2018-2019 Romp Skis 100

Ski: 2018-2019 Romp Skis 100, 183 cm

Available Lengths: 155, 164, 172, 183, 190 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 181.4 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1800 & 1824 grams

Stated Dimensions: 137-100-128 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136.7-99.3-129.7 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (183 cm): 17 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 58 mm / 50 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm

Core: poplar + ¾-width carbon stringers above core + full-width carbon stringers below core + 22-oz triaxial fiberglass laminate

Base: Sintered Durasurf 4001

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -6 cm from center; 84.7 cm from tail

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Strider 120; Salomon S/Pro 130 / Tyrolia AAAttack 13

Test Location: Crested Butte, CO

Days Skied: ~15

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Romp Skis 100 — "Surf's Up" Top Sheet
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  Romp's Custom Process //  First Look: Romp 100 //  Full Review //  Bottom Line //  Rocker Pics

Intro

Romp is a custom-ski manufacturer based right here in Crested Butte, Colorado, that’s been building custom skis since 2010. You can listen to our conversation with Romp’s co-founders and brothers, Caleb & Morgan Weinberg, on our GEAR:30 podcast to hear about how they got started, their thoughts on the custom-ski-building process and ski design, and much more.

A few years ago, Blister reviewers Julia Van Raalte and Will Brown both reviewed their own custom versions of Romp’s “106” shape. You can check out Julia’s review here, and Will’s here.

And this season, I’ve been working with Romp to design a custom ski of my own, and now that we have the ski in hand, we wanted to shed some more light on Romp’s custom process and how we arrived at the design we did.

Romp’s Custom Ski-Building Process

Like many good things, Romp’s custom process starts with a good conversation. And in my case, that conversation was with Romp co-founder, Caleb Weinberg. Caleb and I sat down in Romp’s HQ in downtown Crested Butte and discussed what I what I wanted this ski to do (more on those specifics below).

After I gave Caleb an idea of what I was looking for, he suggested a few different shape options. Romp has nine standard shapes to choose from, ranging from 75 mm underfoot all the way up to 120 mm. And since Blister readers seem to be pretty sharp cookies, you’ve probably already Sherlock-Holmes’d your way into figuring out (given the title of this review), that we ended up settling on the “100.”

After settling on a shape and specific length, you work with Romp to dial in the flex pattern, rocker profile, mount point, and graphics of the ski. Even if you aren’t familiar at all with ski design, the folks at Romp can use their experience to tailor those design elements to work well for you. Or if you’re a huge gear nerd like me, they’re equally happy to drill down and geek out on the details with you.

For the flex pattern, Romp will adjust the thickness of the wood core and the number, size, and placement of carbon stringers to make the ski softer or stiffer where you need it. You can choose a certain level of stiffness in the tip, tail, and middle of the ski.

For the rocker profile, you can choose from several different options, from no camber to full camber, and a bunch of rocker / camber / rocker profiles with varying tip and tail rocker lines and tail splay variations.

For the mount point, you can tailor it to your skiing style — go further back for a more traditional, directional feel, or go closer to center for a more playful, progressive style.

As for the art, Romp works with a number of designers to offer a very large selection of stock graphics. And if you want your own, fully custom graphic? Romp can also arrange that, for a slight bump up in price.

But enough about all that, let’s get back to talking about me, since there is nothing in the world that I love more than talking about myself.

[Editor’s Note: Jonathan Ellsworth may or may not have added the previous sentence.]

Building My Romp 100

I primarily wanted a ski that would be versatile. To be more specific, I wanted a ski that would work for the majority of my days skiing here at Crested Butte.

For me, that means a ski that will let me rail small and larger turns on steep groomers, allow me to nimbly hop around in the steep, techy terrain off the High lift and The North Face lift, and be able to float in some fresh snow — and all the while, remain playful.

In other words, I was basically trying to make a 1-ski quiver for how and where I like to ski at Crested Butte, with more of an emphasis on firm-snow performance, rather than deep snow.

I like to consider myself a fairly aggressive skier, but I’m also not a former racer. So I appreciate skis that can hold up to higher speeds while still letting me slash, slarve, and pop off of stuff at lower speeds. My typical day consists of a nearly equal mix of groomers, bumps, steeps, and trying to find as many drops and side hits as possible.

