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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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This is a review based on one day of riding. I already own a Rome Blur, which this board is supposed to be a replacement for, so that will color my impressions a bit.

First, the similarities between the Blur and the Speed Freak are numerous, but the biggest one from my point of view is that they both suck at low speeds. With the Blur, that might be more a case of length (it's a 162 vs the 158 Speed Freak) but with the Speed Freak, it's due to torsional stiffness. Early attempts to lift a toe or a heel for low-speed maneuvering were brushed off by the board with a haughty "hmmph." I ended up having to do some quick hopping to avoid a spill. The board isn't quite a total plank, but it's definitely stiffer than the webpage specs would have you believe.

Also, like the Blur, it took some getting used to and I actually didn't like either board the first few runs. But once I figured it out, it began to grow on me.

You can't just casually ride this board. You have to power into it. For instance, my heelside carves really started to come together once I started driving my legs into the carve. That also meant a lot of rebound coming out of the turns, which ended up being a lot of fun. But lazy turns on the other hand felt kind of boggy.

This isn't to say this board is necessarily a lot of work to ride, but rather you have to be on your game to get it to perform for you. Coming down some of the steeper and more chopped up sections of Cypress, it made a huge difference how I attacked the turns. Done properly, the board made the chop seem trivial. I literally have never gone through chop that easily before.

The board is stable at speed, and carves at least as well as the Blur. It also, sadly, isn't any better on ice than the Blur, which is to say middlin'-ok. My EJack is still better.

Conclusion: A great board for the right conditions, but definitely not a one-board quiver.
 

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Thanks for the review, shame about the increased torsional stiffness over the Blur as I was tempted by the 154W as an alternative to my Blur 156. I guess the wide SFs are torsionally stiffer again.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I seriously almost bought the Ravine Select instead of the Speed Freak. It turned into a coin toss. Except it's even stiffer than the Speed Freak. Not sure how that would have worked out for me. :)
 

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I seriously almost bought the Ravine Select instead of the Speed Freak. It turned into a coin toss. Except it's even stiffer than the Speed Freak. Not sure how that would have worked out for me. :)
Do you consider the Blur to be a stiff board? Trying to get a gauge because mine is middle of the road and I might prefer a touch more stiffness.
 

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I'm not sure if Rome's edge tech is lacking in general. I took my Powder Division MT out yesterday in two feet of pow and it performed exceptional but once I took it out on steep icy groomed run, I lost grip and slid all the way down the run.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you consider the Blur to be a stiff board? Trying to get a gauge because mine is middle of the road and I might prefer a touch more stiffness.
Possibly slightly stiffer than my EJack, but I would put the Blur as middle of the road. It's possible the Speed Freak will loosen up a little once I've put some miles on it, but right now it's significantly stiffer.
 

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Not trying to thread jack but edge tech like arbor and niche offer re traction bumps are a great middle ground between no grip on ice and being forced to continue a turn Ala magnetraction.

Boards like the niche pyre become way more utilitarian on groomers because of it.

Does Rome offer any of that or is their answer to grip 'camber bruh'.
 

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Could you please measure the tip and tail widths? I'm still confused by their spec sheet, whether it's 0.8mm (why bother?) or 8mm taper.
 

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Possibly slightly stiffer than my EJack, but I would put the Blur as middle of the road. It's possible the Speed Freak will loosen up a little once I've put some miles on it, but right now it's significantly stiffer.
Thanks, that might be something I'd enjoy riding. I love the Blur but reviews seemed to say it was way stiffer than it actually is, and I'm riding the 164W big boy version.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Could you please measure the tip and tail widths? I'm still confused by their spec sheet, whether it's 0.8mm (why bother?) or 8mm taper.
I think it may actually be .8 mm . I couldn't find any difference in tail and nose width using a tape measure. Both around 30 cm.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, that might be something I'd enjoy riding. I love the Blur but reviews seemed to say it was way stiffer than it actually is, and I'm riding the 164W big boy version.
I remember seeing similar comments, and I was a little surprised that the reality was not so much.
 

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I think it may actually be .8 mm . I couldn't find any difference in tail and nose width using a tape measure. Both around 30 cm.
Thanks for that, not my board then! Love me a bit of taper.
 

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Not trying to thread jack but edge tech like arbor and niche offer re traction bumps are a great middle ground between no grip on ice and being forced to continue a turn Ala magnetraction.

Boards like the niche pyre become way more utilitarian on groomers because of it.

Does Rome offer any of that or is their answer to grip 'camber bruh'.
Rome used to put some extra contact points on non-camber boards, but marketed it as "Quikrip sidecut." Essentially a smaller radius between the feet and a larger radius outside, creating a bit of a bump near the inserts. Very similar to Arbor but not as pronounced. I don't know if they still do that on the Party Mod but you can see it on the Mod Rocker.

Other than that, pretty much camber, sharp edges, and aggressive riding. On boards named "Blur" and "Speed Freak" it would be counterproductive to have any bumps to slow you down - you just flatbase over ice like Xavier until the edges get hot enough that you can melt enough ice to stop on.

There are only a few major brands that unapologetically kept making old-school traditional camber boards in the last decade and Rome was one of them. Even their fusion camber - it's very minimal rocker, just enough that you can feel it if you're paying attention.

What's strange to me is that Mervin boards with all their edge tech are made here in the PNW where we don't really need it so much, and Rome and Burton in VT never chased that.
 

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Custom Camber 158, Skeleton Key 158, Blur 159, National 156, Stale Fish 153, Alpha 158 - 8 Photon SO
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I'm not sure if Rome's edge tech is lacking in general. I took my Powder Division MT out yesterday in two feet of pow and it performed exceptional but once I took it out on steep icy groomed run, I lost grip and slid all the way down the run.
Man I've been hunting for one of these in 153 can't find it anywhere!
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So just a follow-up... I rode the SF again today, this time on Seymour. As expected, I like it better as I get more used to it. The board is simply one of those that has a personality of its own, so you can't just strap it on and forget about it. I did the jump line a few times as well, it handled that fine.
 

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Custom Camber 158, Skeleton Key 158, Blur 159, National 156, Stale Fish 153, Alpha 158 - 8 Photon SO
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I really actually enjoyed how well the blur handled icyier conditions end of the day close to end of the runs at Copper Mountain CO.
 

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Is this the same board as the freaker this year do you guys think? Thinking of picking one up - looks like a national with a bit burlier core and a slight bit more setback which sounds pretty sick to me.
 
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