The Rome Anthem is a lower or normal cost alternative to the pretty expensive Burton Custom X. One of the principals from Rome use to work at Burton and designed the Custom so there are a lot of similarities between the Custom X and the Anthem. It’s not quite the Custom X but for the lower price it might be worth strongly considering. The 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015 are Camber. The 2011 and 2012 are a mostly camber hybrid camber.
Boards Used- 161, 163 and 162 in camber and hybrid camber.
Riders: Jimbo (owned it), James (owned it), Peter, Eli, Mary and a few other people not on the site.
Bindings Used- Burton Diode Re:Flex, Burton C60’s, Union Force SL’s, Rome Targas, and Flux SF45
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion, Burton Imperial, Burton Driver X, Nike Kaiju
Rome’s Anthem seems to be everything you want from an all mountain freeride board. The board is light, well made, really fast, works with all bindings and it’s at a reasonable price. This isn’t for someone just getting started. This is definitely a board for expert riders. We would say that an advanced rider who wants to push themselves to become an expert rider will appreciate this board too.
The 2010 Rome Anthem and earlier models are very similar to a Burton Custom X but are without a 2 screw channel system so you can ride any binding you want. The 2011 Rome Anthem departed from that design and created a board that is similar but with hybrid camber. All this means is the camber ends earlier than the 2010 Rome Anthem with Camber and allows for the nose/tail to turn up earlier when flexed. This makes the 2011 Anthem ride better in powder and make it a little more catch free in regular snow. There was also an improved flex between the feet. The only complaint was the 2011 Rome Anthem wasn’t as poppy as the 2010 when it came to generating your own air and getting a little extra spring/return out of a carve. The 2012 Rome Anthem worked a bit on improving the pop from 2011 but the design and ride are very similar. For us this is still one of our favorite carving boards and it was very stable at high speed. Rome also dropped the wide version which sucks. The 2013 and 2014 Rome Anthem went back to the 2010 Camber shape that offers better carving and more pop but less powder performance. For many riders this will be a good thing. Pairing this ride up wit a Rome Notch for Powder days would be a great quiver.
On Snow Feel: The Rome Anthem is made for carving and bombing groomers. This might be this boards best quality and it makes you look at groomers in a whole new way. You can make big banking turns or straight line as good or better than any other board similar to it. So if you didn’t get it this is a very aggressive fast board that is not for the cruiser.
Powder: The Anthem has a great set back and comes in a decent size so it performs above average for a mostly cambered all mountain directional board. The mostly camber hybrid camber is better than camber but it still doesn’t have the advantage that many hybrid rocker or mostly rocker hybrid camber boards do. Still the change to hybrid camber helps and it’s better than the 2010 and 2013 camber. The 2011 and 2012 are the same in terms of powder performance.
Turn Initiation and Carving- The Rome Anthem is not the best at tight turns but it is so incredibly pleasant to make a nice arching turn on a well groomed run. If you like to work a little bit for your turns here is your board. It’s quick edge to edge but it’s not easy. You give up a little bit when it comes to easy turn initiation but you get soo much back when you lay into a turn for a big carve. It has that spring you expect from aggressive carving camber rides out of the turn. This is made to be on rail and it would be a shame to see someone skid out turns on this.
Speed: The Rome Anthem is fast…….really fast. A stiff flexing damp mid section, stiff tail and great base make for a fast chatter free ride. Rome isn’t exaggerating when it comes to their boast about speed. It can pick up speed very well while also giving you a feeling of control. This base will go toe to toe with almost any board out there.
Approximate Weight– The Anthem is right there in the top end of light. Not going to bother you on the chair.
Edge Hold: The Rome Anthem will hold a pretty good edge. You can deal with hard pack and feel secure that your edge won’t give out but it starts to fail in ice.
Flex: Every year Rome, as well as many other companies, manage to make the board more soft and playful while still maintaining the chatter free qualities you need when it’s time to let the board go straight. The board maintains enough torsional stiffness to keep its edge in the snow at almost any speed you have the balls for. It’s not a butter/press kind of board. Even the old hybrid camber models don’t work that well here either.
Jibbing– It’s OK but you shouldn’t get this board to jib.
Switch: Definitely different riding switch but not terrible. Riding switch feels pretty stable though and after a while you will get use to the directional shape. So it’s not that terrible for the shape.
Pipe: The Anthem’s stiff flex and edge hold get this board up and down a steep wall. The fast base really helps you make it through the flat and the directional shape really helps you drive from wall to wall. Some love a directional board for the pipe and others love directional twins or twins. If you aren’t that into a lot of switch riding in the pipe the directional board might serve you better.
Jumps: The directional shape doesn’t make this the best to land or launch switch but if you like to go big and land regular then this is fine. If you rip big jumps then consider the Rome Mod. Another thing we noticed is the 2011-2012 Hybrid Camber Anthem can be a little flat when trying to ollie and you have to work for it more than the old 2010 and new 2013 camber version. If generating a lot of pop from your board is important to you then look for the camber Anthem or the Burton Custom X.
Overall we were pretty impressed. For us if we do a Rome Anthem Vs. Burton Custom X comparison we would say the 2010 camber boards in the past were almost identical in terms of performance. The 2011 and 2012 hybrid camber models don’t have the pop they use to compared to the Custom X. They don’t have that same super springy carving feel but do better in powder than the Custom X. The 2013 Anthem’s retro camber shape is closer to the 2010 Anthem and doesn’t have too much new tech going on here. On the other hand the Custom X has progressed in the last 3 years and especially so when it comes to the flex. It also has the ability to pair up with bindings that have “hinge tech” (more ollie power) and these only work with Burton boards. So if you can afford it the 2013 Custom X is the call over the 2013 Rome Anthem.
The price of the Custom X has actually gone down $10 where the Anthem went up $10. Still $140 xtra for the Custom X is a lot more to pay for a board which still makes the Anthem an appealing choice for those who won’t spend $650 on a board but want a similar carver bomber kind of ride.