2013 and Below Rome Agent Rocker Review
Conditions: Every Kind of Condition
Riders: James, Jimbo (owned it) and Peter
Bindings: Burton Cartel Re:Flex, Burton Diode, Rome Mob, Rome 390 Boss, Union Atlas
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju and Rome Libertine Pure Flex.
Set Up- Centered Stance, 22-23″ wide 15 front -15 back.
The Rome Agent Rocker is a very unique board. On paper is seems very similar to many of the hybrid rocker boards from Lib-Tech, Gnu, Never Summer and Burton. If you look closer you will see it has a unique side cut that makes the ride different than all the other hybrid rocker boards we tried. Rome calls it “QuickRip” and it is difficult to describe. There is a very small radius side cut that extends a bit past the feet. It also extends out from the edge a bit to create better edge hold. Then there is a second side cut after that. Here is a picture from Rome that describes it better. When you look at the side cut this extension after the bindings is rather visible.
We find this tech to be a new approach to riding a hybrid rocker board and very versitile compared to other hybrid rocker boards. It has a loose feel when not on edge and a very aggressive all mountain feel when laying into a carve.
There use to be a Rome Agent 1985 in 2010 but it is not anything like the new Agent Rocker. It is a Hybrid Rocker version of the original Agent. You get better pow riding and a more forgiving ride but you sacrifice some stability. . All in All the Agent Rocker has made a large step forward from the Agent 1985 of 2010 and we are very impressed with the ride. After the major 2011 upgrade very little changed with the 2012 to the point where very little has changed except for a little extra pop. The 2013 Agent Rocker is almost exactly the same.
On Snow Feel– We found this to suit 2 moods. If you want to cruise, play around, butter and make easy turns the Rome Agent Rocker will accommodate you. If you want to be a bit more aggressive and lay into some carves the Agent Rocker will work pretty well for hybrid rocker. The one thing we would like to see is a bit more stability between the feet. There is a lot of rocker going on here and it makes for a very loose ride between the feet. This is a positive and also a negative in some cases. Most will like this because it’s very forgiving for the flex and it gives the board a lot of pop but some might want an easier board to one foot off the chair and flat base long cat tracks. The Rome Agent Rocker is a versatile board that likes to butter about as much as it likes to carve and ollie around the mountain. In the Park it’s at home in the pipe, jump line and to a lesser extent the jib park.
Powder: This is about as fun as a twin like board with a centered stance can get in powder. The serious bend between the feet makes the Agent Rocker a very floaty ride. It’s no powder specific board but about the best you can do for a one board quiver. We didn’t have a powder day but have on other Rome rocker boards very similar to this and have to say it’s a pretty easy ride. We’d like to see a bit of a set back stance like a -20mm or even -10mm to make the performance even better for directional powder riding. Lets face it many of us just don’t take on a switch/freestyle approach on powder days and it would be nice to have the option for those that like directional set back riding when it’s deep.
Turn Initiation and Carving– We touched on this a bit on the Groomer section but lets elaborate. To start off with “Quickrip” is not a gimmick. When it comes to making short quick turns this board is about as easy as it gets. The Agent is very loose and very easy to transition from edge to edge but we might say it’s almost too loose compared to some of the other hybrid rocker boards we tried. As you lean into the turn to make a wider turn you start to feel the side cut engage. If you lay into a carve you feel like you are riding a different board and you almost get a surprise as the side cut grips in and accelerates your turn. We both really liked it but can’t say for certain that it’s for everyone. All we can say is we had as much or more fun carving with the Agent Rocker as we did with the Never Summer SL R, Lib Tech TRS C2 BTX, and more fun than the Burton Custom Flying V Rocker.
Speed: The Agent Rocker has a very fast base and picks up speed very fast. We like this for hitting a little jump right near the chair or getting up speed for hits in the park. The serious rocker makes for a bit of a loose ride unless you are comitted to an edge so this isn’t the best for bombing a hill. There is also some chatter you can experience at higher speeds. This is not ideal if you are a bomber rider.
Uneven Snow– This works well in bumpy terrain and handles it very well.
Approximate Weight– This isn’t a feather weight but it’s definitely light. The Agent Rocker is well built though and looks like it will last a 100 day season of average to rough riding.
Edge Hold: The “Quickrip” side cut really increases edge hold. We haven’t been on ice but found this board to be pretty grippy in snowment conditions. It’s right there with Never Summer’s side cut but we feel a step down from Magnetraction side cuts. Still this will perform well in just about any condition the average rider will want to be out on and we never felt like the edge wanted to give up on us.
Flex: This is pretty much the middle ground of medium but due to the large amount of rocker the Rome Agent Rocker has a softer feel. Really fun to butter around if you want to slow down and play on the mountain.
Switch: This is a Twin like directional board so the shape is almost like a directional twin. It’s a little different switch but it’s still very easy to ride either direction. The centered stance makes it easier to ride switch but it’s still different.
Jibbing– There are better boards out there but if you are in a jibbing mood you can do it all day if you need to. To most this will lean to the average side of good but it’s still not bad to hit a rail or 2. If you are hitting more technical kinked rails and boxes you will want more but if you slide over the average rail in the park the Agent Rocker won’t let you down.
Pipe: There is enough edge hold to get up and down the pipe. The Agent Rocker also has a lot of forgiveness with it’s rocker. We don’t go big in the pipe but we had fun transitioning from wall to wall.
Jumps: The Rome Agent Rocker is very poppy. We could generate our own air just about anywhere on the mountain and found this to be one of our favorite boards for springing off any bump we could find on a groomed run. Like the pipe we dont go that big in the park but we could tell this could be fun with just about any size kicker. We didn’t notice too much difference between the 2011 and 2012 boards in terms of pop but one of the riders did feel the 2012 was a little more popy. It’s always hard to tell.
Our only real complaint about the Rome Agent Rocker is I’d like to see them either make this a true twin or give it a set back. As it stands now this could be an even more versatile board if they gave it a 15mm to 20mm set back for those that like directional powder riding. Regardless of our complaint Its still a great ride and a good ride favorite.