The idea is as old as the early brainstorming days of the SDS—those days when Rome’s two founders rode powder through an epic winter, sat around a not-so-warm wood stove, and started talking seriously about starting a new snowboard company.
As they talked about riders, the idea of getting Bjorn Leines involved in the launch of Rome made a ton of sense because his riding reflects where the brand is coming from. Bjorn is one of those few riders whose shredding samples from the entire collective addiction—everything from switch frontboards in Minnesota to Chad’s Gap in Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alaskan pow lines. And he’s a former pipe kid who still has skills in the u-jump.
For a variety of reasons, when the Rome SDS launched, the time wasn’t right for Rome and Bjorn to get together.
Then this past summer, when Rome and Bjorn started talking seriously, a lot had changed since those early days of talking about all the things Rome wanted to be and debuting the first line of Design House product. In the intervening four years, Rome has been doing its thing to spread its disruptive influence. And while Bjorn continued to kill it (check out his interview in Snowboarder), major changes went down with his former sponsor.
Since his former sponsor got bought by that large company based somewhere in Northern Vermont, Bjorn realized it just wasn’t the same brand as the one from the Simple Pleasures, to True Life days. A bunch of the team of riders that defined it have moved on to other things. And with the new ownership came a very different relationship between the riders and brand. It wasn’t the same family of friends anymore.
Thinking about riding for a different brand for the first time in almost a decade, Bjorn wanted to hook up with a brand more aligned with where he comes at snowboarding from. He wanted to get together with a group of riders who share the collective addiction. He wanted to get together with a brand that pushes innovation in snowboard design. He wanted to get together with a brand that believes snowboarders should run snowboard companies.
The Rome SDS was his top choice.
Rome didn’t need any convincing about Bjorn’s riding. What sealed the deal for Rome to bring Bjorn into the SDS was one seemingly simple thing he said when he was visiting: “I’ll still be riding when I’m 80 years old. More than the video parts and interviews, that is what the SDS is about.
Bjorn is spending the winter logging more footage for the Volcom video on the Rome Design 158 and Artifact 153 with 390 bindings. He already has enough stuff from last year for a banger part, so another season of filming should put it over the top.