A new jib stick is potentially on the cards for this season. I have no requirement for “all-mountain” use, this is about the park and jibbing around. That’s why the Rome Artifact is on the list…
Why the Rome Artifact?
First of all, the Artifact has been around for a while now. I used to ride the Rome Agent – when it came to replacing that it was a toss up between the Artifact and the Ride Kink. I have no regrets about picking the Kink, but the Artifact has been on my radar ever since. New jib boards come and go, but this one consistently gets good reviews, so it has remained a strong contender.
True twin. As you’d expect, in looking for a jib board I want a true-twin; everything symmetrical. This isn’t uncommon, but it’s a feature that the Artifact does deliver.
Soft, buttery flex. Primary mission here is jibbing in the park. I’m not hitting huge kickers so big pop and stability for landings isn’t as important for this freestyle board. Rails, presses, fun boxes and tweaking grabs – the Artifact is perfect for this. Rome rates the camber Artifact as “buttery” and the rocker version as “supper buttery”. Result.
Good length options. For a pure jib board, something in the region of 150-152cm is what I want. The Artifact comes in a 150 option, which makes it a good choice. Incidentally, they also do a wide version, which makes is suitable for more riders…
Decent price. Jib boards tend to be at the cheaper end of the spectrum. The Artifact is priced at £300 / $370, so it’s not breaking the bank. It’s also got a tough, extruded base, which should help it stand up to the abuse; more bang for your buck!
Rocker or Camber?
I really am torn between the two options. The traditional camber option is not quite as soft and has a little more snap to it. I like that in a snowboard. That said, I am looking for a pure jib machine; the Artifact Rocker is that little bit more buttery and obviously has the jib-friendly reverse camber shape.
Actually, the Artifact Rocker has the JibPop Rocker shape, which is flat between the feet and then has rocker shape from the inserts outwards. The flat portion of the base is good for boardslides and other such jibs; rocker shape beyond that brings in more press-ability as well as raising the contact points, which will help to be more “catch-free”.
Having no clear preference – I’d be happy to let something arbitrary like availability be the decider. Say for example, I can’t get one of the options in the length that I want… But all things being equal – I’d probably go for the Rocker. I’m looking for a jib board and this would be closer to that ideal.
Where to buy?
If you live in the USA, The House has a selection of board lengths for both the Artifact Rocker and the Camber. Wide Rocker also. Personally, I really like Dogfunk – they’ve also got great selection for both the Rocker and the Stay Positive Camber.
The House did this review – Rome Artifact Snowboard 2012
If you live in the UK, Snow and Rock has good length options for the Rocker, including one or two in the wide version. Bucks Boarding also stocks the Rocker and has a few lengths available. If you’re after the Stay Positive Camber, consider Blue Tomato…
If you live in Europe, Blue Tomato has an excellent selection for the Artifact. They have good lengths for both the Rocker and Camber, as well as a few options in the Wide Rocker. good stuff!