Rome Ravine Select 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £540 / $630
  • Category: Freeride/Powder
  • Ability Level: Advanced
  • Size: 152, 155, 158, 162, 166
  • Flex: 8/10
  • Shape: Directional
  • Profile: Directional Camber
  • Base: Sintered
  • New for 2020/21

Why we chose the Rome Ravine Select Snowboard: Because sometimes, just sometimes, nothing other than the best will do.

Hold onto your hats, fellas. This is the juiced-up, next-gen iteration of an all-mountain freeride powerhouse. As part of Rome’s completely overhauled product line, the Ravine Select enters the fray and flattens the competition to stand atop as the most powerful, responsive and downright deadliest snowboard in this season’s collection.

Starting from the ground up, the Select utilises Rome’s no-holds-barred, face-meltingly fast SinterSpeed base – the most rapid in their line and one spec above the OG Ravine. With the added speed comes the increased forces put through the snowboard. As you’d expect, then, the core comes built to handle some serious G’s and deliver power through its length and out to the edges.

“For riders of a zero-compromise mindset, you need the best. Simply put, this is it.”

Opting to shave the most weight and deliver maximum power, the SuperPop core alternatives between 10mm strips of poplar with 20mm strips of paulownia. The Ravine Select feels impossibly lightweight for a snowboard this heavy-hitting. That’s sandwiched between a combination of biax and triax laminates to keep the board feeling lively responsive but dials it down just a nudge to give you some torsional flex to work with, in tighter spots. Any concerns about high-speed chatter and vibrations are, quite literally, eased with Rome’s energy dissipating glass woven Impact Plates underneath the inserts.

With a flex rating of 8/10, matched only by the Stale MOD, it sits as the stiffest snowboard in the line. That power is concentrated towards the back end though. Rome’s doubled up on the carbon here. And then doubled it again. The two Carbon HotRods in the tail run from the rear inserts back towards the contact points. New for this season, they’ve been wrapped in what they’re calling an Omega Housing. You heard. Carbon, wrapped in carbon. It seriously means business. This supercharges the tail, equipping it to handle warp speed couloir runouts or to build, hold and launch you out of mach10 carves.

The front hasn’t been left to fend for itself, mind you. There are no carbon additives going on up here, so it’s reasonably soft flexing making turn initiations effortless, but the Diamond Directional 3D nose is the Ravine Select’s crud busting, pow punching, all-terrain topping tech. It’s a bit of a reverse mullet in terms of its construction – very much letting the good times roll upfront while taking care of business out the back.

The base profiling in the nose helps in a broad spectrum of conditions, rolling from edge to edge on the pistes, turn initiations feel smooth and predictable. When you’re in more chopped up, variable conditions, this helps to calm things down a little and prevent the Select from feeling too twitchy. If you’re lucky enough to be scoring it deep and fresh, that bevelling pushes snow out from underneath the nose and tracks along the surface effortlessly.

“It’s a bit of a reverse mullet in terms of its construction – very much letting the good times roll upfront while taking care of business out the back”

That’s all backed up by the Ravine Select’s shape and profile. A setback stance, tapered outline and the contrast between that long, shovel headed nose and pointed pintail at the back have all the makings of a powerful, floaty and super versatile snowboard. That doubles up well with Rome’s Free The Ride Camber, which features a positive camber located towards the rear inserts with a long, progressive nose rocker.

The Ravine was (and still is) a fantastic snowboard, but the new Select model isn’t trying to outmuscle it from the lineup. Although let’s face it, if it wanted to it very easily could. No, this is a very different snowboard, one for riders who are boot packing to steeper lines, chasing first light morning corduroy and constantly pushing the limits of what they’re capable of riding. For riders of a zero-compromise mindset, you need the best. Simply put, this is it.

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