What to look for in your next freestyle weapon
Freestyle snowboards are all about getting creative, whether you're flying off a jump, buttering over a roller or sliding down a kinked rail. At Rome, we have a long history of building boards that kill it in the park, and our cutting-edge construction has helped elite riders like Stale Sandbech take progression to a whole new level.
Whatever level of snowboarder you are, you’ll learn tricks faster if you’re on the right deck. And in this article, we’re gonna show you how to find it.
True Twin vs Directional Twin
The majority of our park-focused boards are based on a true twin shape. Everything about these designs is symmetrical, from the outline to the flex to the side profile. That means they’ll perform exactly the same riding forwards or switch, placing an infinite number of tricks at your fingertips.
We tweak the flex and dimensions of our true twins depending on what kind of rider you are (see ‘Soft vs Stiff’ below). If you want to take it easy and jib some boxes, a softer model like the Mechanic will feel easy to press and generally laid-back to ride; if you’re ready to step it up to the big jumps, the tried and tested Agent has your back.
Riders looking to hit the pipe or take their tricks out of the park might be better served with a directional twin. The sidecut here is still symmetrical – so it’s easy to ride switch – but the stance is slightly set back and we’ve fine-tuned the shape of the nose and tail. Directional twins like the National or Stale Crewzer are aimed at aggressive freestylers who demand more carving performance; they work great on park transitions and open up the whole mountain to your freestyle game.
Camber vs Rocker
The last decade has seen a bunch of experiments with reverse camber and hybrid profiles, and a lot of heated debate about which is best. As we explained in our deep dive on snowboard profiles, there’s no clear winner; it all comes down to personal preference.
Classic camber models like the Stale Mod are still the best choice for powerful riders who aren’t afraid to tackle big slopestyle jumps, or people who spend a lot of time on hard, sometimes icy features when the park is freshly groomed. Our own version of traditional camber is called Stay-Positive. It’s a naturally lively profile that can also be paired with a mellower flex – as on the Artifact – to create a precise rail weapon.
For a more relaxed riding style, our Contact Rocker profile brings together the benefits of rocker towards the nose and tail with a flat section in the middle of the board. The reverse camber lets you glide over small bumps and makes it harder for you to catch an edge on reverts and sketchy landings. The flat area between the bindings gives you a predictable skate feel that’s forgiving but still holds an edge.
Soft vs Stiff
Back in the day, flex was straightforward: freestyle boards were almost all soft, and freeride models were stiff. Today there’s a lot more choice for every kind of terrain, including the park.
If you wanna press that 5-0 to the max, bonk the crap out of a wallride or just need something forgiving to help you fill your trick bag, a soft park board is still the way to go. Lighter female riders especially will appreciate how easy it is to manipulate a board like the Heist; tweaks and butters are a piece of cake.
On the flipside, softer boards don’t hold an edge as well on icy kicker transitions and halfpipe walls. They’re also less stable at high speeds and can struggle to absorb the heavier landings without buckling. So, if you’re a heavier park rider – or straight up more balls-out – a stiff flex like the Stale Mod will probably suit you better.
Best Park Snowboards – Conclusion
At Rome, we live and breathe freestyle. Whether you lap the terrain park all day every day, or just dive in for the occasional run while the rest of your crew hangs back, we’ve got a board for you.
- For pure switch riding ability, get a true twin; if you like to mix it up across the mountain, a directional twin will serve you better
- More aggressive transition riders will suit classic camber and a stiff flex
- Lighter and/or more chilled park rats should look towards a rocker hybrid profile and a softer flex
*Carousel of all True Twins plus the National and Stale Crewzer*