The Rome 390 Boss is a stepped up canted version of the regular 390. The Rome 390 Boss is pretty much the 390 with a canting system. The 390 doesn’t have a cant.
2014 Rome 390 Boss Review
The 2014 Rome 390 Boss had some long needed improvements that help the binding drastically in the initial set up and also help it allow you to change from board to board a lot easier. Also there is a better ankle strap.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju
Boards: Rome Agent Rocker, Rome Reverb Rocker
Flex: Same medium flexing high back that offers up a pretty smooth feel to it.
Adjustability: So the binding is really easy to adjust when it comes to the toe and ankle straps but then it starts to require a tool. In the past getting the binding dialed out for the boot was a truly horrible experience but the changes with the 2014 Rome 390 has changed it up to the the way it always should of been. Here are the changes that were made:
1. You no longer have to remove screws to adjust the heel loop to fit your boot. Instead you just loosen them and slide it to your boot size. Before this could be a night mare because the under wrap metal didn’t always align with the screw mounts. It could take a lot of work to get them in.
2. There use to be a 2 piece system to install the padding in the base plate. Now it’s a 1 piece and it’s just as adjustable. It makes it much easier to switch the bindings from board to board.
3. The New canting system is much better and much easier than the old canting system. I rode this but didn’t get the details of exactly how the cant’s work. I believe it’s 3 separate foot beds that are easily interchangeable. I only rode the 2.0 cant. With the new padding system in the base place and the one screw
Comfort: Same great comfort as before and the new ankle strap is even more comfortable.
Heel-Toe Response: Nice smooth but pretty responsive edge to edge transitioning that works with a wide variety of boards.
Tip-Tail Response: Now the 390 reduced some of the contact with the board but it still feels like it’s a bit dead under there. The board doesn’t bend continuously from tip to tail but bends before and after the bindings. It’s still not bad though.
Boot Support: Rome has always done well with the 390 ankle straps and although smaller they seem to hold the boot in pretty well while also allowing good freedom of movement.
Ratchet System: Nice smooth glide that most will not have issues with.
Shock Absorption: Top notch. It really absorbs a lot of shock. Nothing has changed here except the base plate pad is easier to take off.
For us the 390 boss is the call because of the canting system and better ankle strap.
2013 and below Rome 390 Boss Review
The Rome 390 SDS has been the Burton Cartel for Rome’s binding division. After riding the 2010 and below model and now riding the new re-vamped 2011 and 2012 model we have to say that the 390 and 390 Boss is a solid choice for riders of all styles. Our only complaint is the amount of parts and how difficult it is to adjust the bindings. When you have a lot of parts you have more chances for something to break.
So let’s get into the detail of the changes that happened in 2011 and that are still in place for 2012. First off the ankle strap seems to be softer and a little more flexy. Second the high back is new. The old symmetrical high back now sits on the Rome Arsenal and the 2011 high back is asymmetrical. This is a pretty big change that is very similar to the latest tech that many companies are using now. The biggest change is the entire re-construction of the base plate. Both the front and back of the base plate have been hollowed out to have EVA foam and some sort of plastic to create a better flex in the board and a much more shock absorbent foot bed. This is done by creating two halves that merge together in the middle with one screw. The foam is medium density so it looks like it can keep response but also handle a flat landing. The one thing we were a bit worried about is the plastic that holds the 2 footbeds together seems a little weak for something that is going to be continuously stomped on by feet holding the weight of your body. We’ll see over the long term. The 390 Boss has a canted footbed that creates an angle so your boot will align correctly with your body. It also creates a little leverage on the outer part of a rocker snowboard so you don’t have to ride like a bow legged gorilla who needs to take a crap. If you are riding a rocker board or what to be more aligned then the 390 Boss are probably the way to go.
The 2013, 2012 and 2011 Rome Boss’ are all pretty much the same design with the exception of the paint. We like this design over the 2010 design. There is a lot more shock absorption. Also the option to put in a canted EVA foam foot bed can be easier on the Hips, knees and ankles. Our only complaint is that they are many parts and the binding is hard to adjust to your foot. For us the call is the 390 Boss due to the cant options but the 390 isn’t bad either.
Flex– Like we say above this is a medium flex that is compatible with a wide range of boards and boots. It’s more on the soft side of medium but still is middle ground.
Adjustability: The one issue with the Rome 390 is it’s not easy to get everything dialed out. The biggest pain is adjusting the bindings to your foot size. You have a metal piece connecting to a metal or plastic piece that isn’t easy to align so you can get the screw in. This was incredibly frustrating to us and took us almost an hour to get both bindings dialed out. Also when there are a lot of parts there are a lot of possibilities for those parts to break. We have to say though that we haven’t had any issues but the writing is on the wall. It’s also not easy to change from one board to another. You have to take off a small screw on the top, remove 2 pieces and then un-screw the discs. For us it was a pain in the ass to change these bindings from one board to another but for the average rider it won’t be terrible if you mainly keep them on one board.
Comfort: Once you get the bindings set up these are some of the most comfortable bindings out there. None of us experienced any pressure points even when we cranked them super tight. Also the new canting system makes a big difference when it comes to keeping your hips, knees and ankles better in line with your body. I (editor) have bad hips from too much hard livin and when I’m done with a day of snowboarding they can get tight. When using the canted system they feel much better when getting off the hill. You see the canted trend increasing across the binding world and I really like this. The rest of the crew liked the cant but I liked it the best for obvious reasons.
Response-The response is good for what Rome sees as a freestyle snowboard binding. We see it more as an all mountain do anything type of binding and it can handle a soft continuous rocker snowboard as well as deal with even a moderately stiff camber board. edge to edge response with the 390 and 390 Boss is very good for it’s flex and design. The 2011 and 2012’s have a distinct advantage over the 2010 but all are good.
Weight– The Rome 390’s are not light. We don’t really put any binding on a scale and can be wrong but the 390 Boss and 390 seemed heavier than the other bindings in their class. The 2011 and 2012 models are a little lighter than the 2010.
Lateral Movement– The new ankle straps for the 2012 and 2011 models give a little more ability to flex the board laterally a lot better than the 2010’s.
Dampening– The 390’s from every year almost have that freeride feeling of damp and can handle most speeds you feel fit to address without injury.
Shock Absorption– The 2011 and 2012 have superior shock absorption and some of the best in the industry. The addition of EVA foam throughout the entire base makes for a very friendly ride when making that awkward flat landing. The 2010 was pretty good but it doesn’t hold a candle to the 2011 and 2012.
The Rome 390 and especially the Rome 390 Boss is a great binding for all kinds of riders and if you can live with the adjustability issues you might have a binding that will make you very happy.