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In 2003, we had one rockered option available - the beloved Volant Spatula. Now we offer hundreds of various rockered models in our rocker skis and rocker snowboards categories for every level of rider. We've been amped for years on the concept and can't wait for everyone to experience a rockered ride. The time is now!
This article describes exactly what rocker is and what type is best suited for your riding style and terrain. There are many terms for rocker out there, like reverse camber, early rise, and mustache (mustache?). That is why we are here to break it down in more general terms. Tune in as we break it down real simple.
What is Rocker?
There are three main types of ski / snowboard profile: camber, rocker, and flat. Many modern shapes use a combination of more than one of these.
Although camber has been around since long before rocker, we classify it as a type of rocker for purposes of simplicity. Rocker is also known as reverse camber, so think of camber as reverse rocker.
Camber is the traditional profile construction for skis and snowboards. Camber is a slight arching upward curve with the bend or curve upward in the middle. Camber requires precise turn initiation and offers superb handling and plenty of power on groomed terrain and harder snow. The rider's weight puts an even and concentrated pressure on the edge from tip to tail, resulting in increased edgehold and precision.
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Rocker (also called reverse-camber) is just as it sounds – camber turned upside down. All skis and snowboards, rockered or cambered, when put on edge and weighted in a turn achieve reverse-camber. Cambered skis and boards produce more pressure on the snow at the tip and tail since they have to flex further to achieve this curve. The term rocker is borrowed from watersports where rocker is common. Rocker skis and snowboards offer superior float in the soft snow and increased ease of turn initiation with less chance of "catching" an edge. As skis in general get wider, rocker helps keep the new shapes maneuverable for a wider range of skiers.
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Flat is often found between the tip and the tail of the ski/snowboard. Flat means flat – if you lay the ski or board on a table with no weight on it, there won’t be any space between the base and the table. Completely flat technology is more common with snowboards than with skis, and it is much more common to see skis that are almost flat underfoot with rocker in the tip and sometimes tail. Flat makes easy transitions, with better edge grip than rocker and better maneuverability than camber.
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These three properties: camber, rocker, and flat are combined in a variety of ways to create an array of choices for both skiers and snowboarders. By combining different amounts of rocker and camber, skis and snowboards have become very versatile and easy to ride on all conditions and for all abilities.
Read more about ski rocker type in evo's Ski Size Chart & Buyer's Guide
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Read more about snowboard rocker type in evo's Snowboard Sizing & Buyer's Guide
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Why is rocker so awesome? What does it do for you?
Rocker offers increased float in the powder! – With rocker, your tips will float up in powder and crud. The feel is smooth and just like when you surf, wakeboard or waterski, rocker helps you to stay buoyant and on top of the snow. On skis, no need to do all that ridiculous bouncing and leaning back to keep your tips up in the powder. On a snowboard, your tip sits up higher out of the snow so you can avoid those face plants over your nose. Since your tips are already in an upward position you're able to maintain a more balanced riding stance and you don’t have to lean back to float as you do on a traditional shaped ski or snowboard. Cliff drop landings are super soft with rocker. Like a pillow! You don't even feel it!
Rocker is more maneuverable - By bringing the tip and tail up and off the snow the edges of the ski are off snow when the ski is flat on its base at the start of the turn. Turn initiation is so much easier when your tip and tail edges are not digging into the snow. Your ride becomes more nimble and maneuverable, which allows you to pivot more easily and you’ll no longer catch edges like crazy. You can slash the snow, slide sideways to scrub speed, smear and butter turns. The increased mobility works great when you are in the trees.
- Rocker makes park riding a dream - With rocker technology your skis/board are pre-pressed which makes riding presses in the park easier. Lock onto and slide rails with rocker boards. You can actually hit the butter box with style since your ride is less catchy. The less-catchy nature of a rockered ski/board allows you to initiate your spins early and gives you greater ability to recover more easily from off-axis landings.
Rocker offers tons of style points - Everyone looks at you funny in the lift line and asks why your skis or snowboard are sticking up in the air and not sitting on the ground. You just tell them rocker will change your life.
Who should/can ride rockered skis and snowboards?
Everyone can ride rockered skis and snowboards and have fun. That's the beautiful thing about rocker technology. You can be a beginner or advanced rider, young or old, and benefit from riding rocker skis or snowboards. Even Atsuko Tamura (evo’s president) can ride rocker! Rocker is an easier and more fun ride. Just remember there are many variations in rocker type, go with the style that will fit the type of riding you want to do.
Where does rocker technology excel on the mountain?
With the possible exception of icy, pure competition environments, there are rocker profiles meant to excel in every type of skiing and snowboarding, from freeriding to powder to park and pipe. Try it, you'll love it.
Check evo founder Bryce Phillips on his rockered ride in the North Cascades.
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Learn more with our other Ski and Snowboard guides below:
How to Choose Skis: Size Chart & Guide
How to Choose Youth Skis: Size Chart & Guide
How to Choose a Snowboard: Size Chart and Buying Guide
Kid's Snowboard Size Chart & Buyer's Guide
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Still have questions? Please give our customer care team a call at 866-386-1590, Customer Care Hours. They can help you find the right outerwear to fit your needs.