lower price. I was also considering the CAPiTA DOA, but ultimately the Rome Mechanic was similar enough but cost about half as much!
What I love about it
- Durability: I probably rode this board 200+ days over the three years I owned it, and it took a serious beating! I’m someone who doesn’t believe in taking it easy on my snowboard gear; I’d rather just ride exactly how I want to, even if it’s not great for the equipment. You’d better believe I took this thing through tons of grass patches, over rocks in the woods, across sidewalks while hitting urban spots, and even up a tree or two. Through all this, the board continued to ride as good as new with only a small core shot and no top-sheet delamination. Even when I retired it in March 2022, I realistically could have gotten another season from it.
- Playfulness: With a soft/medium flex and a rocker-flat-rocker profile, this snowboard really turned the whole mountain into a playground, which is my favorite way to ride it. Buttering on this board is a dream and takes so little effort to initiate and hold, and with its rocker-flat-rocker profile, it was plenty forgiving, which made it super fun and easy to experiment with different butters. Despite having no camber, the board was extremely poppy and easy to get in the air, likely thanks to the bamboo “hot rods” Rome put in this board. It made me fall in love with blasting off rollers and popping ollies over slow signs (shh don’t tell ski patrol)!
- Freestyle abilities: When I got this snowboard, I was just getting into park, and I believe my park progression really took off because of the Mechanic. Like I mentioned before, it’s got incredible butterability and pop so it handles phenomenally in the park. It’s a pretty lightweight board (even the MW version), and it’s got a lot of precision, so it was easy to throw around in the park on both rails and jumps. Granted I haven’t done anything crazy, but I have taken it off some 40ft jumps (length to knuckle), hit a few street rails, and definitely feel as if this is a capable board for the intermediate park rider.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Handling in powder: With a softer flexibility and true twin shape, the board just doesn’t float all that well in powder. Even if I adjusted the stance back, I’d still have to lean way back to keep the nose afloat, and my back leg would be burning by the end of the run. If you don’t ride powder much or the powder you do ride is consistently less than a foot, this board will handle fine. Alternatively, if you plan to consistently ride deeper powder, this board will hold you back a little. I took it up to Alaska in December 2020 where there was consistently 2+ feet of powder on the mountain for a week, and it was quite a struggle.
- High-speed riding: Whenever I pointed my nose straight down the trail, I would get pretty noticeable chatter (movement) from both tips. This made high-speed edge hold a little sketchy and was not a smooth ride. I also felt as if I just couldn’t get as much speed as I wanted, and the board didn’t hold speed as well as I would have liked.
Favorite moment with this gear
Throughout all the time I spent on this board, I think the time I appreciated it most was when I could hop off the chairlift, butter down a groomer, pop into the woods, and hit the park all in the same lap. This is a frequent circuit I take at my home mountain of Berkshire East, and it really lets me appreciate just how versatile this board is. I feel equally comfortable in all these different settings, and it really lets me explore all of the mountain without holding me back!
Value for the money vs. other options
In my personal opinion, this board is totally worth the retail price of $390 price tag, and most comparable boards are going to be just as expensive if not more expensive. Similar boards would be the Arbor Formula Rocker and the CAPiTA Pathfinder Reverse.
The Rome Mechanic is for the beginner to the high-intermediate snowboarder who’s looking for an all-mountain ripper and has some solid interest in getting jibby in the park. It’s got its limitations, but as long as you’re aware of them, this is an awesome, affordable, Swiss Army knife of a board that will keep on going no matter how hard you ride it!