If you look at skis today and compare them to an older pair, let’s one from the 70’s, you will notice some radical differences. Almost everything about skis has changed through time, from the materials used to make them, all the way to the design and shape of the skis. If you are a ski fanatic, like myself, then you love seeing the developments over the years. Today, I want to focus on “camber” and “rocker.”
Camber refers to under your foot and rocker refers to the tip and tail of the skis. Traditional (Positive) camber means there is an arc under the foot, where if you lay the ski flat of the ground with no weight, you will notice space between the floor and the middle of the ski (generally under the binding of the ski). The longer the positive camber, the better it will perform on hard packed, groomed snow. Racers normally have a large camber because it allows them to create the most edge contact and grip on the run.
The other form of camber is flat (or reverse) camber. This form is exactly as it sounds, flat underfoot. This type of camber is traditionally meant for powder skiing, but it still performs well on groomers, even though it does take some time to adjust. Because of the flat design skiers can still use their edges on groomers, but there is not going to be as much grip as you would find on traditional cambered skis. The flat design is meant to make it easier to float in powder terrain.
Then, there is rocker. When you are on the slopes you will see most people with a front tip rocker, traditional camber under foot, and no rocker in the tail (flat in the tail). Ski companies are still experimenting with rocker and trying to determine what designs work best in certain conditions. A design that is becoming more popular in the industry is a tip and tail rocker with traditional camber. The reason this is so popular is because this design works great in all conditions. The camber allows for carving on those packed groomers, while the rocker lets you float on those powder days and/or off-piste runs. Ski companies are developing skis that have different combinations of the two trying to find that perfect combo. Though, in the end, the only thing that matters, is if you are having a great time and how you feel with your gear. To learn more details about rocker and camber feel free to reach out or click here.
Thinking of Snow,