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 2024
Flex Rating: Mid-Stiff (5-8/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (6.5/10)
Rating Score: 88.8/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 20 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.
2x4 | 4x4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who is the Katana Most Suited To?
The Katana are best suited to those looking for a highly adjustable binding that strikes a great balance between higher speed carving, slow speed agility and between good board feel and good shock absorption.
If you're someone who has trouble getting a good binding to boot fit, you should be able to tweak these to get that fit just right.
Best matched with boards in that 5/10 to 7.5/10 flex range and even more ideally suited to the 5.5/10 to 6.5/10 range.
The Katana in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Katana are capable of.
Binding: Rome Katana 2024, M/L
Date: March 31, 2023
Snowing on and off. Visibility varying 70-85%.
Temperature was -3°C (26°F) and -9°C (16°F) with wind, in the morning and -2°C (28°F), which was -8°C (18°F) with wind, in the afternoon. SE winds 25kph (3mph) morning and afternoon.
24 hour snow: 1" (2cm)
48 hour snow: 1" (2cm)
7 day snow: 1" (2cm)
On groomer: Some harder spots and some softer spots. Not much ice but the odd patch. For the most, part dust on crustish.
Off groomer: Dust on crust.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 560mm (22″)
Board tested with: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Boots tested with: Adidas Response ADV, size US9.5
Footbed length: 25.1cm (9.9”)
Footbed Length Fully Extended: n/a
Baseplate Length (underside): 23.1cm (9.1")
Highback Height: 21.5cm (8.5”)
Weight: 960 grams (2lbs, 2oz)
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of a small sample size of around 80 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 models) I have weighed is 920 grams (2lbs). So the Katana was just over average on the scales and felt normal on snow.
In hand: The Katana have about the same amount of twist in the highback as my control bindings (Burton Malavita), which is relatively stiff. But more twist flex than the Astro Fullwrap (which I also tested on the day). In terms of pullback, there is zero pull back on the Astro Fullwrap (and the Malavita) but there is a bit of give on the Katana.
Katana ankle strap very interesting because it’s “frameless”. So the very outside is very flexy but it’s stiffer through the middle. Through the middle it’s stiffer than the Malavita but outside it’s softer. The Astro Fullwrap has a stiffer ankle strap than the Malavita and overall stiffer than Katana too.
Katana and Astro Fullwrap Toe straps feel identical. They are both a little stiffer than the Malavita toe strap and relatively stiff for toe straps.
On Snow: Overall, They felt a touch softer than how I remember them from testing them last year. But still a little stiffer than medium. On snow overall felt a bit stiffer than the Malavita.
The Katana felt a little better than the Malavita for higher speed carves. Felt I could hold a little deeper and felt more support.
Felt about the same as the Malavita for slower speed agility. If I had to say, then just a hair not quite as good for slow speed sharp turns, but not far off.
Felt really good for board feel, no doubt in part due to the mini-disc. Very much as good as the Malavita. If I had to say, then maybe the Malavita a tiny bit better, but really nothing in it.
Felt as good as the Malavita for popping ollies, popping off jumps, rollers etc.
These are the most adjustable bindings that I've had the pleasure to work with. 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 has some good thick padding in there. I measured at 2.6cm slanting to 2.3cm on the toe end (canted footbed) and 2.3cm/2cm at the heel.
On snow they did a great job absorbing shock. Given how good their board feel is, it's pretty remarkable how good they also absorb shock and chatter.
Neither toe nor ankle ratchets were ultra smooth. Some stickiness. Not super sticky or anything either but stickier than I remember them previously, so might have just been the ones I got. Made it a little sketchy unstrapping on the move approaching the chairlift.
Overall nice and comfortable.
Ankle Strap: Had some pressure on the top of my left foot, but not my right, so it may have been that I just had it cranked a bit tight on the left. Nothing bad, just a little. The edgeless strap design is interesting but I think I preferred their previous ankle straps.
Toe Strap: Toe straps conformed nicely and no pressure points.
Canted Footbed: Yes.
Padded Footbed: Good padding (see shock absorption section above).
Highback: There's some thin padding all over the highback. But the main thing is that there was no calf-bite.
With that pivot strap allowing you to put that ankle strap almost anywhere, there's a lot of adjustability and if you want more ankle support it's easy to get that strap sitting higher on the ankle.
However, the one thing I find about the pivot mount is that it does take the bottom of the strap quite far away from the boot. This is the only reason I don't give it a 5/5 for ankle support. I found that it's very good ankle support, but not quite the best I've ridden for ankle support.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Katana are awesome bindings that have an uncanny knack of being good at both high and low speeds and somehow achieve great shock absorption and great board feel simultaneously.
So there's really very little you have to compromise with, with these bindings.
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.