Rocker Camber Profile: All That You Need to Know

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by vlad vlad

July 5, 2019

Rocker Camber Profile

Until the early 2000s, there was just a single snowboard profile that alone governed the speed, performance, and riding style. Just place a snowboard on the snow, check it sideways, and everything would appear quite similar regardless of the brand, model, and make.

This profile was the camber profile having a concave look between tip and tail, the only two points touching the snow. However, in recent years, many more profiles have come up.

In 2002, a new snowboard profile called rocker was discovered when the late Shane McConkey designed the Volant Spatula. It was a commercial ski board to first boast the rocker profile.

The basic idea was to come up with a downhill ski that imitates the traits of a water ski to allow floating over a surface with least edge snagging risk. It was originally envisaged as a powder ski.

In 2007, the Skate Banana snowboard was released by Lib Tech, while the Gyrator was the brainchild of the K2 team. These boards featured the rocker profile, which marked the beginning of a shape revolution in the world of snowboards. So, this post is dedicated to the rockers profile, its working, and its pros and cons.

What is a Rocker?

Rocker is simply the opposite of its predecessor, camber. Also known as the reversed camber or Banana, rocker is where the typical camber profile has been turned upside down.

In other words, the central part of the board relaxes by touching the snow or by being at the lowest possible point while the ends are upwards or away from the snow when the board rests. The midsection touches the ground while the tip and tail rise. This profile matches that of the reversed school chair rails.

Due to the concave curve existing from the midsection towards the tail and nose, an appearance of the banana shape is formed. Thus, it is known as banana snowboard too. Almost all downhill snowboards have a rocker profile.

There are different types of rockers namely, zero rockers (flat), hybrid rockers (camber and rocker, for example), and directional rockers. These are nothing but the variations of rocker, flat, and camber profiles, which are the three major types of snowboard profiles.

Working of the Rocker Profile

The shape of a rocker profile makes it more difficult than usual to catch an edge. This is because it has an innate tendency to raise the edges away from the surface or snow. As a result, it actually becomes effortless to spin a rockered snowboard around.

As the board’s center curves downward a bit due to which the tail and tip rise over the snow, the pressure is dispersed more evenly. This leads to a looser ride and minimized probability of catching an edge.

As the contact point is in the middle of the board between the bindings unlike the camber profile, it is known as a negative profile that is capable of absorbing minor mistakes more easily than other profiles.

The upturned ends namely tail and tip provide a more loose and joyful ride. It also provides that extra float when in powder, meaning it floats extremely well in powder, as the full sinking of the ends is just challenging. A floaty feel is simply ideal for those who love to ride with a buttery feel and for powder boards.

With a rocker profile, a rider’s tips tend to float in the powder due to which a smooth feeling similar to that of surfing is experienced. The rider is always on the top of the snow and floating. The rider can also experience a superb lift even if the snow is deep down.

There is no need of silly-looking back leaning and jumping to keep your tips away from sliding under. Further, the tips will be high up to prevent a rider from touching any plants. A rider also can retain a balanced riding stance due to which much energy is saved while enhancing the reaction time.

Considering the rocker profile, it is evident that the edge hold on snow that is hard is not that significant. As a result, this profile does not attract freeride board lovers.

However, it is possible to change the shape to a rocker/camber mix, which inherently positions the ends off the snow. As a result, they do not catch. This hybrid profile implements the camber profile towards the tips to give better edge hold when propelled.

Rockers aid in bringing the tail and tip off the snow while decreasing the edges’ length contact. This paves way for effortless turns. This makes a ride more maneuverable in which it is tough to catch edges for the carve and pivot. Thus, it is easy to slash through the snow, butter joyfully, and scrub riding speed by sliding sideways.

If the rocker profile is advanced, the board in use is pre-pressed. As a result, riding in the park not only becomes simpler but also effortless. Due to the less catchy nature, a rider can begin spinning early and experience nobler under-spun and off-axis alighting recovery.

A rocker profile gives several style points. While others may think why your snowboard is neither flat on the surface nor sticking up in the air, let them see your rocking ride and then they will never choose their non-rockered boards.

For Whom Rocker Is Ideal?

Rockers are widely recommended for first-time boarders because of their ease of turn initiation and forgiving nature. Even rail riders, jibbers, and freestyle lovers prefer this profile.

Pros

  • Improved float in powder, especially in deep powder conditions
  • Easy turn initiation unlike the traditional camber profile
  • Superb maneuverability
  • Better park experience
  • Less caught edges due to raised wide points despite being weighted
  • Several degrees such as multi-stage and asymmetrical such as nose raised more than tail
  • Highly forgiving

Cons

  • Almost no effective edge unlike camber, meaning difficulty in carving a turn
  • Lost edge grip as well as rebound, unlike camber
  • Unreliable for traversing or fast riding

Conclusion

Rockers are ideal for jibbing and freestyle. Their forgiving nature makes them reliable even for beginners.

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