Inside the Pro Model: Ståle Sandbech and the Rome Snowboards Ståle Collection

A full quiver of boards backed by the Norwegian style king.


words: Julia Spadaro

Who doesn’t love a good explosion? If you can confidently say you don’t, it might be time to put this magazine down. But hear me out, explosions are everywhere and you probably don’t even realize it—when the washing machine starts, when popcorn starts popping, when your favorite song blasts through the bass in your car. I mean, come on, they’re hard to deny. How do you think the Fast and Furious franchise has had so many successful movies? I’ll tell you who really appreciates an explosion for all it’s worth, Ståle Sandbech. He produced three whole snowboards and a pair of bindings based solely off of his love and appreciation for nature’s creation of explosions. Let me explain.

A pro model usually means one, but in this case, it means four. Ståle is back for year two of his pro model series with Rome Snowboards, which includes the Ståle Mod, Ståle Crewzer, and Ståle Fish snowboards, and Cleaver binding. The line is meant to encompass a quiver—what Ståle could be riding at any given time of any given season. It provides something for everybody, and it’s dedicated solely to Ståle because he has a creative approach to snowboarding, a unique bag of tricks, and he’s capable of riding everything. Just check out his Real Snow part from this past season. Not only that, but he’s been with Rome the longest out of their current team roster. Twelve years of devotion does have its perks.

The Crewzer is a fusion camber snowboard with a blunted tail and a pointed nose that is friendly to everyone. A directional twin, it’s Ståle’s daily driver when he’s not in contest mode. The hard-charging Mod is his board when he is in contest mode. It has powerful true camber. The Stålefish was an opportunity to make a new shape following the volume shift trend. It has a 3D nose, deep sidecut, and 20mm of taper. The simplest way to think about the 3D nose is like an unsinkable boat: It’s got raised edges to create better glide and float. That even rhymes, so you’ll never forget it. Lastly, the collection includes the Cleaver, the most dominant binding in Rome’s line.

p: Mark Clavin

Now you’ve got an idea of what Ståle’s line is all about, so more importantly, back to explosions. You’ll notice that every product in this line is graphically alike, creating a relationship between each model. Ståle stepped to it freshly inspired by minimalist, texture-based, retro surf graphics. Why, you may ask? I asked the same thing. “Retro surf stuff is cool as hell,” he says. You can’t argue with that. Each board in the line has some semblance of a story behind the graphic. “We were trying to figure out what direction we wanted to go with on this collection,” Ståle explains. “For sure, we had ideas on the kind of retro style, but I also wanted to make these boards unique and special to me. At one point, explosions were brought up and we started thinking of a powder explosion. That ended up being the start of the graphics for the Stålefish, which came from a photo of me riding that has an actual powder spray explosion.”

On the Crewzer, Rome’s graphic designer took a screengrab of one of Ståle’s vacation episodes of StåleLIFE. They were in Costa Rica, all on the beach, and they saw this insane lightning strike. Ståle has always remembered that. “You know, one of those best-day- ever type of things,” he says. So the deep-fried line on the Crewzer is that lightning strike texture.

If you take a closer look at the boards, there are several Easter eggs hidden throughout the graphics. Little bits of type, some of Ståle’s favorite sayings—hidden words of wisdom we’ll call it. It’s all in the details. So yeah, you’ve got a line jam-packed with explosions AND scavenger hunts. Okay Rome, you’re speaking my language, and probably the language of everyone else who is struggling to let go of their youth. I know some of the hidden sayings, but I won’t ruin it for you. Just go pick up one of Ståle’s boards and figure it out for yourself.

Ståle Fish, Ståle Crewzer, and Ståle Mod on www.romesnowboards.com.

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