My favorite skis tend to be pretty damp but also pretty energetic. And if I have to choose between stability and playfulness / pop, I’d prefer to have something that skews toward more energetic than stable, rather than a ski that’s super damp and stable but that feels “dead” and sluggish. I don’t tend to love one-dimensional skis that are only designed to go fast, especially when it comes to a 1-ski quiver that I’ll be using in a wide range of conditions, and on days when I don’t necessarily feel like mobbing down everything.

Shape: The Romp 100

After Caleb and I had gone over my skiing style and what I wanted from this ski, he asked me if I had any shapes in mind. I was pretty confident that the 100 would be the right call. I had considered the 106 that Will and Julia reviewed a few years back, but I wanted something a bit quicker, and the narrower width and tighter sidecut radius (17 m for 183 cm) of the 100 sounded more appealing for what I had in mind. And as soon as I suggested the 100, Caleb said that was the shape that he would’ve recommended anyway.

The Romp 100 is available in 155, 164, 172, 183, and 190 cm lengths. Since I prioritize playfulness and maneuverability over high-speed stability, the 183 cm length was an easy choice. (For reference, I’m 5’8”, 155 lbs.)

The Romp 100 has a fairly traditional shape, with wide tips and tails. There is a bit of early taper in the tips, but pretty minimal taper in the tails. I was excited about the shape as an everyday ski since I primarily want something that’s intuitive and predictable, rather than going with some crazy shape that might be tricky to get used to or that would only perform well in specific conditions. Nothing about the 100’s shape makes me think it’ll be difficult to get used to. It just looks “good.”

Rocker Profile

The next thing to dial in was the rocker profile of my 100. I wanted this ski to float fairly well in a bit of fresh snow, and I also tend to like skis with more rocker than average, since it makes them easier to release from a turn when needed. So I ended up going with 20 cm of tip rocker and 12 cm of tail rocker. I also like to ski switch occasionally, so I opted for a more twinned-up tail profile.

The resulting ski has a nice, moderate rocker profile. My 100’s tip rocker line is pretty similar to the Nordica Enforcer 100’s (a ski that many of us at Blister really like). My 100’s 12 cm tail rocker line is a bit deeper than most directional skis in this class, but it is by no means super deep. And I really like having that twin at the back. Twin tails make me happy.

Flex Pattern

After dialing in the rocker profile, I worked with Caleb to figure out the best flex pattern for my ski. I appreciate skis that are strong enough that I can drive them pretty hard without folding up, but I’m definitely not someone who wants a super stiff ski that demands constant concentration to keep it from bucking me. I also tend to like skis with fairly round flex patterns, with the tips not being way softer than the tails.

We ended up settling on what Romp calls a “Medium-” flex for the tips, a “Medium+” flex for the middle, and a “Medium” flex for the tails.

Now that we have the ski in hand, here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of my Romp 100:

Tips: 6-7
Shovels: 7-8.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8.5
Tails: 7.5-6

I really like this flex pattern. The tips are pretty easy to bend, but they ramp up fairly quickly to a strong midsection, and the tails feel very similar to the tips. There are no hinge points in the flex, but rather a smooth, fairly quick ramp up as you move from the tips and tails to the middle of the ski.

After hand-flexing my Romp 100 against the Nordica Enforcer 100, the Enforcer 100 feels a tiny bit stiffer at the very ends (last ~5 cm) of its tips and tails, but the Romp 100 ramps up quicker at both ends of the ski.

Given the weight of the ski, I was very happy that my Romp 100 didn’t turn out crazy stiff, but it still feels strong where I want it to be.

Mount Point

I like skis that I can drive when I want to, but that still feel fairly balanced in the air. After discussing this with Caleb, we settled on a fairly progressive but not extremely forward mount point of -6 cm from center for my ski. That’s a mount point I’ve liked on a lot of skis in the past, so I figured it would feel intuitive for me.

Weight

My pair of the 183 cm Romp 100 comes in at just over 1800 grams per ski. That definitely puts it on the lighter end of the spectrum, and makes it fall in line with Will and Julia’s similarly light Romp 106’s.

