I'd like to give a rockered board a try sometime, but I'm in poogs camp regarding versatility. Even if he is a mister saucy-mouth. I think a rockered split would be a bad compromise except on the rarest of powder days. Plus recently I've been into pushing bottom turns really hard in powder and digging the feeling of springing off the bottom. Will a rockered board have less/different action where that's concerned? I can see why it would be unsinkable, but how's the action on those boards??
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:09 pm Posts: 663 Location: white room
I'll respectfully argue that rockered boards are not just for pow. Maybe some of the shapes are, but not all. The NS, which is cambered from the bindings out to the tip and tail, is an all mountain board, not a pow board. I would trust it in any condition. And the Lib boards, with Magnetraction, are the same deal. In fact, it sounds like in the not too distant future Lib may only offer rockered boards. My only concern with a rockered split would be on the uphill, not the down. But I will agree that we are all a bunch of snow-obsessed, gear-curious dorks.
I was talking to Will at Sparks and he suggested I post on this thread since aside from Lisa and Clem, I guess I'm one of the few people to have ridden the rocker Divide. I got to enjoy it for a time at the on-snow demo at Snowbasin, UT this past Tuesday.
In short, it rocked. I could have ridden it all day. Only obligation to try out other boards made me give it back.
I'm newer to splitboarding but not to snowboarding. My crystal ball tells me I have a 167 Storm in my future. Another forum is just what I need to waste my spare time but there is a lot of great information on this forum. Disclaimer: I sell Venture and really like them. I'm going to start selling Sparks and I really dig snowboarding. I like fun activities in the backcountry so any opinions I have are likely tainted.
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1315 Location: Colorado
Last season I had the good luck to make a trip to Crested Butte during a very impressive storm cycle. The last day there was a Monday morning, so most of the other "tourists" had left, and I shared the reported 16" (much more in loaded spots) on top of a very soft base, with mostly locals. The vast majority of the locals had the big sticks out-superfat skis, with some combination of rockered tips, rockered tails, etc. I immediately saw the advantages of these skis, and started wishing for a rockered split. Upon my return home, I wrote to both Prior and Venture, encouraging them to experiment with various combinations of rocker. I am very happy to hear that Venture has made this step, and hope that Prior is on board as well. Camber is only necessary to distribute edge pressure on very hard snow, there is no reason that boards should be cambered to ride any kind of soft snow condition. When I am out splitting, most of the time I am riding soft snow of some type, and it easy for me to imagine that a board with rockered tip, back to about the middle of the front foot, and a flat profile from there to the tail turn up would be ideal for high performance, especially when combined with a moderate sidecut and progressive flex (softer tip, firmer midbody and tail). I will always have a traditional board in the quiver for hard snow riding, and mountaineering descents-but I suspect that for the rest of my riding it will not be long before my splits are rockered.
I can't stay away from this one. I have been making my own rockered splits for some time and to answer one question, they skin uphill as good as anything. It seems like they focus all the pressure on the skin right underfoot which digs a smaller area of the skin into the snow. Think how you make your skins stick the best by pressuring your heel only. My boards all have an even radius rocker and between 12 and 14 m sidecut and they are entirely safe on steep icy, but not fun -what is?- (Ice is a route-finding problem not a snowboard design problem) IMO, rockered boards are more responsive and are so much more fun in any condition where your board dips into the snow a couple of inches or more. One really nice bonus is that when you are exhausted on a long exit, they get through the timber and brush with less exertion. I have not ridden any otherrockered boards than my own but I would embrace them and not rule them out for good spring riding or hard skin tracks at all. As far as rebound goes, I would guess that the noodle-flexing freestyle boards would have just as weak a rebound as a conventional board. A soft flexing board board can only rebound so much, a stiffer one once you load it up pops back with a lot more force. Hopefully someone will start to produce stiffer rockered boards for backcountry snow to take advantage of this. I recommend that rockered boards be bought stiffer, because if it has ample curve it doesn't need to be pushed into an arc to make a round turn. with more stiffness, you get more rebound, better high end stability, and you still have a sensitive responsive board that starts turns at low speeds as soon as you roll it over on edge.
Since then I've gotten 3 more good days of riding on the board.
1 steep powder couloir and mild terrain exit 1 steep couloir with variable conditions and mild terrain exit 1 open bowl to steep, tighter line
Being that this is my first experience with rocker I'm still trying to figure stuff out and find the sweet spots conditions-wise. The board rides great and I like the rocker but it does feel different than the cambered boards I'm so used to and I'm still trying to put my finger on stuff. Having said that, I plan to keep using the board which is a good thing!