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SNOWBOARD CAMBER EXPLAINED

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Snowboard Cambers Explained


These days picking a snowboard can be a pretty confusing experience. Since the invention of rocker, there have been so many camber profiles invented even I get confused. This makes for an exciting time in snowboarding as there are cool new shapes to try but when it's time to buy your new board can be totally confusing. This blog is to make it a little easier for you to pick the camber profile that will suit your style of riding and the terrain you like to ride. This will be a simplified version of camber profiles so you may find a variation that is not mentioned here but all the popular ones will.

TRADITIONAL CAMBER

Traditional or positive camber is the way snowboards were made for years before people started experimenting. The advantages of Camber are that you get lots of power out of turns, lot's of pop out of the tip and tail, excellent edge grip when carving on hard snow, great hold on rails and when you land a jump in the back seat it helps lay you back down on the snow. The disadvantages are that as the contact points are always pressing into the snow it tends to be catchy on cat tracks and turn initiations. in powder the nose has a 'submarine' effect and is always pushing down into the soft snow which means you will need to ride a much longer board in deep pow.

Bend Detail Traditional Camber

PROS

- Power and pop

- Great edge hold and stability in ice and at speed

- Great on rails and jumps for good riders

CONS

- Catchy edges mean you have to concentrate when riding

- Sinks in powder meaning a longer board is needed

SUITED RIDER PROFILE

Traditional camber is great for someone who just free-rides in the resort in Australia and wants a more precise and aggressive ride. Advanced park and pipe riders also love this camber profile.


Hybrid CAMBER

Here we are going to combine a few different camber profiles to simplify things. In this profile we still have positive camber in the centre of the board but at the contact points we see either flat spots or rocker. The result of this is that you get a lot of the advantages of traditional camber but when you stand on the board, we see the contact points rise off the snow meaning a much loser more relaxed feel on the snow. Here we have combined three variations on this camber profile that all have a similar feel on the snow.

Here are the three variations of this camber profile.

Camber with rocker in the tip and tail

Here are the three variations of this camber profile.

1. Camber with rocker in the tip and tail

Bend Detail Camber Rocker Tip & Tail

2. Camber with flat contact points or Pure Pop

Bend Detail Pure Pop

PROS

- Most of the power, pop and edge hold of camber maintained

- loser, catch free version of camber

- more fun than camber

CONS

- Some loss of edge grip from traditional camber at high speeds and power

- No real gain from traditional camber in deep snow

SUITED RIDER PROFILE

This rider still wants the power and pop of traditional camber but wants to have more fun and a more forgiving feel in the park. They still predominately ride in bounds at the resort but likes to freeride in the morning and ride park in the afternoon.

 

 


Hybrid Rocker or Flying V

Hybrid Rocker or Flying V is one of the most popular camber profiles these days for the all mountain rider. Not only does it give you regular camber under your bindings, it has rocker in-between your feet and in the tip and tail. This means you get some of the pop and grip from camber, while all the downward pressure is in-between your feet that acts as a pivot point for easy weight transferral and catch free landings. It also has the huge advantage as being an awesome profile for powder snow making it the most versatile camber profile by far. This is for the guy who likes freeriding in the morning, hitting the park in the afternoon and heading overseas to hit up some powder in January.

Bend Detail Flying V

PROS

- The most versatile camber profile for all terrain and styles of rifding

- Good edge hold and pop while also catch free and fun

- Means you only need one board between Australian groomers and deep powder over seas.

CONS

- Rail riders won't like the rocker in-between your feet

- Edge hold in icy snow not as good as camber

 

 

 


ROCKER or CONTINUOUS ROCKER

Continuous Rocker is pretty rare these days. Although it was the profile that started the whole camber revolution, it really doesn't suit any particular style of riders any more. It is fun in soft snow as the feel is very lose but gives you no edge hold in hard snow so doesn't really allow you to progress if you are a beginner and doesn't help you in the park as it washes out on landing and doesn't hold on rails. It certainly doesn't suit all mountain riding or freeriding. The only thing it is good in is powder but when you hit some hard snow in between the pow runs, you are in trouble....

Bend Detail Rocker

PROS

- Lose and fun for learning

- Can be fun in powder

CONS

- No edge hold on hard snow

- No stability on park landings and on rails

- Not suited for all mountain riding

SUITED RIDER PROFILE

Basically a learner for the first week or someone who only rides deep powder.


FLAT CAMBER and FLAT TO ROCKER

A great all mountain camber profile for many styles of riding. While less aggressive than traditional camber, you still get more pop and grip than in rocker boards. Pure flat is a more aggressive feel than flat to rocker and more suited to an advanced rider or all mountain rider while flat to camber is more suited to a beginner or park rider.

Bend Detail Flat
Bend Detail Flat to Rocker

PROS

- Less aggressive feel than traditional camber while maintaining relatively good pop and grip

- Suits a large variety of terrain and riding styles

CONS

- some think this profile is 'boring' to ride

- While a good all rounder, some feel it's stuck in 'no mans land' and isn't quite as good as the profiles on either side of it.

SUITED RIDER PROFILE

If you can't really work out what camber profile is best for you, flat is a pretty safe bet for all styles of riding and snow types. Pure Flat will suit a more aggressive park rider or all mountain rider who wants versatility. Flat to Rocker will suit beginners and aspiring park riders.


Directional Camber or Freeride Rocker

Directional Camber is the perfect camber profile for some who mainly loves to ride powder and big mountains. Traditional camber at the rear means precise edge hold and power when you need it. Rocker in the nose gives you great float in deep powder. You will often see a tapered shape with this profile where the nose is wider than the tail, giving even more float in powder and a surfboard type feel when turning.

Bend Detail Directional Camber

PROS

- Power and edge hold from positive camber in rear

- Float in deep snow from rocker in the nose

CONS

- Not for someone who rides park

- Less flexible than other profiles

- Not great fro riding switch

SUITED RIDER PROFILE

This guy loves powder and backcountry. If you are always looking outside the resort boundaries or head over seas every summer to hunt the deep and steep then this is the camber for you.


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