The Rome Notch is a very light fun slashy powder board that makes it soo much more fun than riding a regular snowboard when its deep. In 2012 Burton Came out with the Burton Barracuda designed very similar to the Rome Notch. The Barracuda is a favorite because there are more sizing options so consider the Notch as a Barracuda with more pop off the tail with different sizing.
The 2014 Rome Notch comes in the big ass swallow tail 172 which kind of sucks because we felt the other sizes offered up a pretty good powder first freeride second ride that appeals to a wide variety of riders.
Days: 168 for 25+ days, the 162 Camber for 5 days and the 162 S-Rocker for 15 + days
Riders: James, Peter and Eli
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX and Nike Kaiju
Bindings: Union Force SL, Burton Cartel, Burton Co2, Flux Feedback and Union Force
Stance Width: Set back 23.5″ and 23″. It’s the most fun set back as far as it can go.
Stance Angles: 18 front and 0 back
Here is a break down of the 2 shapes.
158-162 is a super fun hybrid camber (s-rocker) shape that is pretty fun on groomers too. The older camber shape was more fun on groomers than the S-Rocker but the S-Rocker shape really floats like no other reverse camber snowboard.
164 Swallow Tail- Almost a completely different board that is made for deep powder. It’s more of a powder only board where the others are better on groomers It has S-Rocker like the 158-162 and takes it to a much more surfy off the tail kind of ride.
A specific reference to The 162 and 158 S-Rocker Notch
To start off with the S-Rocker on the 162 and 158 is pretty cool. It has a pretty aggressive camber from the tail to right before the first binding mount near the nose. After that there is a pretty aggressive rocker. If you lay it down on a flat floor the nose is all ready off the ground but when you step in the nose lifts even further. If you compare this to the Burton Barracuda, a board very similar to this Notch, the camber in the back of the board is more pronounced and more poppy but the rocker in the front is similar. I was lucky to experience some really really really deep snow where there was up to 5+ feet in some places and you could feel the nose fighting to get back to the surface. There was little to no rear leg burn and cruising along the groomers with about 1 ft of snow you didn’t even have to lean back. Also the base is incredibly fast for a board of it’s size. The Notch S-Rocker is very slashable and really fun to ride. It has a very stable feel for such a tapered set back snowboard. Even in hard pack the Notch held an edge rather well. It didn’t lock in like some boards but over Ice and hard pack it wasn’t sketchy.
A review and comparison of all the past and present Rome Notch shapes
On Snow Feel: The old discontinued 168 is excellent on groomers and the others (158 & 162) will not be as good but still do a good job. The Swallow tail 164 is not going to have the all conditions ride but you can do ok on groomed runs. The Rome Notch is a powder board but has sharp edges and good hold. With such a set back stance on all the boards (less on the 168) its a little difficult to have a great time on groomers but it is fun. You can make quick surfy turns and have fun. The base is incredibly fast and picks up speed quickly. Even with a deep set back the board can still straight line like no ones business. If you have to leave the groomers don’t worry.
Powder: Expect any shape to out perform any old regular board and many other powder boards. All the boards have a super surfy feel that is fun as hell. The tail sinks deep and the nose stays afloat making the boards feel like a surf board. Even the bigger boards turn well. The bigger boards pick up speed really quick and it’s a bit less responsive than the smaller boards so it takes some adjustment your first time in the trees. Thick powder is where this board excels! If you are in sierra cement be very happy because this board is light pretty stiff and plows through just about anything. Even those tracked or semi-tracked runs at the end of the day are a lot better when you are on a Notch. This board was ridden in 1 ft to 5 ft plus of powder. Rear leg burn is almost non existent and makes something like powder even more coital. The 158 and 162 use to be camber but as of 2011 they are now S-Rocker and as you can see the crappy video of the 162 the rocker is pretty turned up and the camber is pretty arced.
Speed: This board is stiff and has a really strong fast base. Rome knew that you would be in areas with rocks, trees and ??? lurking beneath the white goodness. The 158 & 162 are fast for their size but can have issues in flatter pow areas. The old discontinued 168 and 172 just keep moving when other boards slow to a stop. On hard pack groomers the hybrid camber Rome Notches can become a bit chattery at the nose but that is expected for such a light board with such a big turned up nose.
Uneven Terrain: good when you have to slow down and deal with bumpy terrain. None of us had any issues dealing with bumps on the way to pow stashes.
Turn Initiation and Carving– It feels like there isn’t steel on the edges and your in water on a surfboard. So quick and easy! The old discontinued 168 was like moving a big long board. The 2011+ S-Rocker models are incredibly light and very very easy to turn. Even if it’s incredibly deep sierra cement the Notch doesn’t bog down on one edge and become difficult to get to the other. The hybrid camber models are light and slashy to the point where you will feel comfortable. Laying into carves was fun especially if you take a surfy approach to it. It really surprised us how much fun it was. It’s not as washy as you would think for a tapered rocker in the front kind of board. If you play to the camber in the rear you will be very happy when making turns.
Edge Hold: The edges have been known to cut a finger. Ok they cut one of my fingers the first day out. The S-Rocker model doesn’t have an the same edge hold as a magnetraction board but but is surprisingly good for a board with such little contact on the snow. If you are going to take this out on groomer days the edge hold will work down to moderately hard pack. Snowment and Ice is where you probably wouldn’t want to be on this board.
Flex: These boards are all pretty stiff and thick in the center but soft and playful at the tips. It really comes in handy when dealing with speed and chopped up runs. It’s very damp. All models have a pretty stiff flex. The Old 168 was the stiffest but the newer models have a stiffness more on the medium side of stiff. Despite the thickness the hybrid camber models are incredibly easy to turn.
Jumps: This does very well for most jumps you are going to do in deep stuff. It’s not going to land switch well but that’s what the park boards are for on non-powder days. The camber in the Hybrid camber does a very good job for giving you a spring of wind lips or jumps.
Everything else doesn’t matter on this review because you won’t take this thing in the park.
For 2009 and 2010 the Notch had these shapes
155, 158 & 162- decent taper cambered and super surfy. Really fun on groomers too. It doesn’t have the taper like the Burton Fish or the Burton Malolo so it can carve out a pretty decent turn on groomers. Actually the new Burton Barracuda has the same taper and similar shape to the rome Notch so that says something. Still the disproportionate tail size makes it a little easier to wash out than a non-tapered board but it’s not bad for the shape. The 155 was discontinued for 2012.
Discontinued 168- A thick, stiff, fast cambered beast of a freeride board that is also tears up groomers with very little taper. We wish that this was still around but with S-Rocker.
164 Swallow Tail- Even though the 164 is almost a completely different board than the 158 and 162 they still share the same S-Rocker hybrid camber. The swallow tail and severe taper make this a different beast.
In 2010 and 2009 there were many shapes but for 2011 they only have 2 types of shapes and it’s all S-Rocker which we feel Rome is going in the right direction. In 2011 we wanted more sizes but for 2012 there were almost no changes to the boards shape, design or sizing. For 2013 the Rome Notch went with the same sizing and shapes. The tech is pretty much the same.