I remember seeing pics of this when they dropped it earlier this winter as a super-limited edition and it looks just as funky in person as it did on the internet. We even got a few people staring at us, and one guy who asked “What the heck is that thing?” Well, that “thing” is the Rome Hammerhead. Let’s see how it stacks up.
Board: Rome Hammerhead 153cm
Shape: true twin Free Pop Rocker with a funky cutout shape like an old skateboard
Bindings: Rome 390 Boss
Stats: Dave 6′ 210 lbs stance, Leo 5’9″ 180lbs stance at 23.5″ regs 15/-15 degrees
Conditions: hardpack, semi-firm groomers not a patch of ice to be found anywhere, well groomed boarder-x course, beginner park features about 30 degrees.
Dave: dude it looks weird. that’s about all I can say. Rep says it’s soft like the Artifact maybe not quite that soft, and it’s pretty short for me but whatever.
Leo: It has crazy tips. I feel like this is some weird innuendo. Hammerhead tips… but alas, the board is flacid so I guess that nullifies any possible innuendo.
Dave: The Hammerhead is basically a noodle. It is ridiculously soft lengthwise and also torsionally on the softer side.
Leo: Very soft board. Definitely a noodle. A very oddly shaped noodle. Torsionally, lengthwise, diagonally (alright, I made this part up), all noodly. The tips are a bit stiffer. Maybe like a dry noodle?
Dave: This is why you buy this board, or you’re doing it wrong. It’s super soft and presses/tweaks/butters pretty much without effort. The Hammerhead isn’t very damp and so you get that good feedback/response on boxes and rails to get locked in.
Leo: I completely agree with Dave. Don’t even look at this board unless all you want to do is butter the whole trail or hit features all day. One thing I noticed is that the tip shape actually does affect the way the board handles. If you lock your presses in deep and engage the tips, you will likely wash out. I’m not the only one this happened to. Dave said he almost washed out after engaging a tail block. We both saw another guy demoing this board completely wash out after doing a tail press. The way you want to press this board is with minimal lean and use the lift method more.
Dave: Rome boards usually do have pretty good pop and the Hammerhead didn’t let me down here. The Free Pop camber shape has an extended flat zone outside the inserts so that gives you a good base to ollie from.
Leo: Poppy enough to be satisfying.
Dave: This board turns pretty quick and is easy to roll over edges as long as you’re making short, tight turns. This board was not meant to lay trenches ripping across the corduroy so don’t expect that sort of performance, still, you can ride it around all mountain and it handles about as good as (or, maybe a little better than) you’d expect from a soft park deck.
Leo: Easily thrown around into turns. Since it is a noodle, you know that this board handles horribly at any type of speed or steeper runs. Underfoot, you could literally feel everything. I felt everything I wanted to feel when hitting boxes. Did I mention that you can throw this board around?
[buybtn brand="Rome" deck="Hammerhead" ptext="Hammerhead can be yours for something like $359 so not a budget-busting freestyle deck."]
Summing it up
Dave: Honestly I would like to see this board maybe a hair stiffer, like a 5 flex instead of a 3 or 4, but a smaller rider would probably get a little more out of this board than I did. I’d recommend it way more for jibs and bonks than for jumps, but for a soft freestyle-oriented board it’s pretty solid and does everything you’d expect from it. Not really a beginner’s board, I’d say for intermediate to advanced park riders.
Leo: When I hear the name “Hammerhead” I think of an aggressive snowboard. When I saw the hammerhead tips, it had the aggressive look. The Rome Hammerhead is indeed aggressive, but only in the freestyle side of the spectrum. Definitely not my cup of tea, but I know a lot of parkrats will like it whether or not it is because of the aesthetics. Personally, if money isn’t your issue, I’d quickly recommend the Artifact over the Hammerhead. Beginners look away. Intermediate and up freestyle shredders on a budget should consider the Hammerhead.