The Rome Targa bindings, the worlds most adjustable bindings ever. But what makes this binding so special? In this review we’ll talk you through the features, the materials and how this essential part of your setup performs on the slopes.
Having snowboarded for a number of years now, its safe to say I have seen my way through a fair few pairs of bindings, from the cheap and nasty hire bindings through the latest and greatest, all of which giving different feels and responses when cruising the slopes, and of course all varying in expense. Previous to the Rome Targa’s my choice of binding had been Ride Tomcats, a high-end binding setup which gave high levels of response and a lightweight feel (due to the aluminum chassis), but it was time for a change.
3 years of throwing my board around on holiday and in airports and the constant use had made my Tomcats a little tired, and well, out of shape. So what was next? It was most definitely time for an upgrade!
Having spoken to the chaps at Bucks Boarding Centre in Milton Keynes and deliberated over what style of binding I was after, the Rome Targa was presented to me, and what a nice looking set they were, but it wasn’t about the looks, it was about what they did.
High levels of strength and response, lightweight construction but by far the unique selling point was the adjustability, allowing the binding to be customized to your exact stance and riding style, whether it be jibbing in the park or steaming down red runs and breakneck pace, these bindings could pack a punch any other binding would find it hard to keep up with. Its fair to say I was sold!
So lets talk about the features individually to give a better idea of what all these levels of customization can do for you as a rider, after all, that’s what you want to know right?
The V-Rod Baseplate
The baseplate in the Targa binding is unique and pushes the boundaries of the conventional baseplate shapes and function.
The baseplate features “high” spots at both the front inner (big toe) and rear outer (heel) corners which essentially raises the binding off the board. This allows the board to flex all the way through the base of the binding due to the smaller footprint therefore giving a smoother and more natural board flex (the same as when you flex the board in a shop!)
Yes, I Cant InBase System
Once again Rome have given us something unique and what seems like a fundamental design feature that should be included in all bindings. Rather than the regular rubber padding you find in your every day binding which sits flat on the board, the “yes, I cant” InBase system gives 3 customizable plates which adjust the canter or “angle” of how your foot sits within the binding. To give a better idea of what this means, imagine this: Stand with your feet together and look down, your feet are in line with your legs right, and perpendicular to the floor right? Now extend your stance wider and wider, you feet will naturally stay flat to the floor but our ankles bend to accommodate the angle.
The new InBase system counteracts this by angling the base of the binding to compensate for your ankle, making it not only more comfortable, but also increased response and power transfer through to the nose and tail. As I mentioned previously, the system comes with 3 plates for you to customize your canter by 0, 2 or 3.5 degrees.
The underwrap heel loop chassis in the Targa Binding is made from a strong yet lightweight aluminium and is shaped in such a way that gives no flex during the power transfer from heel to toe, exactly what you want to give maximum response.
Ankle and Toe Straps
The progressive flex ankle straps are possibly the most comfortable, yet response straps I have felt on a binding. The difference felt is incredible and once again with Rome’s customizability ensures the perfect fit across your boot as well as the level of performance you want. The ankle strap in the Targa allows for an additional C-Flex insert to be slotted in which will allow for a more responsive binding (by stiffening it) through to a flexible park binding. The ankle straps also include 3 points of adjustment along the chassis giving the overall ankle strap 9 points of adjustability.
The ankle strap also includes QuickStrap technology which allows for easy adjustability without the need for any tools, simply lift a small trigger and slide the strap along its adjuster, flick the trigger closed and the strap is locked in, its that simple.
The Conformist toe straps mould to ANY boot toe and stretch to accommodate any shape, ensuring maximum response and comfort without any pinch points, think of it as a hand cupping your toes!
Both ankle and toe straps include Autostrap tech which simply put, includes shortened rubber bands running along the strap of the binding, meaning when released the “rubber bands” contract and move the straps out of the way of your chassis for easy exit and entry.
Not wanting to be outdone by the rest of the binding, the highbacks stand up for themselves with high levels of adjustability allowing for a 0 to 12 degree rotation within the chassis of the binding to match the exact fit of your boot and increasing responsiveness when turning on your heel edge. The highbacks also include tool free adjustment so you can set the angle of forward lean where and whenever you want.
What does all this mean?
Well, simply put, I can say that all of this tech and adjustability works to create one of the best pair of snowboard bindings I have ridden. The control is incredible yet gives enough movement and flexibility to give you the feel that YOU are in control, and not strapped into a rigid set of clamps. After a few attempts with different setups you can soon find yourself customizing your ride to exactly what you want, guaranteeing that no-one else will have your setup.
Due to the ease of adjustability (a few minutes here and there) you can easily change the entire feel of your ride and give yourself a whole new sensation on the mountain.
The Rome Targa bindings will grow as your riding advances and give you the confidence you need when you need to step it up a level and try something new.
A MUST BUY - Keep an eye out for more reviews on gear and hardware from the team here at SkiAndBoarding.com