Skiers have long had the rocker technology available to them on their two plank sport. Snowboard makers and riders took notice of rocker technology and adopted the snowboards with the reverse camber physics. Rockers work with the camber, or natural bend of the snowboard, in a reverse bend typical of snowboards.
Instead of the tip and tail of the board making contact with the ground, with the middle section curved up, rockered snowboards have the tip and tail flared up, having the midsection cambered and in contact with the ground at all times.
Terrain Park Tech
Rockered snowboards have become the boards to have in terrain parks. The advancement in rocker technology with snowboards sees riders on rockered boards heading into moves like a nose press or a spin with much more ease than before.
The flared tip and tail are above the snow surface, allowing the rider to twist and throw the board into tricks faster than with other snowboard technology. Current snowboard manufacturers are experimenting with different materials and different rockered angles to get further results in the terrain park.
Chow the Pow
Powder riders gain benefits from the rocker technology as well as their terrain park brethren. With a flared tip and tail, the boards get finessed up and over deep powder, letting riders float over deep snow. The newest rocker advances from such boards as Burton the Hero or Rome's Artifact 1985 give riders more float in deep powder as a result of the manipulated rocker and cambered angle.
K2's Gyrator has been made almost exclusively for deep powder and backcountry riders. The Gyrator has a deep cambered flex with a high-flared tip. This technology gives the board rider the ability to not have to cut into deep snow prior to floating over it.
Signal Snowboards began offering an extreme version of rocker technology on its boards during the 2008 to 2009 winter riding season. These boards were designed with big air and large tricks being worked in terrain parks or in the deep backcountry.
Signal's board has the most extreme rocker angle of any board made during that year. As of September 2010, no other board maker had announced a board to compete with Signal's offerings.
With the advent and use of the new snowboard technology vis-a-vis rockers, riders have begun carving out names for themselves in competitions with these boards. In 2007, professional snowboard rider Danny Kass competed in the Abominable Snowjam in Oregon. Kass was riding a Gnu DK Pro Model during the event and took the top prize. Kass became the first pro rider to use rocker technology to gain a victory.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.