rome service dog review

Rome Service Dog Snowboard Review

The Rome Service Dog is a playful tapered directional snowboard that is ready for riding powder and cruising groomers at your local resort. This board is also one of the lowest-priced boards in its category offering an excellent value for just how much board tech you get for your money. 


This board earned an above average rating score (by an additional 2%) from the other all-mountain powder boards that I’ve ridden this season while still costing around $60 less (12% below) the average price of a similar board. It’s an incredible board that is jam packed with a lot of board tech for its price.


The Rome Service Dog performed very well on our East Coast powder-less hills, and I know you won’t be disappointed with it either.

Here is my in-depth review of the Rome Service Dog.

The Highlights

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Rome Service Dog Snowboard Review





What Are the Core Features of the Rome Service Dog?

  1. Its Shape – 20mm Taper Directional Fish shape with spoon nose
  2. It’s Playful Flex – This board is pressable and perfect for butter. The nose feels like a softer 4/10, with the tail at a 5/10 flex.
  3. It’s Versatility – The Service Dog is a directional board that can ride decently well switch. The combo of its playful flex, shape, and ability to be ridden switch gives it a really fun feel for park riding, too.

What Are the Main Benefits of the Rome Service Dog?

  1. Powder-ready board that also excels as an all-mountain board when there is no powder.
  2. It’s fun to ride and offers an effortless, smooth turn initiation.
  3. It’s a “go anywhere, do anything” all-mountain directional board with a lot of tech for less than $500
  4. It is the perfect directional board that is great for buttersjibbing, and hitting small to medium jumps with in the park.

Review Rating of the Rome Service Dog Snowboard

ConsiderationsRating Out 5Score Out of 100Weight / Importance to Score
Resort Riding / Versatility5.0010010
Pop / Power3.50705
Powder4.258510
Carving / Turns4.759510
Responsiveness3.75755
Speed3.757510
Ice / Poor Conditions3.75755
Switch3.00605
Jibs4.25855
Jumps3.757510
Durability / Quality5.001005
Buttering4.759510
Fun to ride5.0010010
Weighted Score4.287585.75

Our Rating: 4.275 out of 5 ratingThe Rome Service Dog earned a 4.275 out of 5 stars rating or an 85.75 out of a possible 100 score.

My Video Review of the Rome Service Dog

Here is a video of me riding the Rome Service Dog and explaining how well it rides as an all-mountain board.




The Summary: Is the Rome Service Dog Still Worth It If You Don’t Get to Ride a Lot of Powder?

100%. Yes, this snowboard is definitely worth adding to your quiver. It earned an 85.75 out of a possible 100. This is a slightly better score (+2%) than the average all-mountain powder boards that I’ve ridden this season while still averaging 12% less ($60 less) in its price. Additionally, the Rome Service Dog is on sale right now for less than $450, and that is such a good deal for how well this board performs in its category.

You can get a lot of board tech in a really fun-to-ride package when you get the Rome Service Dog.

How Does the Rome Service Dog Feel to Ride?

The Rome Service Dog has a stable feel that can plow through any terrain, regardless of whether it is powder, slush, or hardpacked groomers, while still being incredibly playful and fun to ride.

Toe Side Carve on the Rome Service Dog

The Rome Service Dog Snowboard is perfect for making wide, cruisy-type turns. It’s also a very easy board to link your turns with. Its 3d spoon-shaped nose and directional tapered shape offer an effortless turn initiation that makes you want to get low, slash the snow, and just enjoy every second of making your way down the hill.

One of the features that sets this board apart is the bamboo Hotrod that Rome embedded in its large, flexible nose. This feature is added to absorb the vibrations you’d usually feel on a board with such a long, wide nose. When you look down at the topsheet of the Service Dog, you can see the Hotrod right in the center of the nose. It looks like this.

Rome Bamboo Hotrod

The Hotrod gives the board a unique feel because it’s actually soft (a 4/10 flex), and by absorbing the chatter you feel under your feet, you can push the board a little harder or more aggressively than you would expect to. This makes it ideal for riders looking for a playful all-mountain powder cruiser that can charge aggressively whenever they want to.

