Looking around at all of the current board designs at the SIA show in Denver a couple of weeks ago was cool as always, but also dizzying. Board profiles (camber, rocker, etc.) were still the top story, with every booth showing off their favorite flavor (or in most cases flavors
). It made me think how confusing it would be for a newer rider to make a board choice in the current market and how hard it would be to feel confident in their selection. There are now so many varieties out there that it is hard to stay on top of them all.
I thought it might be helpful to start a thread here that showed the basic profile types all in one place without the marketing spin. There are definately many sub categories of each, but these are the broad strokes.
Pros - Tried and true performance. Great rebound which helps transition from edge to edge and also adds to pop for ollies etc. Longer running surface means good speed and edge bite in carves. Boards can be ridden shorter than some other designs without sacrificing running surface.
Cons - The contact points of the effective edge (roughly the boards wide points) are in constant contact with the snow. That can mean caught edges and some hard take downs.
Pros - Easy turn initiation. Lifted wide points even when weighted means less caught edges. There are many varieties of this design which include various degrees of rocker, asymmetrical rocker (nose lifted more than tail, rocker center point shifted more towards tail, etc.) and multi-stage rocker.
Cons - Lost running surface, lost rebound, lost edge grip (many rocker designs get around this by using other design elements to add grip back in).
Pros - Maximum Stability. Longer running surface. Boards can be ridden shorter.
Cons - No inherent rebound. Without additional measures these boards tend to feel less lively. The contact points of the effective edge (roughly the boards wide points) are in constant contact with the snow. That can mean caught edges and some hard take downs.
Pros - Reestablishes much of the lost running surface inherent to camber and some of the rebound. There are many different varieties of this design which alter the placement of the camber and rocker elements as well as the dimensions of those elements.
Cons - Potential for more catchy spots due to the multi stage profile.
Pros - Reduces the issue mentioned above from traditional camber where the wide points create catch spots. Good rebound.
Cons - less running surface than conventional camber.
Flat with lifted contact points
Pros - Reduces the issue mentioned above from Flat where the wide points create catch spots. There are many variations of this design. Some have so long a flat spot that they are very close to flat. Others have so little flat spot that they might better be called "Rocker with a little flat spot".
Cons - less running surface than Flat.
Pros - Reestablishes much of the lost running surface inherent to camber and some of the rebound. This design has a little smoother weighted profile than Camber-Rocker-Camber...
Cons - ...but a bit less rebound and pop.