Another variation is the cambered board with a lifted tip and tail. Kessler started this in the snowboarding world for racing, with others quickly following. It's been "the" design that is putting riders on the podium. Alpine riders in general have embraced the technology.
Coiler NSR2 (New School Race) with lifted tip and tail:
From Catek's website, NA dealer for Kessler, "What is it that makes Kessler boards so special? According to Hansjürg Kessler, the most important component of the boards' success is the KST shape – an advanced, multi-radius sidecut, combined synergistically with a totally revolutionary nose shape, camber profile and taper to ensure fantastic edgehold as well as incredibly efficient and smooth turn initiation and completion.
Unlike other board designs, which can overpressure the tip and tail during a turn (exhibited as a tendency for the nose to "dive" or "plow" during turn initiation, and the tail to "hook" at the end of the turn), the Kessler KST shape redistributes edge pressure, so that the nose feeds smoothly into the turn, providing maximum acceleration and optimal edge pressure distribution. The tail of a KST board releases cleanly and smoothly at the end of the turn. The overall smoothness of the KST shape increases rider control and safety, reduces skidding, and ensures maximum speed throughout the turn.
And what about the construction? Well, Kessler has been specializing in titanal construction snowboards for years. Since vaulting onto the US scene with Philipp Schoch's Gold in the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, Kessler titanal boards have racked up an overwhelming number of wins. Kessler has continually tested and refined board construction techniques, and produces the most advanced, most copied, and most envied titanal boards in the world.
Hallmarks of the Kessler construction are superior torsional strength, with a supple longitudinal flex pattern that enables the board to track unerringly over difficult race conditions. The boards provide tenacious edgehold, smooth tracking, and a damp, controlled ride.
It all adds up to a world-beating product, and CATEK is very excited to be able to offer Kessler boards to North American riders."
In my own words, the lifted (of decambered) tip allows faster/snappier carve initiation. It slices through the snow, guiding the way to decamber the more stable cambered main section. The result is less chatter and more stability. The lifted tail allows a cleaner, faster release that isn't as "hooky" as traditional all-camber shapes. As the Kessler description alludes to, these boards are also generally being made in conjuction with chatter dampening titanal lamination(s) and modern progressive sidecuts, which are usually tighter in nose through more open in the tail, to fully compliment the benefits of the lifted tip/tail design. These boards are generally made for balls out, high speed carving with very high edge angles. A side benefit, though, is that if the rider is skidding turns (ie; at much lower edge angles), the lifted tip and tail are not at a high enough angle to be engaged, so the board skids around like a much shorter board, with only the cambered section biting the snow. So my 182cm Coiler for example, rages full length in carves, but rides more like a 160-something board at slower, skidded speeds, in crowds, etc.