If you’re looking for an even lighter ski, Romp can build it with a full carbon layup rather than fiberglass. And if you want a heavier ski, they can do that, too.

But as I mentioned above, if I have to choose, I’d prefer quickness and energy over maximum-speed stability due to how I ski. Based on my Romp 100’s lower weight, I highly doubt that it’s going to feel sluggish at all, and am eager to see how it fares in terms of stability.

For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. As always, pay close attention to the length differences to keep things more apples-to-apples.

1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1758 & 1774 Moment Commander 98, 178 cm (18/19)
1800 & 1824 Luke Koppa’s Romp Skis 100, 183 cm (18/19)
1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
1830 & 1852 Julia Van Raalte’s Romp Skis 106, 175 cm (14/15–18/19)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1894 & 1980 Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm (17/18–19/20)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
1985 & 2006 Parlor Cardinal 100, 185 cm (16/17–18/19)
1998 & 2004 Will Brown’s Romp Skis 106, 185 cm (15/16–18/19)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18–18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2031 & 2038 Faction Candide 2.0, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–19/20)
2050 & 2080 ON3P Wrenegade 96, 184 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2111 & 2125 J Skis Vacation, 186 cm (18/19)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (16/17–18/19)
2118 & 2139 Nordica Soul Rider 97, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2133 & 2134 Faction Prodigy 3.0, 183 cm (18/19–19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20)
2344 & 2367 J Skis Masterblaster, 187 cm (16/17–18/19)

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About

(1) Just how well will my Romp 100 perform across the very wide range of conditions and terrain we ski at Crested Butte?

(2) Given its low weight, how will my Romp 100 do at higher speeds and in rougher snow?

(3) With its twinned tail, round flex pattern, and fairly progressive mount point, I’m curious to see how well this Romp 100 will balance playfulness with the ability to still be driven when I want to.

(4) The Big One: how well will this ski line up with the performance envelope that I was looking for?

Bottom Line (For Now)

I’m excited about this Romp Skis 100. It’s got a shape, rocker profile, and flex pattern that all are very much in line with what I was looking for. And that’s exactly how a custom ski should be.

Now it’s time to see how well the design matches up with how I like to play around in the mountains. Stay tuned…

Flash Review

Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Romp Skis 100 for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.

FULL REVIEW

I’ve now spent a good chunk of time on the “100” that Romp put together for me this season, in conditions ranging from cold pow to super firm days, and even some slush this week.

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Romp Skis 100, Crested Butte, CO.

Given that this ski was custom-built for my preferences, this review is a bit different than our typical ski reviews. So I’m going to focus on the general performance of the Romp 100, and then discuss how it ended up reflecting what I was looking for in the ski.

Powder

When I talked with Caleb Weinberg at Romp about what I wanted from this ski, I said I was basically looking for a 1-ski quiver specifically for Crested Butte, and that I’d prefer a ski that was fun on the days between storms, rather than one that only excelled when conditions were absolutely perfect and / or super deep.

Despite this firm-snow orientation, the Romp 100 was still a lot of fun in up to around a foot of fresh snow.

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Romp Skis 100, Crested Butte, CO.

The tips planed predictably and the ski was surprisingly easy to hack, jump, and slash through CB’s tighter, steeper terrain. My Romp 100 obviously doesn’t float as well as much wider skis, but its shape, 20 cm of tip rocker, and “Medium-” flex in the front all seemed to make it perform a bit better in deep snow than its width would suggest. For a 100mm-wide ski, I have no complaints with how my Romp 100 handled deeper snow.

Chop

The Romp 100 also demonstrated better-than-average performance in soft chop. It didn’t get bogged down like some skis that have less rocker and / or stiffer shovels can, and it offered a nice combo of enough stiffness to blast through soft patches and enough maneuverability to make it easy to make quick transitions in spots with denser snow.

