Basically rocker is a form of camber which is the side curvature
of the ski. If you placed a ski flat on a table a traditional skis
tip and tail would touch while the center would rise. Rocker
changes camber so part of the ski goes into reverse camber. In
other words, at least part of the center touches and at least part
of that tip and tail is lifted.
Vary camber and the degree of rocker and performance
While camber and rocker vary from company to company very
generally we can see at least four kinds of variables:
1) Classic camber in a traditional construction.
2) Camber with a slight rocker in the tip which enhances turn
3) Camber with tip and tail rocker, which further enhances turning
and also nicely accommodates twin tip technology.
4) Flat camber where the skis touch base to base under the binding
with tip and tail rocker for maximum ability to float in
Here's the thing: More rocker is not necessarily better. The
manufacturers are learning that skiers need to generate tip and
tail pressure on hard snow and too much rocker can reduce strong
initiation on hard snow. Still, a small amount of rocker helps the
tip initiate while still allowing the ski to fully engage with the
As you look at the new skis realize that this innovation,
rocker, can help elevate performance and enhance performance by
creating a ski already, to a degree, shaped to more easily initiate
turning. But, the degree of rocker varies ski to ski. Rocker? It's
a good thing. In degrees.
Contributing Columnist Tony Crespi has served as
both a Ski School Supervisor and Development Team Coach. A frequent
contributor to publications throughout snow country, his column is
published throughout the season.