Hello and welcome to my K2 Playback review. This is a comparison style review where I will battle the Playback against the Rome Factory Rocker.
This is a battle between freestyle boards that costs less than $350. Let’s see which board is the best pick.
The conditions for this battle are that the board is:
- a Freestyle board;
- costing under $350;
- has a true twin shape; and
- a centred stance.
How do they Compare?
The first part of our review battle is to make sure we are comparing apples with apples. A majority of the components in the table below should be the same or similar.
|K2 Playback||Rome Factory Rocker|
|Price||$339 (USD)||$330 (USD)|
|Weight||Feels Normal||Feels Normal|
|Ability Level||Beginner to Expert||Beginner to Expert|
|Shape||True Twin||True Twin|
|Camber Profile||Flat||Hybrid Rocker|
O.k. now that the control test is out of the way let’s check out the performance characteristics of these boards. The table below shows ratings for 8 different performance factors.
Each performance factor is weighted differently to reflect that we are rating Freestyle boards.
For example, how the board rides switch will have a higher weighting with freestyle board than how well it carves.
Let’s see how each of our boards did in the smart rating system in the table below.
|Playback Ratings||Playback Points||Factory Rocker Ratings||Factory Rocker Points|
|TOTAL after normalizing||78.3/100||80.0/100|
A Closer Look at the Results
The boards come in pretty close here with the K2 board scoring 78.3 points and the Rome board 80 points.
For the reference, out of 9 boards I analyzed in this category (Freestyle costing less than $350):
- the average smart rating score was 75 points
- the highest score was 81.7 points
- the Playback ranked 3rd equal out of 9
- the Factory Rocker ranked 2nd out of 9
So both boards are above the average score for this category but the Factory Rocker more so. The difference mostly comes down to the performance in the pipe.
The User Reviews
Surfing the reviews on these boards, the Playback gets great reviews for being a tough durable board, and being great value for money. It also gets praise for its flex and pop and for some ability outside the park – though not thriving outside the park – but that’s not what this board is made for.
You can find some reviews at the link below.
- K2 Playback User Reviews (scroll down to find the reviews)
The Factory Rocker gets positive reviews for park performance and gets some credit for being able to move out of the park if you want. Like the Playback, it is also considered to have great performance for the cost.
In The Final Analysis
It’s pretty close between these boards so it was a tough decision. In the end the extra points in the smart rating system were enough to get it through and this battle is awarded to the Rome Factory Rocker.
However, if you are in the market for a new board the best board for you does depend on personal preferences. For example if you had no interest in venturing into the pipe then the K2 board would be a good choice.
They are both pretty close in price and reasonably priced so price doesn’t really factor into this one. And both boards ranked in the top 3 for men’s freestyle boards costing less than $350.
The following table shows some other specs which are mostly personal preferences – e.g. size of board, conditions you are usually in etc.
|Playback by K2||Factory Rocker by Rome|
|Available lengths/(widths)||149 (246), 152 (248), 155 (250), 158 (251), 161 (252)||145 (243), 148 (246), 152 (249), 155 (252), 158 (255)|
|Turn Initiation||Easy||Very Easy|
|Edge-hold||Medium-Soft Snow||Medium Snow|
Have you ever ridden any of the boards discussed above? Any other freestyle boards you have ridden that you think would out ride these two? Leave a comment below.
Any questions or other comments/feedback also, as always, welcomed and I aim to respond as quickly as possible.