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Old 02-09-2008, 12:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First Ride Review: Rome Graft

Deck: 2008 | Rome | Graft | 151cm
Me: 156lbs (max deck weight 165lbs). 9.5 boot. Years Experience: 20.

BASICS: Got the deck on 2/7. Rode it for about 2 hours that night. This deck is super buttery. It feels likes it wants to be ridden up on the nose/tail, or in some kind of transition between the two. To just point this deck forward, down the hill, is like taking a Ferrari to the corner store for milk. It wants you to spin, slide, and ollie it. Despite the over all soft nature of the board, it still seemed to maintain a decent amount of pop.

BLUES: The first few runs I found myself over rotating 180/360’s airs a bit because I was not used to a really short/light board. I’d do a 360, land, and then wash-out another 180, to end up riding away switch. In short, the deck really allows you a lot of “slop” on your landings w/o making you bail. After I got the jist of it, I was throwing spins on it w/o any thought, and very little effort. Same went for flatland butters. I’d throw a nosepress 180/360 and end up over rotating a bit. Here again, after I got used to it, everything became almost effortless. The deck is also a true twin, so everything going switch was just as nice.

PARK: A few runs through the terrain park found it really nice for jibbing, and great for mid-sized features. I was night-riding, and I don’t hit big shit at night...too dark. Reviews of that to follow latter this week, along with 1/2-pipe review.

BLACKS: Then for the real test, speed runs down blacks. I knew this was the area the deck would perform the worst in. As such, I really wanted to tap-it-out and see where the limits were. I was surprised. It handled much better than I was expecting it to. While it was clearly not an all-mountain deck in the proper sense, I was able to handle blacks with out a substantial amount of chatter/instability. I would never recommended this board to someone who is looking a lot of speed-runs. However, it did handle all right despite its pure freestyle/park proclivity. I would definatlly recommend it to someone who likes the park, freestyling down blues, and the occasional freestyle/switch runs down blacks (just keep the speed under control).

SUMMARY
: This was a really fun board to ride. Despite the fact that I can’t do death speed runs on this, I can see myself taking it out often as a main ride. Where it lacks in speed stability, the pure butter / jump fun seems to make up for it. The flexibility of it would also make a great choice for someone just starting out. Good stuff, those Rome decks. Anyone who disagrees with my assessments, PLEASE, post-up! I’d love to hear some other’s views on the deck. I’ll also follow-up on this thread once I have logged some serious riding time on it.

GRADES:
Steeps/Speed: C+/B- (for a freestyle deck)
Butter: A-
Jibs: A-
Spin-a-ability: A-
Jumps: A-
Pipe: Unknown
Fun: A-fuckin’-plus
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Last edited by sedition; 02-19-2008 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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+1 for an awesome review.

do you have any other similar boards that you can compare it to as a point of reference?
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And here is the follow-up review. I'll do one more at the end of the season.

I rode in some really horrid conditions today. See this post for details. Hence, it’s time for a follow-up review of the Graft, and that pipe-review I promised.

As I mentioned in that other post, the snow was semi-hard crud, sheer ice patches (a bit softer though, due to the rain and temps), and some mush spots. There was nothing that resembles powder, packed-powder, loose granular, etc. All of that good stuff had been washed / melted / strip away, and we were down to the hard base that lay underneath. Anyone on the East Coast should know exactly what I am talking about.

ICY / CRAP SNOW:
And there I am with my little Rome Graft 151 freestyle deck about to take a run down a black, just to “see how it handled” under adverse conditions. The things I do for product reviews and my fellow riders. I was expecting to taking this really slow and cautious, as I figured the edge would hold as well as Helm’s Deep. After I crossed the second large patch of ice, I realized I was quite wrong. The little Graft was taunting me, as if it was almost saying, “I bet you can’t make me lose an edge, sucker!” I let the floodgates out. Granted, I grew up riding in on the East, and am very experienced ice rider, but I was still duly impressed with how the Graft kept it’s shit together. I was expecting FAR less from a park deck. As long as the snow was pretty flat, the board held just fine, and felt pretty stable. It was only when the snow got choppy / bumpy that it really started to shake & wobble (which is to be expected). Otherwise, this thing handled some really, really crappy conditions quite well considering what it is truly designed to do.

PIPE:
I also spent a bit of time in the pipe with this board tonight. The rain had softened-up some the more icy parts of the pipe, so I figured this would be a good chance to swing the Graft through for several runs. Here, I was blown-away. I suddenly realized how my previous boards (that I learned to ride pipes with) were WAY to stiff for pipe riding. The flex on the board made it feel like I was skateboarding on skate 1/2-pipe. And man, nothing beats that feeling, and I’ve never come as close to it on any other snowboard before. Here again, the edges impressed and held every time I wanted them to, and slipped every time I wanted to wash something out a bit. I was hitting bigger airs on my second run through the pipe with this deck than I ever had before. In previous years, I never had that much fun in the pipe. Now I realize it was because my board was too stiff. The Graft has opened up a whole new world for me…

GRADES:

Icy Conditions: B+ (for a freestyle deck)
Pipe: A-

As with the first review, I encourage anyone who disagrees with my assessments to post-up! Getting a good discussion going about product reviews is always the best way for people to make informed choices about to excercise their god given right to be capilatist swine (I put that one in there for you, Snowolf. )
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Last edited by sedition; 02-19-2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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damn, can't wait to get my board. im gonna gry and get the 154 agent. it supposed to be awsome all around. haven't read any user reviews for it yet, i need to find one like this! lol

nice in depth review!
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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great review

im looking to maybe buy a park board since im starting to get interested in it. If i didnt have size 12s i would go with a graft. Im leaning towards getting a Slash 160. which is the wide version of the agent.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the (positive) comments on the review.

-Chr|s
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dude you totally have me stoked to ride my Graft I have one on hold for me that I'm gunna pick up in a couple of weeks. I hope that there is still soem time for me to ride it when I get back from the Jay trip.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That is the exact board I've been staring at like a drooling little kid for a few months now. They have some of the 07 (slightly directional) models on ebay right now for $175 shipped but I'm holding out for an 08. I hope hope hope they are around when I have the cash, but I've been having 3 year old equipment meltdowns lately and haven't had the cash for the board yet. Great review, you motivated me even further to get that board as that's exactly what I want. I already have a bunch of sick boards but they are all free-ride or all mountain boards and all directional. I'm really jealous of you
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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that Graft seems totally awesome man. I wanted to get one so bad this year but alas with size 12 boots it wasn't going to happen and got a Machine instead.

That was a great review though man. Hope they one day make a wider version, lol.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Right View Post
That is the exact board I've been staring at like a drooling little kid for a few months now. They have some of the 07 (slightly directional) models on ebay right now for $175 shipped but I'm holding out for an 08. I hope hope hope they are around when I have the cash, but I've been having 3 year old equipment meltdowns lately and haven't had the cash for the board yet. Great review, you motivated me even further to get that board as that's exactly what I want. I already have a bunch of sick boards but they are all free-ride or all mountain boards and all directional. I'm really jealous of you
Here are few decent deals:
ROME SNOWBOARDS Graft Men's Snowboard in 151 : ROME SNOWBOARDS Snowboards, Men's : K-5 Board Shop
Rome Graft Snowboard Snowboarding
Best Prices on Rome Graft 155cm Snowboard - Mens Snowboard Snowboarding Gear Equipment
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