One thing that surprised me about the Service Dog is how well it performed in the park, too. The board’s long pressable nose is incredibly easy to nose press rail features, while the board’s camber profile and slightly stiffer tail add a little extra boost of pop when launching it off jumps. Additionally, while this board is a fish-shaped directional, it rides switch better than most of the other boards in its category. I wouldn’t say you’d want to ride this board switch in powder for very long. However, landing switch and connecting your lines in the park on groomed days is perfectly fine for the Rome Service Dog.

To put it simply, the Rome Service Dog is the snowboard you would take with you on the days when you aren’t sure what the conditions will be like, but you know you’re looking for fun.

Pros

Lots of tech features for its price.

There is a lot of snowboard tech built into the design of this board for less than $450.

Here are the main features of the Rome Service Dog.

  • 3d nose shape – Helps the board float and improves its handling in variable terrain
  • Set back camber profile – Rocker profile in a long nose, flat under your front foot, and a positive camber profile for pop under your backfoot through the tail.
  • Bamboo hotrod – Dampens the ride while allowing the nose to be still very flexible. 
  • Triax Glass – Makes the board durable, torsionally a little stiffer, and adds pop.  
  • 100% poplar core – Lightweight with a predictable feel

Its cruisy yet and in-control feel.

Living in PA, I didn’t expect to get a lot of powder this season. However, this season, we’ve had even less than usual. The thing about the Rome Service Dog is that it’s still incredibly fun to cruise around carving groomers even when there is no powder to be found.

Carving the Rome Service Dog Heelside

This board has a shape that just begs it to make wide slashy-type turns, and Rome gave it a bamboo “hotrod” to help absorb the chatter that is often felt in the wide nose of a volume-shifted directional board. The hotrod works exceptionally well to dampen the board’s vibrations and give it a more in-control feel than some of the other boards in the powder cruiser category. 

  • The Service Dog has a unique ability to blend the characteristics of being a playful, forgiving ride with a stable feel that can plow through any type of snow.

Its really pressable flex makes it fun in the park.

To help the Service Dog float better in powder, Rome made the nose very soft. This also allows the Rome Service Dog to be perfect for buttering and nose pressing features in the park. The softer flex makes this a very fun board for jibbing. Even the stiffer tail is still very pressable for tail presses. It made for a really fun, versatile park board.

Nose Pressing the Rome Service Dog

It’s perfect for riding powder.

Rome gave the Service Dog a tapered shape with a set back stance and a spoon nose. This board is ready and waiting to float whenever the powder finally decides to come. 

On a related note, I steered my review more towards the all-mountain aspects of the Service Dog because there isn’t a lot of powder to ride here in Pennsylvania this season. For the softer stashes I did occasionally find, the Service Dog did an exceptional job keeping its nose up and allowing me to float.

It rides better switch than you would think.

With the board being a fish shape with a slight swallow tail, you would think the Service Dog wouldn’t ride that well switch. That’s actually not the case. The Service Dog is right at home switch on groomers. For riding powder, you will want to keep the long spoon-nose pointing forward.

It has a 2+1 year warranty.

Rome SDS offers a three-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects from the original date you purchased your board. To register for the warranty, you just need the serial number of your board and to register it here.

Cons

Its base isn’t the fastest (and definitely not the slowest).

The base on the Service Dog isn’t the fastest base out there that you can get. That said, it’s also not the slowest. It’s right in the middle of the road of the base speed spectrum. For its price, it gets the job done with a decent glide, though. I’d consider its speed capabilities to be average. 

Rome SDS Service Dog Base Pointing up On Snow

It’s worth noting this is the type of board meant more for the casual resort rider who is looking to cruise with a surfy-feeling fun to ride board. It is not the right board for someone who is looking for a speed-hungry precision carver or freeride board. It just isn’t that type of board. 