The Romp 100 that I’ve been testing is quite light for an inbounds ski, and I definitely wouldn’t call it a charger. When the chop had settled and become denser, I had to dial things back on the Romp 100. Unlike heavier skis (2000g+), my Romp 100 required a pretty dynamic style when skiing through denser chop. I couldn’t just straight-line through rough snow with little regard for what was in front of me. Instead, the Romp 100 encouraged a more deliberate approach — making turns and scrubbing speed in smooth spots, popping off of denser patches, and overall making more turns than I would on a much heavier ski.

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Romp Skis 100, Crested Butte, CO.

That said, I do think my Romp 100 punches above its weight when it comes to stability. It doesn’t feel super twitchy or “pingy” — it just doesn’t feel super comfortable nuking through inconsistent snow.

Groomers

The Romp 100 is exactly what I wanted on groomers. I can drive it hard and easily engage the edges when I want, and then just as easily ease off the throttle and slide the ski when I need to kill speed.

I’d say the Romp 100 offers very good edge hold for its width, particularly when I’m pushing hard into the front of my boots and really digging in the edges. I could make pretty tight turns (a bit smaller than GS) and also let it run into longer ones (between GS and Super-G). And through both types of turns, the Romp 100 produced a lot of energy coming out of a turn. I like that. Skis that feel dead when carving aren’t very fun to me and, given that I like to rip groomers almost as much as I like skiing steeps and jumping off stuff, that energy has made the Romp 100 a lot of fun on a daily basis.

Moguls, Trees, and Tighter Terrain

I’d describe my relationship with moguls as … “complicated.” I’ve never been one to zipperline at super high speeds, but I also really enjoy challenging myself to get better and ski faster through all sorts of moguls.

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Romp Skis 100, Crested Butte, CO.

My Romp 100 is perfect for this. It’s light enough and has enough rocker that it’s very easy to pivot and slide through troughs, but it has enough “bite” to properly carve my way through nice bumps. And it’s stiff enough so that I don’t feel like I’m going to go over the handlebars or wash out the tails when I inevitably get too far forward or back, without feeling punishing at all.

Crested Butte has a lot of steep, technical terrain, and I loved the Romp 100 in this terrain when conditions were anything but brutally refrozen / firm. The ski is super easy to flick around, holds an edge well, easy to slide, and has a great combo of support and forgiveness.

Playfulness

Again, Romp pretty much nailed it in this department. As I mentioned above, I like skis that I can drive when I need to, but that I can also ski with a more centered stance, ski switch decently well, and that feel fairly balanced in the air.

My Romp 100 hits all these marks. I can press hard into my boots when I want to carve it hard or keep it more composed at speed, yet I can also easily slide or carve it from the middle of the ski. Thanks to my Romp 100’s twin tail, low weight, and more progressive mount point, the ski feels nice skiing switch and is easy to spin without feeling unbalanced or cumbersome. And on takeoffs, the ski can easily be flexed and produces lots of pop, which makes smaller hits a lot of fun.

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Romp Skis 100, Crested Butte, CO.

My Romp 100 doesn’t feel like a full-on freestyle ski, but as someone who only takes a couple of laps through the park per day and likes hitting drops all over the mountain, its level of playfulness is just about right.

Overall Impressions: Romp 100 Shape

Purely talking about the shape of the Romp 100 (and not custom changes made to the rocker profile, construction, flex, etc.), I think it’s a very versatile design. It’s got enough taper so that it doesn’t feel hooky in weird snow, it carves well for its width, and it’s got enough surface area for moderate pow days. All in all, the Romp 100 just seems like a really solid 1-ski-quiver option for areas like the Rockies.

Overall Impressions: Romp’s Custom Process

All in all, I’m very happy with the 100 that Romp built for me. It hits nearly every characteristic I was going for: versatile across most conditions, playful but still able to be driven, and intuitive.

I could definitely see myself using the Romp 100 as my daily driver at a place like Crested Butte — apart from refrozen crud, there aren’t really any conditions where I think the ski feels wildly out of place.

Luke Koppa reviews the Romp Skis 100 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Romp Skis 100, Crested Butte, CO.

If I were to do it again, I think the one thing I’d change would be to add a bit more weight to the ski. I think I’d be fine giving up a bit of my Romp 100’s nimble feel in exchange for a bit more stability at speed. But given that I prioritize pop and energy over maximum damping, I’m still pretty happy with my Romp 100. And because of its low weight, I could totally see myself using this ski as a true 1-ski-quiver for both the resort and the backcountry.

