Gear Review: Rome Wildcat 2016
Since their foundation, Rome Snowboards’ immersion in the snowboard culture has allowed them to create products and designs that riders can identify with. Rome knows that snowboarding is whatever you want to make it, whether you spend your days jibbing signs or riding gnarly faces, and their extensive lineup of boards reflects that.
Over the years I’ve been most familiar with Rome’s park decks, and when the Wildcat was introduced it was it definitely looked like something a little new and different. When I first saw the Wildcat, my impression was, wow, this is a wide board. With blunted tips and a wider than usual waist, the board has a skateboard-like design—something we haven’t seen in many women’s boards on the market. The board also has a concave rocker (see picture below) to allow for a playful, no hang up feel.
We took the board out in some super slushy late season conditions, and also got to put it to the test on some park features. Find out how it fared:
Reviewer Size: 5’0”, 115 pounds
Board size: 140
A little about the reviewer:
Gabby prefers boards that are softer and shorter. She generally spends her time jibbing in the park, or buttering around on the mountain—unless there is powder to be found, of course.
Park - Jibs & Small Features - 9
Park - Jumps and Large Features - 7
Pipe - x
Powder - x
Steeps/Freeride Terrain - x
Ice - x
Slush/Spring Conditions - 9
Groomers and Carving - 7
Beginner Progression - 6
Intermediate Progression - 8
*scale from 1-10, 10 is best
What they say:
“Riders who prefer their days in the park to days outside the park. Riders who prefer a board that is designed for presses, board slides and back 1s. Riders who prefer a loose, fun feel under their feet.”
The surfy feel of the board is definitely one of the standout aspects of the Rome Wildcat. It allowed the board to excel in the super slushy conditions I encountered when testing, that even included floating across some ponds. While it almost felt a little too loose at first, especially when trying to lock into presses and stay straight, it didn’t take long before I began to adjust to it. I found the board to be very playful while slashing around in slush, and at the same time still plenty stable for going over choppier conditions because of the width. With a nice soft flex throughout, the board was fun for jibbing and buttering, but still maintained a decent amount of pop; although I would not describe it as super poppy or responsive.
The width seemed to have advantages and disadvantages. It created increased stability for jumping and cruising and also a lot of press room and space for sliding features. On the flipside, it felt like a lot of board to handle at times, and made it a little more challenging to flex torsionally. The way this board rode was exactly as advertised—a loose feeling park board—and I think it’s perfect for riders like myself who like to mainly jib, play around on the mountain, and occasionally do some jumping as well. While it holds up fine on groomers, this is not the board for riders who just want to ride hard and fast. Although the forgiving camber profile of the board would be great for beginners, the width of the board would likely make it more challenging to handle for girls that are just starting out. The shape of this board creates a longer effective edge and as a result the board riders larger than it is. I’d would recommend sizing down so you don’t end up with more board than you bargained for.
Posted by Gabby Rainville on 07/01/15