Snowboard Camber Profile: Everything You Need to Know

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by vlad vlad

July 5, 2019

Snowboard Camber Profile

A few years ago, mostly all snowboards were cambers. What it is something we will explore a bit later in this post but right now, it is important for you to know this fact. Yes, there was no other snowboard profile due to which choosing a snowboard was not a daunting task.

Over the past few years, the world of snowboarding has been witnessing a myriad of camber profiles such as reverse and hybrid. Now, while the selection process has become a bit trickier and lengthier, snowboarders now get the option to enjoy the full potential that these different camber profiles can offer.

Well, this does not mean that camber is no longer in use or it is no longer manufactured. While it is good to know the latest versions of camber, it is equally good to know why camber and what is it. Not all of us would choose just a single profile; the selection would vary based on the profile’s pros and cons and the snowboarder’s requirements. So, let us understand the camber profile in detail.

What is Camber?

Camber is one of the important elements of snowboard construction. It is responsible for giving a totally different feel and allowing to control performance. Its popularity has paved a way for different camber variations that are designed to improve performance on almost any type of snow or terrain.

A camber profile is perhaps a vital aspect of board technology that affects the riding performance the most. While the word ‘camber’ has many uses, it is usually associated with the way a snowboard is constructed.

Also referred to as the traditional camber or positive camber, camber refers to a bit upward curve in the center of the board with the tip and tail touching the snow. In short, it is the raised area between the tip and tail when the board is unweighted.

In the middle, the curve is upward with the contact points namely the tip and tail are near the ends. However, if you see from a side, there would be four contact points.

Camber is similar to a suspension. When the board is unweighted, a gap exists between the board’s base and the snow surface on which it is set. If you push this raised area of the board, it delivers a spring-like feel. On the other hand, when the board is weighted, the whole board touches the snow.

Due to this suspension-like build called camber, the snowboard that is cambered always struggles to contact the snow.

How Cambered Snowboards Work?

A traditionally cambered snowboard relaxes on its contact points with a curve formed in its middle from these points.

When loaded through a turn, such a board dispenses the force produced at the contact points along the edge. With more pressure on the contact points, the effective edge (curved part) struggles more to touch the snow. This results in superb grip at the edges throughout the turn.

The weight of the rider applies a focused as well an even pressure on the edge ranging right from tail to tip. This ensures a better pop and a more edge hold.

Such a snowboard also flexes against its innate form at the time of carving, creating potential energy just as a coiled spring. While unloading the board from a carved turn, the accumulated energy is freed, triggering you out of turn into the next. As a result, the traditional camber profile gives you a lively snowboard.

If such a board is bent at the contact point of the tail for an ollie, it obviously needs to regain its actual form. The snap-back reaction just as a coiled spring created while the rider is releasing her or his weight is known as pop. The traditional camber profile has a lot of pop. The increased ollie-power is because the board is fundamentally pre-tensioned.

The firmer or stiffer the flex, the greater is the energy accumulated in each carve. However, more force is needed to flex. Camber also needs more exact turn initiation but it provides outstanding precision with much power on groomed terrains and snow that is considered harder than usual.

For Whom is the Camber Profile Ideal?

The camber profile is truly ideal for those who love a traditional board offering a lot of pop and facilitating a bit more float in powder. It also attracts those who want to effortlessly rock onto the tail contact point and nose for ground maneuvers such as ollies.

Are you a robust carver, an all-mountain rider, or a freestyle lover? Well, this profile is for you, as the contact points are under the feet. They are superb carvers due to the stored energy bounced at the curvature. Cambered boards are also the choice of high-level park riders, hard snow riders, and racers.

These users will prefer the camber shape to get more pop and highly stable landing. At high speeds too, these boards are unbelievably stable due to the least possible distance between the contact points, as they intend to hug the snow.

Pros

  • Precision as well as easier carving
  • Ability to carve turns
  • Stability throughout a turn
  • Better grip or edge hold at high speed on groomed or hard snow
  • Ideal traction while scraping uphill
  • Support for faster speeds
  • Superb power on hard snow and groomed terrain
  • Swifter edge engagement while starting a turn and applying pressure in the forward direction

Cons:

  • Difficult to control in powder, especially in deep snow

This is the only major downside. The camber profile lacks in floating well and pushes more into the powder even if the rider leans back for upkeeping the nose.

Conclusion

Camber is perhaps the oldest snowboard profile but is still the beloved of powerful riders who want an optimal response. It is even a reliable profile for beginners. The more traditional camber boards never fail to deliver stability when landing or turning, great edging performance, exact turn initiations, and pop for those who love high carving or jumping.

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