The Mountain Times

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Understanding rocker, technology pointer

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.

5--Understanding -rocker

Vary camber and the degree of rocker and performance changes...

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 initiation.
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 powder.

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 snow.

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.