The world needs another snowboard company. Seriously.

Lost in a post-consolidation hangover of stale corporate uniformity, the snowboard world needs a shot in the arm now more than ever. Launching this winter, Rome Snowboards plans to bust out a king-sized syringe, depress the plunger and corrupt the system with its line of 2002/2003 board designs.

Rome is an authentic design-driven rebellion against mediocre product, marketing mold and the attempted theft of snowboarding by outside elements. It’s the bringing together of snowboarders of all types¿team riders, product designers, dealers, 100-day-a-year locals¿to form a syndicate of riders throughout North America that kicks down technological innovation, nurtures creativity on a snowboard, and stays true to the values of snowboarding.

To build the team, Rome is empowering the next generation of riders by giving them a new level of involvement in building a snowboard company¿everything from the obvious projects like graphic design and product performance, to more grassroots stuff that the riders have creative control over. As winter 2002 kicks in, Rome and its supporters are infecting riding communities all over North America by backing riders who are breaking out and who are looking to be a big part of a new, authentic company.

Product design is the mutherf—ing king at Rome. Straight from the mind that brought you some of the most innovative and best selling snowboards of all time (just ask and we’ll let you know which ones), Rome ventures on its own this winter to unleash its breakout line of freestyle and all-style shapes, all powered up by the company’s new core and glass technologies.

But despite the misinformation spread by some snowboard corporations, snowboard design isn’t just science; it’s also an art where the human factor is huge. It combines the creative talents of the design engineer with the ideas and feedback of the riders. The bottom line is, some board designers¿usually ones who ride a lot¿are a lot better than others. And the design process is key also¿Rome knows that repeated testing is the only way to get shit tight. To dial in the flex and shape of each board, the company tests truckloads of prototypes with team riders, in-house test pilots and its growing legions of local testers from all over North America.

The Snowboard Design Syndicate was initiated by Paul Maravetz and Josh Reid. The two founders spent a good number of years in product design and marketing at a rather large snowboard company based someplace in Vermont. About a year ago, both realized it was time to break away and start a new direction in snowboarding…

…by any means necessary.