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Guide to Ski Types: Rocker vs Camber

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Rocker vs Camber 101

What is Camber? You can visualize camber as the concave arch the ski makes with the snow. Camber is why most skis don't contact each other under the bindings when you hold them base-to-base. It gives the skis energy and pop, and when you flex the ski through a turn, this shape gives you edge grip. Traditionally cambered skis are associated with being more directional and more demanding, but very stable.

What is Rocker? A few years ago, we were calling it a new technology in the ski industry. Now, you'll find some amount of rocker in most skis, and some skis have wild amounts. You'll see it as the ski surface's early departure from the snow, or the splay at the tip and tail. Rocker can be found in the tip, tail, or fully throughout the ski. Visualize it as the opposite of camber. It gives you easier turn initiation, makes a ski more pivot-y, and provides more floatation in deep snow. Heavily rockered skis are associated with being more playful.

Rocker vs Camber: Ski Types

Ski TypeDescriptionExample
Traditional CamberMaximum effective edge. Skis arch from tip to tail. Great for carving, more difficult to maneuver.Kastle MX83
All-Mountain RockerSkis contact the snow down further down the tips. Camber extends through tails. With just tip rocker, turns are more easily initiated, while still holding carves well.Blizzard Brahma 88
Freeride RockerRocker in the tips and tails with camber underfoot. More manueverable for primarily skiing off-trail, while having all-mountain versatility. Salomon QST 106
Reverse CamberFull rocker. Skis look like bananas, with contact underfoot and rise through tips and tails. This makes them very pivot-y, great for playful skiers looking to slash. Black Crows Crovus

Tips for Sizing Rockered Skis

If there's rocker in the ski, at the tip or tail, or both, you may want to size your ski a little differently. The deeper the rocker, the point of contact with the snow will move lower down the ski length. The same is true of tail rocker: a generously rockered tail will shorten the amount of contact the rear of the ski makes with the snow surface. Rockered skis therefore "ski shorter" than a traditionally cambered ski with the same measured length. If you're buying a rockered ski, feel free to add a few centimeters to your size range, and we don't recommend going shorter if you're moving from a more traditional ski to an aggressively rockered model.

If you'd like, you can contact us to find out the degree of rocker in a particular ski and how it will perform in various snow conditions. As always, feel free to call us to discuss the right ski length for you. We love to chat skis.

Get a rough idea of your ideal ski length with our ski size calculator.

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