Rocker vs. Camber: Ski & Snowboard Profiles

There are mainly three types of snowboard profiles namely the flat, camber and rockers. Most modern shapes have blended more than one of these profiles to come up with incredible hybrids. But one thing that stands out is that nearly all downhill snowboards have integrated the technology of rockers.

Since the introduction of shaped snowboards, rockers have eventually taken over and have become the biggest snowboard news when it comes to men’s snowboards and women’s snowboards. But we can classify the three profiles as ‘rocker’. This is because there is no much difference between them. For instance, the rocker is defined as reverse-camber, while flat snowboard is defined is zero rocker. That’s why we’ve summarised them as “rockers” in this article.

Three Types of Snowboard Profiles

Rocker Snowboard

Rocker Snowboard Profile
Rocker Snowboard or Reverse Camber

This is one of the most popular profiles with snowboarders. Rocker is virtually the total opposite of camber hence referred to as reverse camber. The rocker concept, which creates a downhill ski, mimics the water ski attributes making the skier skim over a surface with minimal snagging risk on edge.

A rockered snowboard side profile matches that of the upturned old school chair rails. When placed on a flat surface, the midsection mainly rests on the ground while its tips and tails rise off the ground much sooner than those on the cambered snowboard. It’s mostly described to have been designed with a banana shape since it curves from the centre towards the nose and tail. They are highly recommended for beginners due to their ease of turn initiation. The board is designed with a playful feel and floats incredibly well in powder.

What Makes Rocker Stand Out?

A good number of riders favour rockers over the rest of the boards such as campers. Here are some of the reasons why rockers stand out from the rest.

  • Increased Float In The Powder
Rocker Snowboard
Rocker Snowboard

While using a rocker, your tips float in the powder providing a smooth feeling like that felt during surfing, water-ski or wakeboard. Rocker ensures you stay on the top of the snow and buoyant. While snowboarding, there is no more ridiculous back leaning and bouncing to prevent your tips from going under. Also on a snowboard, the tips will sit higher up and out of the snow to help you avoid face plants. With a rocker, you have the ability to maintain a balanced riding stance saving you more energy while improving your time of reaction.

  • Rockers Enhance Park Riding Experience

With the advanced rocker technology, your board are pre-pressed making riding in the park simpler and easier. The rockered board’s less catchy nature helps you start your spin early and provide greater under-spun air and off-axis landing recovery.

  • Rockers Provide Better Manoeuvrability

It helps bring the tip and tail high up and off the snow while reducing the length contact of the edges making the turns easier. Your ride is therefore made more manoeuvrable, and nimble, making it harder for your pivot and carve to catch edges. Hence, you can slash through the snow, scrub speed by sliding sideways, butter and turn more easily.

  • Rocker Provides Numerous Style Points

While other people wonder why your snowboard is not sticking up in the air and not sitting flat on the ground, let them have the rocker experience, and they will not go back to their old non-rockered snowboards.

Camber Snowboard
Camber Board

Camber Snowboard

This is the oldest profile for snowboards. Although it’s defined as a traditional profile, cambers boast as one of the most popular profiles with snowboarders. When you look at the board from the side, it has a convex shape. In short, the board curves slightly upward from the middle with the contact points close to the ends. Camber offers great precision with plenty of power on harder snow and groomed terrain, and it requires precision turn initiation. With its arching centre, the board allows for even distribution of the board and this results in an increased edge-hold and better “pop”. It is a great profile to try and works great even for beginners.

Flat Snowboard

As the name suggests, flat snowboards are completely flat between the tip and the tail. Sometimes they are referred as zero camber or zero rockers since they are flat between the contacts. The board is best known for its stable ride, and it’s highly recommended for the beginners. Although the board is prone to catching the edge, it’s good for landing big air and hitting jibs. Unlike the rest of the profiles, it’s quick from edge to edge, and this makes it great for riding through tighter areas and provides plenty of edge-hold. The only problem with the flat board is the fact that too much contact with the ground makes it slower compared to other choices.

Hybrid Profiles

To improve on the flaws and also maximise on the pros of the snowboards, different combos have been designed. These hybrid profiles mix rocker, camber and flat to come up with exceptional boards that’ll take your snowboard cruising experience to a higher level. The common hybrid profiles include rocker/camber/rocker, camber/rocker/camber and rocker/flat/rocker but there are numerous choices to choose from. One thing that stands out from the hybrid profiles is their improved performance.

Who Should Ride Rockered Snowboards?

Flat Snowboard
Flat Board

Rocker is a very simple, easier and fun thing to do hence everyone can ride. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, young or old anyone can benefit and amaze themselves from riding rockered snowboards. The only thing to consider is the many different variations in the rocker types. It’s therefore important to find the style that fits your taste and level.

Best Environment For Using Rockers?

Except when it’s during icy conditions as well as during the competition environments, some rocker profiles are meant to succeed in almost every kind of snowboarding which includes free riding, powder, pipe and park. Once you try this, you will find it very enjoyable, easy and exciting.

Where To Buy Rockered Snowboards

Since the model, terminology and specs of rockers vary with different manufacturers, it’s always good to shop for rockered boards based on the terrain that you will use for snowboarding. See our Snowboard Buying Guide for more details. Also, ask the rocker specialists at Snow Central to help you go through specific models of snowboards so you can choose one that suits your riding better.