Two decades ago, what the snowboarders were riding were cambered snowboards. Camber was the only profile to be seen in any shopping catalog. Camber is the source that supplies power to a snowboard. It helps in carving turns easily and retaining an edge hold while enjoying a swift ride with stability and lots of pop.
A decade ago, snowboard makers came up with rocker snowboards. These boards are simply the opposite of camber in terms of design. With the end points namely tail and tip totally raised off the snow, these boards tend to float more easily on the powder and deliver a loose, free feeling.
Rockers are also much more playful in terms of buttering and jibbing in a snow park than the traditional cambers. They are also easier to learn and ride for beginners, as they are forgiving and do not catch at the edge. While these boards quickly gained popularity, they lack in some areas.
Rockers have their own restrictions while carving aggressive turns specifically on hard snow. They even cannot render significant edge hold unlike the traditional cambers due to which they are more difficult to carve on and are less steady at elevated speeds. Their shape is such that their pop amount can never be same as camber.
Considering the drawbacks of both camber and rocker profiles, the snowboard manufacturers started pondering upon giving the best of both worlds to snowboarders.
This resulted in hybrid snowboards in which camber is under the foot to ensure superb edge hold and rocker is at the two contact points for effortless floating on powder and a more playful ride.
However, how this profile contributes to riding truly depends on the type of board and its manufacturer. So, in this post, let’s exactly what a hybrid camber profile is!
Snowboard profiles have evolved significantly over the past few years. The manufacturers realized that it is not necessary for a snowboard to be a rocker, flat, or a traditional camber. It simply can be a mix of camber and rocker or all three to integrate the benefits of each of these profiles.
This realization has driven a revolutionary phase in the snowboarding world, during which different designs had been introduced. Although a few riders will stick to a specific profile such as rocker, flat, or camber; a majority of users will prefer having a single board for riding the whole mountain and enjoying while trying different styles.
Freeriding for some time and then switching to jibbing! For this, only a hybrid profile is suitable. The underlying notion is to have rocker such that it can soften the board’s feel and make it effortless to place the board on the edge.
This happens while retaining edge hold and stability of camber to keep the instability at higher speeds away. With two dissimilar cambers, it is possible to have three contact points for improved edge hold.
Many snowboards are designed to be hybrid rockers. This indicates that a certain part is of the traditional camber, which is usually in between the feet and rocker touching the end points. By finding the percentage the board has for a specific profile, you can foresee whether the board will be snappier (camber) or more forgiving (rocker).
What is a Hybrid Camber Profile?
As the name indicates, a hybrid camber profile encompasses the essentials of both traditional camber and rocker. The snowboard with this profile is likely to bend in various directions as well as in regions, which leads to a kinked curve. To understand this, just visualize the pattern in W and M letters.
The M hybrid shape has the rocker profile in between the feet and the traditional camber profile beneath the feet. It is a versatile profile. The positions of camber and rocker are retained prior to restoring rocker at the tail and tip. As a result, you are ensured of a relaxed ride with an intact solid edge.
This profile is an attempt to integrate all the benefits of the traditional camber such as superb edge hold, pop and stability to some extent, great carving, and stability at high speed along with those of rocker such as more playful butter, easy turns, and float in powder. It gives a loose feel considering the rocker’s position. Overall, this hybrid profile gives more of a rocker feel.
On the other hand, the W shape has camber underfoot or between the feet and rocker at the tip and tail. Even this profile is reasonably versatile. The camber’s position results in edge hold, good pop, and stability, while that of the rocker brings in the end points to facilitate easier and swifter turn initiation than the fully cambered snowboard along with easier presses and superb floating in powder.
This one is considered as a highly-performing hybrid profile. In general, it gives an overall feel, which is more inclined towards a traditional camber despite being a bit washy at the end points.
Thus, hybrid profiles are either rocker-governing or camber-governing but do have a mix of positive and reverse cambers. Several brands have given various names to hybrid profiles with a bit of difference in designs. However, they all are meant for accomplishing the same riding goal.
Fundamentally, a hybrid profile imparts the responsiveness of traditional camber and the rocker’s forgiveness ability to a snowboard.
For What Is Ideal?
A hybrid camber is specifically suitable for freestyle boards. A rider enjoys the camber’s grip and power for riding at a high speed in the snow park, while the rocker adds forgiveness for riding out of a jump in case of imperfect alight.
A hybrid rocker is ideal for buttering. While buttering is possible even with a camber profile, it is not that playful. With any hybrid, it becomes easy for a rider to take the chair lift up to the peak, ride (float) more easily in the powder, and obtain a great grip and control while going down where the snow is icier or harder.
- Easy turning with loose feel
- Additional float on powder
- Better edge hold and pop than the complete rocker profile
- Probability of being washy at end points
- Unbalanced on rails
- Less stable at high speed
Essentially, a hybrid snowboard is an all-embracing profile that does not overly support a specific terrain. It is a perfect option for the beginners to experience snowboarding due to the high stability and effortless turn initiation.