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Snowboards

Rome Gang Plank 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 146, 149, 152, 155, 157W, 158, 160W
  • Flex: 6
  • Profile: Flat
  • Shape: True Twin
  • Price: £429 / €449

Be wary of any snowboard that claims to be ‘all-mountain’. Plenty of them are, but an awful lot aren’t – not really. After all, it’s the most popular category by far, and less scrupulous brands often try to claim that their sticks are capable of more than they actually are. Fortunately, that’s not a concern when you’re looking at the Rome Gang Plank. Its go-anywhere credentials have been thoroughly scrutinised, and it comes up trumps.

“Upgraded impact plates spread the pressure from directly under your bindings during heavy landings”

That’s partially down to the flat base, which it’s had for a few seasons now. Opinion will forever be divided on what the best profile for a quiver-killer is, but there’s certainly a strong case to be made for the zero-camber variety. More pop than rocker, more pow float and pressability than camber, more predictable in the turns than any kind of camber-rocker combo; wherever you take it, you’ve got the tools to deal with what’s in front of you.

There’s some trade-off, of course, primarily the lack of edge grip that comes with foregoing camber. Not to worry, though – the Rome Gang Plank features a clever design that creates contact points on the edge, where the shallower sidecut of the mid-section meets the longer, deeper ones at each end.

Whichever direction you point it (and given that it’s a true twin, you shouldn’t shy away from switch riding), it’ll hold an edge better than you might expect. Then when you’re making the most of the flat base during presses on rails, or even on the piste, they’ll remain anonymous.

You don’t have to be into hitting freestyle features to ride a Rome Gang Plank, as it holds up everywhere else, but should you venture into the park then it’s well equipped to get you riding better, for longer. There’s an increase in pop thanks to a bamboo rod that runs right down the middle. Load it up with enough power at the take-off and it’ll spring back to launch you skywards.

“Its go-anywhere credentials have been thoroughly scrutinised, and it comes up trumps”

Strength-wise, elasticated sidewalls absorb the impacts encountered during rail sessions, and impact plates (upgraded for 2018/19) spread the pressure from directly under your bindings during heavy landings.

The result is a board with more longevity, that can truly do it all. That’s why the Rome Gang Plank remains one of our top picks.

Tester’s Verdict

Ed Blomfieldwhitelines.com

“It’s funny – back in the day my friends and I used to think a board was ‘dead’ if it lay flat on the ground, with all the camber beaten out of it. These days flat profiles – straight out of the wrapper – are one of many legit alternatives to classic camber, and I have to admit I’m a convert. The Gang Plank is one such board. It feels planted rather than twitchy at speed, it’s easy to press thanks to an extended nose and tail, and yet it avoids the sketchy, loose vibes of a pure rockered design.

Shape wise, this is just a classic all mountain freestyle board. OK, the ends have been hacked off to give it a blunt silhouette that’s more current than those hourglass quiver killers of old, but essentially it’s made to be ridden in either direction and on any terrain. And it’s a challenge it takes to well. I hammered this board down the piste, through some overnight powder in the sidecountry, over the medium kicker line and even through heavy slush as the day wore on; there was nothing it couldn’t handle.

“It’s one of those boards that takes you no time to adapt to, with no nasty surprises under the hood”

I used it to film some follow cam – when you’re more focused on the person you’re shooting than your own riding – and again it proved up to the task, which goes to show just how easy it is to steer the Gang Plank on autopilot. It’s one of those boards that takes you no time to adapt to, with no nasty surprises under the hood.

Did it make my pulse race? I guess not, but if it had a trendier tapered shape it simply wouldn’t be as versatile. And the flex? As you’ve probably guessed by now, it hits that Goldilocks sweetspot – a little towards the soft side, perhaps, but then that’s how this bear likes it.”

Trade Secrets

Len Jørgensen – Team Rider, Rome

“The Gangplank – this snowboard is what I live for. The best plank I can ride with my gang! Fuck Yeah!!”

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