Hello and welcome to my Rome Katana bindings review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Katana as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Katana a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain-freeride bindings.
Binding: Rome Katana 2023
Flex Rating: Stiff (8/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 92.6/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 17 men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Katana’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Katana’s specs and available sizes.
2 x 4 | 4 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who is the Katana Most Suited To?
The Katana are best suited to those who want to match a board in the 6/10 to 8/10 flex range and are looking for good response but also want good shock/chatter absorption and board feel.
If you need good ankle support and want the option to have the ankle strap sit higher on the ankle this are also a great choice, with their pivot mount ankle strap position adjustment system.
Too stiff for beginners, but great option for intermediate riders who are either bigger/stronger or need bindings to drive a medium to medium-stiff board and any advance or expert riders who need a mid-stiff binding.
The Katana in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Katana are capable of.
Binding: Rome Katana 2023, M/L
Date: March 18, 2022
Foggy but visibility wasn't terrible, but not 100%. I'd say about 70%. Snowing to start with, but quite wet snow.
Temperature was ranging from -1°C (30°F) to 1°C (34°F) through the day. Ranging from -5°C (23°F) to -2°C (28°F) with wind chill.
24 hour snow: 19cm (7.5")
48 hour snow: 21cm (8")
7 day snow: 63cm (25")
On groomer: Soft packed to start and got a little slushy later in the day.
Off groomer: Soft with a fresh layer on top. Nothing super epic or anything but still fun to get off groomer and into the trees.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 555mm (22″)
Board demoed with: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Baseplate Length: 25.1cm (9.9”)*
*measured on the top side of the footbed - a little bit of angle down to underside of baseplate where it's 23cm (9.1")
Highback Height: 21cm (8.3")*
* from board to top of highback is 28cm (11")
Weight: 940g (2lb 1oz)*
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of around 60 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 models) I have weighed, was 913 grams. The lightest was 680 grams and the heaviest was 1,240grams. So the Katana was very slightly heavier than average, but essentially average - and felt normal on snow.
There’s some twist in the highback. Not a massive amount, not like super soft or anything, but a good amount. A little more twist than Malavita (my control bindings) if I had to say, but pretty close. There’s some give pulling back too – the slit in the highback allows you to tweak the inside of the highback pulling back on it (more so than the outside) – and there’s more twist to the inside as well, which is typical.
Overall flex feel when riding felt squarely on a 7/10 to me. No what I would call stiff, but a little stiffer than medium. So that right in between stiff and medium, aka medium-stiff.
At slower speeds for ease of maneuverability, it wasn't quite as good as my control bindings Malavita. But very close.
In terms of leaning into a deeper carve, I found I could lean a little deeper for a little longer than with the Malavita's and just performed better at higher speeds, in general.
Really really good. Right up there with the best of them for this flex level and for a binding with good shock absorption like this. Mini-disc no doubt helps with that board feel, reducing the dead spot underfoot.
Felt about the same as Malavita. Which is a good thing as I find the Malavita to have good pop/ollie power.
Let's Break this Text Up with a Video
These are the most adjustable bindings that I've had the pleasure to tweak. You can pretty much adjust everything and fine tune your fit to perfection.
Heel Cup: Yes. This is great for boot centering.
Stance Width: The disc runs horizontal (and there's no need to have it able to run vertical with the heel cup adjustments doing the boot centering for you) - which gives you good stance width adjustability. It's not the most, because of the mini-disc, but the mini-disc is big enough that there is some micro adjustability.
Highback Lean: Yes and tool-less.
Ankle Strap Position: Yes. The Katana have this pivot thing on the ankle strap that give you around 8 (yes 8!) different positions. So you can have it sitting high on the ankle for more ankle support/a more locked in feeling or you can have it sitting low on your ankle for a more free/surfy feel.
Toe Strap Position: Yes - 2 position options.
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes, like every binding. These adjustments are tool-less.
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: You can't technically extend it. As in you can't make the footbed longer. But you can adjust the footbed backwards or forwards, which helps with getting your boots centered on the bindings and your footbed in the best position on the board (along with that heel cup adjustment).
Highback Rotation: Yes
Compatible with: 2 x 4 | 4 x 4 | Channel
Note: Even though the Katana's use a mini-disc, they can do 4 x 4 and work on boards that have inserts that sit back from the main insert pack.
You can also adjust the canting of the highback.
The footbed feels particularly cushy in the heel and toes and firmer through the mid-foot. There's padding on the underside of the baseplate in addition to the footbed, which no doubt helps with shock absorption too - and probably helps the board to flex a little more naturally with the board too.
On snow the shock absorption felt really good, which was no surprise. Felt as good as the Malvitas (which are nice and shock absorbing) and if I had to say a touch better.
I found the straps could get in the way a bit. Didn't fold out of the way as easily as on some bindings. The Ratchets were nice and smooth. Not "smoothest-on-the-market" smooth but as smooth as you'll ever need them. Overall good.
Nice and comfortable.
Ankle Strap: Conformed to my foot well overall. I did feel a bit of pressure on top of right foot (which is my foot that has a higher arch than my flat left foot) but found that I could loosen the strap off just a touch and that went away - and didn't lose any response doing so.
Toe Strap: Felt nice and no pressure points.
Canted Footbed: Yes looks like it. Rome doesn't mention in their specs (that I could see) but does look to the eye to be a little canted.
Padded Footbed: Good padding (see shock absorption notes above) and shock absorption.
Highback: Thin padding all over the highback. And, most importantly, I didn't experience any calf bite.
Ankle support was really decent in the position I had it. And with that 8 point adjustment pivot, I could have set it up higher on the ankle and gained even more support, if I wanted it.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Katana are awesome bindings. Next level adjustability almost overshadows the fact that they are so good in every other area that we rated for.
Nice and responsive at moderate to high speeds and good at slow speeds too - plus great board feel, shock absorption and ankle support.
If you're in the market for a mid-stiff binding, these are definitely worth looking at.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other all-mountain-freeride binding options, or if you want to compare how the Katana compares to other all-mountain-freeride bindings, then check out the next link.