- Price: £280 / €370
- Sizes: S/M, M/L, L/XL
- Flex: 6-9
- Entry System: Classic
Everyone has their favourite model of binding. It’s the one with just the right flex and features for the style of riding you enjoy, and which always holds up no matter what you throw at it.
But most importantly, it’s the one with the right fit.
It would follow that a highly customisable binding which you can adjust with surgical precision would go down well with a wide audience. A few winters back, the Rome Katana - three years in the making - was unveiled.
The Rome Katana is a premium snowboard binding, and is therefore found towards the higher end of the market in terms of price.
You get what you pay for, though - the Katana is as light, comfortable, powerful and adjustable as you could hope any binding would be.
Not much has changed from the 2016/17 edition, but that’s understandable given how little room for improvement was left.
It’s still instantly recognisable thanks to its signature highback, which has an asymmetrical design that gives you more support on the outside of each leg.
"The Katana is as light, comfortable, powerful and adjustable as you could hope any binding would be"
The Rome Katana’s real trick, however, is in the way that it allows for more movement along the length of the board without sacrificing edge-to-edge response. When changing from heel to toe or vice versa, the aluminium chassis works together with thinner sections of baseplate to ensure quick, efficient energy transfer.
"The aluminium chassis works together with thinner sections of baseplate to ensure quick, efficient energy transfer"
Another look at that chassis will reveal that in only goes right the way along your foot on the inside of each binding, and not on the outside. Should you wish to poke out a grab, or drive through the turns with as much power as you dare, the Rome Katana’s design gives you the freedom to do that.
Impact-protection specialists D30 have once again lent their cushioning material to the baseplate of the Katana. Often found in impact shorts, as well as across other sports and even in military equipment, this stuff soaks up unwanted chatter before it starts to do a number on your feet.
Top it off with a fully adjustable highback and straps, and you can be sure that the Rome Katana will always fit like a glove.
“You’d be hard pushed to find a pricier binding on the market today, but the Rome aren’t taking the piss with the Katana - far from it. Just a quick look at this one suggests that it’d be money well spent, and a few laps on your feet confirms it.
"They feel utterly bomb-proof, making them a canny investment rather than an out-and-out luxury"
These are premium in every sense. There’s no limitations to its performance, and comfort is off the scale. It’s also one that’s genuinely brilliant at everything, from pottering about at slower speeds to gunning it - although if I had to choose, I’d say it’s better at the latter.
A good pair of binders should last you a few seasons, even if you get a lot of riding days in each winter, and the build of the Rome Katana is immensely reassuring in that respect. They feel utterly bomb-proof, making them a canny investment rather than an out-and-out luxury. At the same time, you’ll definitely feel like you’ve treated yourself if you pick up a pair of these."
Thomas Delfino - Team Rider, Rome
"I remember the day I strapped in the Katanas for the first time - it was in the Jackson backcountry with Bjorn [Leines].
I was so surprised by the control I had on my board; it was much more enhanced than with any other bindings I used to ride. I was more precise, and put my board exactly where and how I wanted to. We hit a big jump, and I landed all my tricks."