Who’s It For?

Me.

Which is really the whole point.

But I think a lot of other people would get along well with the Romp 100, especially given the degree of customization you can get. The shape feels very versatile, and I think it really excels as a 1-ski quiver for areas that don’t get a ton of full-on icy conditions. It floats well, carves well, is easy in bumps, and you can always tweak the flex and rocker profile to make the ski work better in any one of those particular areas.

Bottom Line

This was my first time having a ski custom-built for my preferences, and overall, I’ve come away really impressed. The Romp 100 proved to be almost exactly what I was looking for — a very versatile ski that I could use for just about every day in Crested Butte. I’d highly recommend checking out Romp to see if they could make the ski you’ve been looking for.

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9 comments on “2018-2019 Romp Skis 100”

  1. Really nice that you have you a pair of custom skis being made for you Luke. I’m very excited to read if they live up to your expectations in the long run.
    Why would one not opt for carbon fibre instead of glassfibre? The cost I assume is not decisive in a pair of custom skis.

    • If I was designing a backcountry touring ski that I’d be hauling uphill, I’d be more inclined to upgrade to the lighter full-carbon layup. But since I’m only planning on using this ski inbounds and don’t need it to be lightweight for skinning / walking uphill, I’d much rather have a ski that’s a bit heavier as that almost always translates to a more damp and stable feel when skiing fast through variable snow in the resort.

  2. How did they compare to the Mindbender 99s?
    From how both are described in your reviews, they seem like they have pretty similar flex, profiles, and might even ski similarly?

  3. Hey Luke, seems like you were after a pair of skis that blend characteristics of the Nordica Enforcer 100 and the Enforcer Free 104? So more playful than the 100’s and more directional than the 104s? Given this overview, I might call them and ask for a pair of Romp 100 Luke Koppa’s! Can’t wait to hear how they ski! Personally, the standard “surfs up” top sheet graphic is a bit mild for me. I think I’ll need something like the Dragon that was on the 2015/16ish Volkl Kendo!

    • I wouldn’t say I had any particular comparisons in mind, though I’ll definitely be comparing the Romp 100 to those skis during the testing. Looking forward to seeing how they compare.

  4. I know you probably didn’t spend much time on these with all the storms – when are you guys going to try out the Romp 115?

  5. Hey Luke, really appreciate the great review update and your insightful thoughts! I’m trying to get calibrated to your comments. I think this may be a great ski for me, just less tail rocker, no switch for me. I really like the Enforcer line, but seems everyone is skiing them these days. Just can’t run with the crowd, need a different path. Can you help with your definition of speed? For example, when you use the comparison of a Charger vs the performance of the Romp 100 in Chop can you put an approximate speed where you would be more likely to want a heavier ski? When you pound through chop, is it at 25mph or 45 mph? It’s just that your definition of “blast” or “dial back” may not be a speed I can relate too. For groomers, I vary turn types, but I’m carving at about 50mph +/- on a nice GS/Super G type of line, topping out at 60ish. Would this fit a similar definition of ripping for you? P.S. I know my speeds via SnowTrace and can see run by run what I typically hit. Also, have you had a chance to A/B with the Enforcer 100 or 104? If so, will you be posting it? Thanks!

    • When it comes to stability at speed, it definitely depends heavily on the conditions. On clean, smoother groomers, I didn’t really find a speed limit on the Romp 100 (and I don’t on many skis). On end-of-day groomers that are not consistent in terms of texture, if I had to venture a guess, I’d say I had to keep things under roughly ~40 mph. In true chop (e.g., after a 5″+ storm), I would guess I was comfortable when keeping my speeds at or below ~30 mph.

      As for the Romp 100 vs. Enforcer 100 and 104, I think the Romp 100 I used feels pretty similar to those skis in terms of overall performance, but the Enforcers are much more damp and stable. So for skiing fast on rough snow, the Enforcers stay much more composed. But the Romp is also a lot easier and quicker in tighter terrain.

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