Comprehending the Different Snowboard Camber Profiles

Gareth Simpson

by Gareth Simpson

October 18, 2019

Snowboard Camber Profiles

Choosing the right snowboard can be a daunting task, especially for the first-time buyers. This is because they need to assess in detail to get to the right one.

While going through the different buying guides, buyers usually come across different factors to consider. One of them is snowboard camber profiles. Well, it is worth understanding such technical terms or specifications to buy the best snowboard.

If you have started your own research, you may have truly come across terms such as camber, rocker, and flat. Well, these are the terms that are related to snowboard camber profiles. However, the probability to comprehend them fully would be certainly low for any first-time buyer.

Well, it is necessary for them and potential buyers like you to comprehend the different snowboard camber profiles or types. This post introduces the camber profile term and then explores the different types along with their advantages and limitations.

What is a Camber Profile?

A snowboard profile is nothing but the manner in which it places itself on the snow, from its side. It is the shape that appears to you while looking at the board from the side. A profile is a major element that contributes to the way in which the board will ride.

A snowboard profile is also known as a camber profile, the board’s shape at its side that affects how the board feels while on the snow. While looking at a side, a board’s camber refers to a convex shape such as that of the letter ‘n’ or an arch, while a rocker refers to a concave shape such as that of the ‘u’ letter.

While these meanings are quite subtle when it comes to analyzing on a snowboard in hand, different rocker and camber combinations exist to make it more significant. In simple words, a camber profile is the base’s curvature ranging from its tip to its tail.

Why You Should Know ?

Just as a board’s shape, its profile has a major role to play in its performance in various weather conditions. The features camber profile also directly affects how a snowboard flex will perform.

Each camber profile is likely to render a different feel while you are on the snow. For instance, a loose-like feel is more noticeable in case of a rocker profile. Further, for each ability level as well as riding level, there is a corresponding camber profile. Thus, you need to learn about the different camber profiles.

If you are more inclined towards a specific camber profile or if there is a personal preference, you can definitely stick to what you are familiar with. Nevertheless, if you are buying your first snowboard through thorough research (it is essential) or intend to have a change, it is crucial to know which profile will be the most suitable one.

You should also go for another profile if you have stuck to the same profile and did not experiment with others. This may help you in choosing a more suitable profile for your riding style.

What are the Types Available in the Market?

Knowing each specific profile or bend aids you in finding the right snowboard as per terrain conditions amidst which you will take a ride. While selecting a snowboard, you will definitely find a couple of camber options or profiles.

To select the right snowboard, it is crucial to select the right camber profile. However, it can be challenging, especially for change lookers or beginners. To get started, it is important to comprehend that there is nothing known as a bad or a good profile.

What you need to bear in mind is that each type relates to various weather and snow conditions as well as riding styles. Next, you need to make yourself clear that snowboard shape and profile are two different aspects to consider for buying a snowboard. A snowboard shape is typically the look of a snowboard from the top or above. It can be directional or twin-tipped, and so on.

Snowboarding manufacturers keep introducing new profiles. However, most of the times, the new ones are just hybrid ones or new names for the prevalent ones with some tweaks.

With different profiles available in the market today, we recommend to know and compare four basic profile classes: camber, flat, rocker, and hybrid for taking an informed decision. Here is their comparison to make it easy for you to select the right profile and consequently the right snowboard.

CAMBER

Camber is the traditional and most tried snowboard profile. Almost all snowboards were camber until a decade ago. A cambered board features the contact points under the feet in between which there is a bit elevating arch. Such a profile is ideal for those who need a reliable edge hold along with a stable ride.

For beginners, traditional camber does have a tendency to catch edges easier which if you haven’t done before it is not fun. It also struggles a bit more in powder due to its lack of ability to float.

Terrain: All mountain, piste riding

Level

Intermediate to advanced

Pros

Ideal for carving with superb edge grip on tough snow, edging performance, stable at momentums, reliable hold on rails, much power out of turns, greater pop out,

Cons

More concentration due to catchier edges as the contact points are always squashing into the snow, more effort to turn, longer run in profound pow, and ride not so forgiving

ROCKER

While placing a snowboard downwards on snow and see it from a side, a few things are noticeable in term of how it reaches down. The center part of some boards elevates off the snow or remains flat against the snow. This variance is the primary differentiation between camber and rocker.

Rocker is also called reverse camber. It gives a skating-like feel and loosens the snowboard. In between the feet, the arch is reversed upside down. As a result, just a single contact point exists between the feet.

Rocker profiles are faster as well as easier to turn. As they are simpler to press than the camber models, rocker profiles are recommended for exploring flat ground tweaks.

Terrain

Snow park, riding in the backcountry

Level

Intermediate to advanced

Pros

Easy to press and turn, less catchy, fun in soft snow, reliable floating in powder

Cons

Not strong edge hold on tough snow, less pop, not so stable on rails or park landings, wash out on turns

FLAT or ZERO CAMBER

A flat board lays evenly on a level surface and disperses pressure consistently across the white, cold surface. As a result, a catch-free and a loose ride is experienced just as in case of a reverse camber but with relatively more stability. As much of the board area touches the snow, a slow ride experience with some drag is inherent. Thus, this is not a profile for those who prefer speed.

Terrain

Snow park, riding in the backcountry and all mountain

Level

Beginner to advanced

Pros

More stable than a rocker, super stability for rails, ideal for carving and riding pipe, benefits of a profile sitting in between the traditional and reverse camber

Cons

Damp feeling at a slow pace

HYBRID (TYPE A)

This hybrid profile encompasses camber below the feet and rocker in between them. Camber ensures edge hold, pop, and stability to an extent. Several snowboard makers use different names for this profile such as Banana and Flying V. This profile ensures looseness with a float in powder. Overall, it is more of a rocker.

Terrain

Snow park, riding in the backcountry and all mountain

Level

Beginner to advanced

Pros

Versatile to function in different snow conditions

Cons

Unstable at speeds and on rails

HYBRID (TYPE B)/CamRock

In this profile, rocker is at the tail and nose, while camber is between the feet. You enjoy the benefits of both profiles. Rocker even facilitates simpler and faster turn initiation. This profile is actually more of a camber while giving several rocker benefits.

Terrain

Snow park, riding in the backcountry and all mountain

Level

Beginner to advanced

Pros

Versatile with camber and rocker benefits

Cons

A bit washier than camber

POWDER / S ROCKER

This camber bend comes with a setback position in which that of the rider is fairly centered over the area of camber at the board’s rear. This ensures stability underfoot, while facilitating a quick turn and maintaining superb float in powder due to rocker at the nose.

Terrain

Snow park, freerides

Level

Intermediate to advanced

Pros

Exclusive powder profile

Cons

Not versatile, not for riding switch

Conclusion

It is vital to comprehend that there is no single camber profile that suits everyone. In short, no single profile is the best one. The best camber profile is chosen as per the riding conditions as well as your style of riding. Each profile has its own riding abilities along with pros and cons.

Thus, matching with your riding style and conditions helps you find out what suits you best. Your priority can be a park board for learning new tips, stability with cutting-edge performance, or just a new adaptable ride experience. There is a camber profile for each priority. Just understand the options available and choose them as per your requirements. That’s it!

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