For decades, skis and snowboards were primarily made with camber profiles. Rocker didn’t really exist except for in the tips and tails and it was not a term that was used very often. If you were to look at the side-profile of skis and snowboards, prior to rocker, you would have found that the profiles were very similar amongst products and brands until rocker (also known as reverse camber) was introduced. Today, you will find there are many variations of rocker skis and rocker snowboards for all types of riders, conditions, and performance. Rocker is a newer technology to the snow sport industry, but with all the talk of rocker we shouldn’t forget about the importance of camber.
Camber is found in the design of traditional skis and snowboards. Camber is a rising arc curve shape located in the midsection or the waist of skis and snowboards. If you were to place a traditional camber ski on a table, you would find the midsection lifted slightly from the table with the contact points near the tip and tail sitting on the table. The contact points on skis and snowboards will hit the snow with equal pressure in the tip and tail creating a great edgehold.
Camber provides skiers and riders with increased “pop” or springiness, requires accurate turns, and offers good grip in hard pack and icy conditions. Camber profiles are typically found in racing skis and pipe/jump snowboards, as camber is more stable on icy turns and gives riders more pop off jumps in the park.
This is the combination of rocker and camber. The shape of a camber hybrid profile offers the stability of camber and the ease of rocker. The camber and rocker is combined by placing the camber and rocker bends in critical areas. For example, there are snowboards with rocker between the feet and camber under the feet or camber between the feet and rocker under foot. Both camber hybrid profiles have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are looking for in a snowboard. A rocker between feet and camber under foot will allow for easy turning, flotation in powder and edgehold, but not feel as stable on rails.
As the name mentions, it is a ski or snowboard that has a flat profile.. If it were to be placed on a table there would be no space between the table or ski and snowboard. While flat camber is more commonly found it snowboards, there are some skis with a flat camber profile. Flat camber snowboards provide added stability, a little more speed on groomers, and easy transitions.
All the talk of ski camber, snowboard camber, ski rocker, and snowboard rocker can be a little confusing. Each brand has their own slight differences in design and may refer to their individual skis or snowboards in their own way based on the rocker technology the brand features. There are a few things to remember when it comes to rocker and the type of terrain you are looking to get into when purchasing skis or a snowboard.
Rocker was designed to prevent you from getting stuck in the powder. Rocker skis have raised tips and tails to help you float above the powder and turn more easily through deep snow. Rocker snowboards provide a more balanced ride by allowing you to be centered over the board giving you more flotation (and less face plants).
Rocker in the park or pipe:
Rocker technology in skis and snowboards simplifies jibbing in the park for skiers and snowboarders. Rocker snowboards allow easy transitions from nose to tail with less catch and more forgiveness on boxes and rails. Rocker skis will make it easier to slide on rails with more space under foot.
Rocker Skis/Snowboards on the mountain:
Rocker technology is great for all types of environments on the mountain with the exception of a racing or extremely icy conditions. Rocker skis and rocker snowboards are a great choice for powder, all mountain conditions including groomers and backcountry, and the park and pipe!
Overall rocker technology has propelled innovation in skis and snowboards with variations from different brands. There is a perfect camber profile for everyone and we recommend trying out a few variations if you haven’t already.
If you are looking to purchase your next rocker skis or rocker snowboard shop Christy Sports selection of skis and snowboard.