The snowboard comes in many shapes to accommodate numerous riding styles. Rocker and camber are two distinct types of snowboard shapes. The nose and tail are slightly elevated above the center of the rocker snowboard, but they are the same height as the center of the camber snowboard.
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Compared to recreational models, the camber snowboard offers advanced edge control. Stepping onto a camber snowboard bends the deck, causing the entire length of the heel and toe edge to make contact with the riding terrain. According to snowboard specialists at REI, the camber shape provides precision turning on finely groomed runs of hard-packed snow. The pliable design allows you to remain light on your feet during high-speed carves and hairpin turns.
Another advantage of the camber snowboard involves its handling and speed capabilities in the half pipe. Freestyle riders use the camber snowboard to boost aerial tricks off the U-shaped half pipe ramp. According to Tru Snow, the camber snowboard offers increased hold in the half pipe as it can bend with the curvature of the ramp walls. The unique shape of the camber snowboard has the ability to absorb the landing impact of high-altitude tricks.
One of the key advantages of the rocker board is its advanced performance on slopes that are covered with freshly fallen snow. Many off-piste snowboarders prefer the rocker shape when navigating through the backcountry. On ungroomed terrain, the curved rocker shape helps to prevent the nose and tail of the board from sinking into deep deposits of powdered snow. The extra board clearance allows you to float down the mountain slope without catching an edge.
For sliding across metallic rails and fiberglass boxes, known as jibbing, the rocker-shaped snowboard has an advantage over recreational models. The unique shape of the design permits the snowboard to rock back and forth during jibbing tricks. Many slope-style riders prefer the rocker shape as it allows you to easily balance on the nose or tail of the snowboard. As the underside of the rocker snowboard cannot sit flat against the obstacle, it helps prevent you from catching an edge.