Snowboards: Camber VS Rocker
When you begin to search for a snowboard you are faced with an overwhelming amount of options and it can be very difficult to choose one. A major choice you will have to make is whether you want a camber or rocker board. This article will help you understand the difference between the two and make that decision easy.
When talking about camber vs rocker, we are talking about the profile shape of the board, or how the board curves when you look at it from the side.
Traditionally snowboards have had what is called positive camber, meaning if you lay the board on a flat surface, the center will rise off of the surface and the board will only be touching the surface out by the nose and tail. (Fig. 1)
Rocker boards came around in the early-mid 2000’s as an alternative to the traditional camber board. Unlike camber which rises in the center, a rocker board rises at each end (Fig. 2)
- Camber boards have a longer effective edge, meaning more of the boards edge will be in contact with the snow. This allows you to carve harder into turns and increases the responsiveness and control of the board.
- The raised center of a camber board acts as a spring when you lean back to pop an ollie. This will generally give you more pop although there are other factors such as the flexibility of the board that will dictate the amount of pop.
- Camber boards are tried and true as they have historically been the dominant profile shape of snowboards and skis.
- Rocker board have a shorter effective edge which is right below your feet and between your bindings. This offers a looser more surf-like feel to your riding.
- With the contacts points of the board closer to your feet, the outer edges of your board are less likely to catch on the snow or boxes and rails as you turn or pop into boardslides.
- A rocker board will be more forgiving of small inputs such as a minor loss of balance or a subtle weight transfer
Knowing what you are looking for in a board is the last step to deciding what board profile is for you. Camber boards are sharp and responsive for intermediate to advanced riders who want to carve tight and fast and have lots of pop in their ollies or off jumps. Rocker boards are forgiving for beginners learning to ride and buttery for intermediate to advanced jibbers who love to ride boxes and rails.