Rome Artifact 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £350 / $400
  • Category: Park/Jib
  • Ability Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Size: 147, 150, 152W, 153, 155W, 156
  • Flex: 4/10
  • Shape: True Twin
  • Profile:Camber
  • Base: Sintered

Why we chose the Rome Artifact Snowboard: Redesigned and re-igniting everybody’s stoke on park riding.

Rome have completely redesigned and rebuilt their boards, boots and bindings collection from the ground up for 2021. A pretty bold move, for sure (we’re picturing some late nights and Pepe Silvia moments), but it looks to have massively paid off. This season’s snowboard lineup is stacked with newcomers, as well as some reimagined classics. The Artifact maybe encapsulates this best of all. Their original park board gets a complete facelift and stomps right in to claim the Whitelines Choice top spot as the best freestyle snowboard of the year. Pure. Park. Perfection.

A true twin shape will always be the go-to profile for a dedicated freestyle deck, and that’s what the Artifact has gone for here. Switch, regs, backwards, forwards, hardways, easyways, upside down, right way up, the Artifact feels completely balanced on the ground and in the air. Granted, you’ll lose the all-mountain versatility that a longer nose, stiffer tail, or taper that a directional twin offers, but the Artifact isn’t chasing those kinds of highs. This one’s all about floating through the air, not the powder.

“Pure. Park. Perfection.”

There’s also Rome’s Stay Positive full length, tip to tail camber. That’s something that’s surprisingly less common in park boards these days, with many brands opting for some form of hybrid camber or 3D profile in the nose or tail. You can’t argue with the classic bend, though. Sure, it may come with a few less ‘get out of jail free cards’ around the contact points, but in terms of getting the best pop and response from a snowboard, the juice is worth the squeeze.

Combined with the Single Barrel Bamboo Hotrods in the nose and tail, the Artifact gets some superlight pop at either end, without compromising the softer torsional flex through the waist. Bamboo’s properties give a lively and snappy flex, but don’t have quite the same power as something like carbon, so pressing and buttering on the ends is still very much on the cards.

And that’s where the Artifact’s new Double Kicks comes in to play. The scoop in the snowboard’s nose and tail is broken into an aggressive two-part rise, built for increased pressability and better landings. Rather than the micro-adjustments or inconsistencies of finding the sweet spot to press or ollie from, the Artifact takes a more binary approach to business. You’re very much either on or off the Artifact’s Double Kicks, and that locked-in feeling so many brands claim is rarely matched as well as you’ll find here.

“You’re very much either on or off the Artifact’s Double Kicks and that locked-in feeling so many brands claim is rarely matched as well as you’ll find here”

As for the rest of the snowboard’s construction, its bombproof and durable construction takes some of the fear out of pushing your park riding on a precious new steed, but also helps to keep the costs down. The Stomp Core is built with 100% poplar wood, sandwiched between softer flexing biax laminates which provide sufficient energy and response without pushing the Artifact’s flex rating beyond the halfway mark.

Glass Impact Plates under the inserts help to absorb some of the thuds on heavier landings and reduce the foot fatiguing chatter that’s not uncommon when you’re lapping hard all day. The underside of the Artifact utilises their Powerslide Base, with improved wax absorption, increased durability and, best of all, more bang for your buck.

The Rome Artifact isn’t completely pushing the envelope or attempting to redefine the park board genre altogether. But it doesn’t need to. It’s always been right on the money and has evolved with the rider over time. A subtle tweak here and little redesign there is all it took for this one to climb back atop its throne and rule over the park, once again.

Tester’s Verdict

Rhys JonesSnowboard Coach

“I never dip below the halfway mark on the flex rating scale for my own personal snowboards, but man alive this thing is fun! I reckon it’s got to be one of the best park boards out there, regardless of your ability level.

The softer core combined with the full camber and HotRods gives you the perfect balance between a really jib friendly, super bendy snowboard, with enough power to keep you solid on big take-offs and landings.

“I reckon it’s got to be one of the best park boards out there”

Locking onto rails (especially on the nose or tail) is a doozy. The flat sections on each end of the kicks are very stable and I felt like I could hold a press without ever running the risk of sliding out or getting bucked off.

At the time of riding the Artifact, I guessed it would be around the £400 mark – and I thought that was great value. When I heard it was £350 I couldn’t believe it. This is a seriously good value for money snowboard. Park fiends, do yourself a favour this year and get one!”

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