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  • WHAT IS SKI/SNOWBOARD ROCKER AND CAMBER?

    January 04, 2024 2 min read

    WHAT IS SKI/SNOWBOARD ROCKER AND CAMBER?

    Rocker Vs. Camber In Skis and Snowboards 

    Think of rocker and camber as what makes up the profile of a ski or snowboard. Camber is the natural shape where the centre of the ski/board rises off the ground. Rocker, sometimes called reverse camber, is the opposite shape where the centre of the ski/board is on the ground. In this article, we'll cover Camber, Rocker, Flat, and Rocker-Camber-Rocker profiles. 

     

    Ski/Snowboard profles - photo via greatnorthamericanskiadventure.com

    Cambered Skis and Snowboards

    Cambered skis and boards are excellent for carving because the majority of the edge is making contact and gripping the snow. Rockered skis and boards are great choices for east coast skiing where you are going to be on hardpack more often. This profile is very common for traditional carving skis and race skis. 

    Rockered Skis and Snowboards 

    Rockered boards and skis are looser, have an easier turn initiation, and float much better in powder. For snowboards, you have a smaller chance of catching an edge when riding and will find they're more maneuverable, making rockered snowboards a common choice for jibbers and park rats. Overall, this is a great shape for places with deep powder like British Colombia or Colorado. 

    Flat Skis and Snowboards 

    Probably the least common type of profile, flat skis and boards have no camber or rocker - they simply lay flat when set on a surface. Flat profiles are more common for snowboards than skis and are designed to make easier transitions and offer more grip than cambered profiles.

    Rocker-Camber-Rocker Skis and Snowboards 

    So what is rocker-camber-rocker? It's a mix where you have camber under the centre and rocker in the tips and tail - this is sometimes referred to as a "freeride rocker." These skis and boards offer a great balance for riders and more pop - they also allow your skis to work off-piste while still being able to perform on hardpack. Essentially, these designs offer more maneuverability while having all-mountain versatility. In recent years this style has been growing in popularity. Currently, all of our VICE Freeride/All-Mountain skis and FLAMINGO Freeride/All-Mountain boards use rocker-camber-rocker profiles - the profile along with our materials creates fun, controllable, and hard-charging gear. 

    VICE 105 Freeride Profile

     Paradise Flamingo Snowboard Profile

    Rocker and Camber Pros & Cons 

    Camber Advantages:

    • Precision in carving
    • Enhanced stability
    • Reliable edge hold and engagement

    Drawbacks of Camber:

    • Skillful techniques are needed in challenging terrains like moguls or trees
    • Difficulty in handling powder conditions

    Rocker Benefits:

    • Effortless turn initiation with tip rocker
    • Improved balance with tip rocker
    • Reduced impact on legs while skiing powder with tip rocker
    • Excellent for surfing and pivoting in powder, thanks to tail rocker

    Rocker Downsides:

    • Heightened vibrations in the tip due to the tip rocker
    • Compromised tracking ability on hardpack with both tip and tail rocker

     

    Of course, there are tons of more niche profiles out there. People love trying new things and every once in a while a new fad profile appears. If you want to learn more about rocker/camber, read this REI article or watch these videos: 

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