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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 summarize it 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.
This is the traditional profile for skis and snowboards. Camber is a slight upward curve in the middle of a ski or board, with the contact points - where an unweighted ski or board contacts the snow - close to the ends. Camber requires more precise turn initiation and offers superb precision with 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 better "pop". Racers and high level park riders often prefer camber.
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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. Wide ski and board shapes designed primarily for powder are often rockered.
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.
These three profiles - camber, rocker, and flat - are combined in an infinite number or ways in today's ski and snowboard shapes. It's common for a freeride ski to have a rockered tip, camber underfoot, and a flat tail. It's not unusual for a snowboard design to use double camber (one under each foot) with rocker at either end. Shapes continue to progress each season, with the end result being better skis and boards for every application.
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, there's no need to do all that ridiculous bouncing and leaning back to keep your tips from going under. On a snowboard, your tip sits up higher out of the snow so you can avoid those face plants over the nose. You're able to maintain a more balanced riding stance which saves energy and improves your reaction time.
Rocker is more maneuverable - Rocker brings the tip and tail up and off the snow, shortening the contact length of the edges and making turns easier. Your ride becomes more nimble and maneuverable, allowing your to pivot and "slarve" without catching edges. 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 or tight chutes.
Rocker makes park riding a dream - With rocker technology your skis/board are pre-pressed which makes riding presses in the park easier. The less-catchy nature of a rockered ski/board allows you to initiate your spins early and gives you greater ability to recover from off-axis landings and under-spun airs.
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. Just tell them rocker will change their 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 Jerry Chevassus can ride rocker! Rocker is an easier and more fun ride. Just remember there are many variations in rocker type, so go with the style that fits 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.
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Learn more with our other Ski Guides:
Skis – How to Choose & Size Chart
Skis – Kids' Size Chart
Alpine Touring Skis – How to Choose
Skis – Weight Chart
Ski Boots – How to Choose & Fit Guide
Ski Boots – Size Chart
Ski Boots – How to Try On
Ski Boots – How to Make Your Boots Fit Better
Alpine Touring Ski Boots – How to Choose
Ski Boots – Weight Chart
Ski Boots – Boot Sole Length Chart
Ski Bindings – How to Choose & DIN Setting Chart
Alpine Touring Ski Bindings – How to Choose
Ski Bindings – Weight Chart
Ski Poles – Size Chart
Skiing – How to Get in Shape
And Snowboard Guides:
Snowboards – How to Choose & Size Chart
Kids' Snowboards – Size Chart
Snowboard Boots – How to Choose & Fit Guide
Snowboard Boots – How to Put On Your Boots
Snowboard Bindings – How to Choose & Compatibility Guide
Snowboarding – How to Get in Shape
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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 gear to fit your needs.