The Rome Service Dog is a fun resort board that is meant more for the rider who likes to cruise the local resort with their friends and chase the occasional powder day. It’s the type of deck for the rider who likes to “enjoy the ride” more than ride aggressively and doesn’t need the fastest board to help them get to the bottom of the hill. 

The Service Dog is perfect for anyone looking for a board with a surfy, playful feel that’s also powder-ready and fun to ride all over the resort.

Even though it is playful, it can still catch an edge.

While this is a forgiving, playful ride, it is very possible to still catch your edge while carving. I learned this lesson the hard way while ripping down an ungroomed trail and then stopping using my toeside edge. I guess I didn’t dig my toes in enough, and my heelside edge caught someone else’s rut, which sent me flying.

Who Is the Service Dog a Good Fit For?

This board is for anyone who wants a board to take cruisy fun laps at their local resort while also adding a dedicated powder board to their quiver. If you enjoy making wide slashed turns, nose pressing, and taking hot laps with your friends, then definitely get this board if it is still available in your size.

Looking down at the Rome Service Dog from the Chair Lift

Rome Service Dog Snowboard 2023-2024 Specs

Length (cm)148153157
Contact Length (cm)101.6106.2109.9
Effective Edge (cm)110.6115.2118.9
Waist Width (cm)26.226.526.7
Sidecut Radius (m)7.3/6.57.6/6.87.9/7.1
Setback (cm)222
Inserts2x4x122x4x122x4x12
Min/Max Stance (in)18.4-23.119.4-24.119.4-24.1
Min/Max Stance (cm)46.8-58.849.3-61.349.3-61.3
Weight Recommendation (Lbs)111-155130-174147-191
Boot Size (us men’s)8 to 139 to 1310 to 14

Is the Rome Service Dog Difficult to Ride?

No, not at all. The Rome Service Dog is a very easy snowboard to ride. Its bamboo hot rod absorbs vibrations, giving it a smooth, relatively damp feel, while the board’s hybrid profile and spoon nose make it simple to carve with.

How Does the Rome Service Dog Compare to the Lib Tech Orca?

I bought the Rome Service Dog because I had a lot of fun riding the Lib Tech Orca. I just couldn’t quite afford it. I got this board as an alternative because its highlights included all of the details I loved about the Orca, just in a less expensive board.

How does the Service Dog actually compare to the Orca, though? 

Well, the Orca is everything the Service Dog is, just with the ability to push it a little faster and harder. The Orca has a slightly stiffer flex with Magne Traction (serrated) edges, so it feels a little more precise while carving, and it has the superior edge hold on ice. The Lib Tech Orca also has a profile with a rocker section between your feet, where the Rome Service Dog has a set back camber profile. After that, the Orca is around one point faster (on a scale out of 10). Those were the only real advantages I noticed with the Lib Tech Orca over the Rome Service Dog, though. 

The Orca has the speed and precision for carving more aggressively, while the Rome Service Dog has an overall similar feel and performs better in the park.

I’d say the comparison between the two snowboards works like this.

FeatureLib Tech OrcaRome Service Dog
Cruisy CarvingExcellentExcellent
Precision CarvingExcellentGood
JibbingGoodExcellent
ButteringGoodExcellent
JumpingGoodGood
PowderExcellentExcellent
Resort RidingExcellentExcellent

Key:

  • Excellent: This board excels in this area and is a great choice if this is a priority for you.
  • Good: This board performs well in this area, but there may be other boards that are better suited for it.

Other Comparable Snowboards to Consider

Here are few other board’s I’ve ridden that felt similar to the Rome Service Dog. The links will take you to my review of each board.

Which bindings go well with the Rome Service Dog Snowboard?

This board paired nicely with my Union Ultra Bindings.

Why Did I Buy the Rome Service Dog Snowboard?

The main detail for me was its price. I wanted a dedicated powder board that I could still have fun with even where there wasn’t any powder.

Where Can You Buy a Rome Service Dog?

You can buy the Rome Service Dog from Rome’s Amazon store here.

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Rome Service Dog Snowboard Review





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