CAMBER, ROCKER, FLAT, AND HYBRID SNOWBOARD PROFILES: WHERE TO START?
With so many different snowboard options out there, it's tough to know where to start. In this post, we will give you a quick overview of the different snowboard profiles: camber, rocker, flat, and hybrid.
For a more in-depth understanding, check out these great articles:
- Camber Vs Rocker Snowboards - What's the Difference?
Snowboard Camber Profiles
(The Good Ride)
CAMBER (Traditional Camber)
When laying a camber board on the snow and looking at it from the side, the profile you see looks like an arch between the bindings and can be likened to a lowercase 'n'. Up until roughly 2007, this was the profile you would find on nearly all snowboards.
Camber snowboards provide increased edge hold, making them ideal for carving hard-packed snow conditions, and will have more pop (the amount of spring a board has).
Example: Nitro Team 2020
ROCKER (Reverse Camber)
Rocker, or reverse camber, is the complete opposite of camber. When laying a rocker board on the snow and looking at it from the side, the profile you see can be likened to a 'u'.
Rocker snowboards provide a looser feel than camber boards, making them great for learning as you're less likely to catch an edge, and provide superior flotation in powder.
Example: Arbor Coda Rocker 2020
FLAT (Zero Camber)
These boards have a profile that is between that of camber and rocker. Flat boards, as the name suggests, lie flat on the snow when looking at them from the side.
In terms of performance, you'll have a versatile board but flat snowboards are not quite camber and not quite rocker. So, you won't have the full advantages of camber or rocker.
HYBRID (Camber/Rocker Combinations)
Here's where things get crazy. Hybrid boards combine aspects of both camber and rocker in an attempt to give the advantages of both, trying to create an all-around board. When laying a hybrid board on the snow and looking at it from the side, the profile you see will appear wavy.
There are numerous types of hybrid boards including hybrid camber, hybrid rocker, flat to rocker, camber to flat, s-rocker, directional variations... the list goes on. On top of that, different amounts of camber and rocker will be used by different board manufacturers, leading to nearly endless combinations.
Each hybrid variation will provide its own benefits, so make sure you read the specifics for the particular board you're interested in.
Example: Jones Ultra Mountain Twin 2020 (CAMROCK)
Not sure what profile is right for you or want multiple profiles? There is another option: the SiQRocker. (Full disclosure, this is a product we make - did the name give it away??)
The SiQRocker allows you to adjust the profile of your snowboard, from camber to rocker (or anywhere between), on demand without tools and without unstrapping from your bindings. This gives you the advantages of both camber and rocker when you want and allows you to be ready for all snow conditions with a single board.
You can learn more here: siqrocker.com
A FINAL NOTE
Although reading articles, watching videos, or speaking with people at your local shop are nice ways to learn about snowboard profiles, nothing compares to getting out there and trying them for yourself. Ultimately, the profile that is right for you comes down to personal preference. Before you commit to a board, see if you can find ways to try out different profiles: rent some boards, hit up as many demo days as you can, or beg your buddy to try out their setup.
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