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 Post subject: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:28 pm 
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So as rocker technology seems to be spreading throughout the industry different companies are creating their own interpretations. I am personally looking for a new splitboard this season and I'm a little split on what type of rocker profile to go for (sorry about that one :D ).

It seems the 3 main profiles are rocker/camber (camber between/rocker away), Rocker (between bindings) and Flat (ie. no camber, though I guess it's not rocker). I'm pretty sold on rocker as a concept so far but I've only ridden the NS type rocker (Legacy, which I love). What I'm looking at for boards now are split between Venture, Lib tech and Prior. Prior's rocker really doesn't excite me as it seems like it's just regular early rise but I'll probably demo one since they're close. Lib tech looks awesome but the price point on Venture's boards is lower and construction looks way more bombproof.

Any ways my question is, can anyone describe the ride feeling between these 3 different profiles? I'd love to try them all though demoing might prove difficult. I'm guessing it's all a compromise between floatation vs. edgehold? Thanks for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:02 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:34 pm 
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Location: Durango, CO
I'll give my best shot on this. I ride a NS legacy 156 on the resort, and a Venture Zephyr 159 as a splitboard. What I have found between the two rockers is this. They both have the same float characteristics, but different ride profiles:

In a one line description, Rocker Camber = Playful, Flat Camber = Charging

Rocker Camber - Very agile and playful. Edge to edge response is much quicker. This is because the rocker allows pointing to your front toes onto edge much faster and easier. This can turn into being a little "hooky" and can turn too much and I find that holding a consistant turn can be more difficult then flat camber. As well, forward back movement (like wheelies) is way more responsive then the flat camber, which can be good and bad. Also, ollie power is more fun on the RC, you get more spring in your step. In this sense, it can be less stable at high speed, and not as fluid turns. I find this profile is really good for riding on resorts, it is very quick, playful and when riding in tracked out terrain (on a resort), it is great. The downfalls are in big wide open terrain where you let it go fast, I am less confident on then a flat camber board. I'm talking probably at over 30mph in powder conditions, I prefer flat camber.

Flat Camber - First impressions are that it wants to go fast, and it can. The profile is stable as hell. The front to back wheelie impression is very stable. This can have its downsides if you plan on doing pow wheelies all day, and spinning, it will be more work. The contact with powder is much stronger, and you feel much better flying. I think this is because the surface area is hitting the snow with equal force across the board. Where it can be a downfall is in tracked out conditions. The board can feel like its driving you, and it is not as nimble edge to edge as Rocker camber, to get the board placement that much more precise at lower speeds. Also, ollie power is reduced a bit with flat camber.

It really comes down to the type of terrain you ride. I personally wouldn't trade either. I think the flat camber is perfect for backcountry, untracked, wide open terrain, and still does well in the trees. I prefer the nimbleness and playfulness of rocker camber to maneuver faster in tight situations on the resort. I do like riding RC a little more in treed terrain because it more playful.

In technical terrain (tight, icy terrain), I have no preference which I think is better.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Sweet, thanks a lot for the input! This is exactly what I was trying to get at as each profile is most likely built with a certain riding style in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:54 am 
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Whoa now... Flat with rocker tips, i.e. Venture does charge it's true, but they are also very playful. It would be inaccurate to say they are only good for hard charging. Tips up makes them turn super fast and loose when you want to. Playful charging.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:25 am 
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powslash wrote:
they are only good for hard charging.
I wasn't trying to say this, just saying I think RC is more playful. It turns easier. This also may be due to the sidecut radius as well. The legacy is much deeper sidecut.

People also will say that RC charges as well. Its just my opinion that while both can be playful and charging, the flat charges harder and the RC plays more. Take it how you want it. I still find both types fun as hell and wouldn't trade them in how I use them for anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:53 am 
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
I have a strong opinion about the Venture rocker vs. NS rocker (and board design), but I'm afraid I'll anger the NS cult thus getting me triple banned from all things splitboard. One bad NS comment and you'll get blacklisted or something. People get an unnecessarily huge boner over them.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:43 am 
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How hard charging or how stable a board is at speed isn't really dependent on whether th board starts off with a rocker curve or flat camber. It's more about how deep a curve the board flexes into when you really throw your weight into it at speed. The profile the board starts off with tells you more about how it handles at 5 to 15 mph or on low angle terrain. Of course if you take two boards with the same flex, the one that starts off flat or with camber won't flex into as much of a curve at speed so those boards will be less squirrelly at higher speeds.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:05 pm 
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summersgone wrote:
powslash wrote:
they are only good for hard charging.
I still find both types fun as hell


Word up.

Nachoconqueso wrote:
I have a strong opinion about the Venture rocker vs. NS rocker (and board design), but I'm afraid I'll anger the NS cult thus getting me triple banned from all things splitboard. One bad NS comment and you'll get blacklisted or something. People get an unnecessarily huge boner over them.


Lets hear it.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Meh,

The Venture Rocker and the Neversummer rocker are two different profiles altogether. I think they really come down to personal preference, if you want to have one.

Things I like about the Venture profile (flat between the feet, early rise or rocker nose and tail). The flat profile is great for skinning. Easy to get a lot of grip on icy skin track. The rocker nose pops up in deep powder. The board also planes up easily in deep powder.

I don't want to call it negative, just things to be aware of. In wetter, corn type snow, I find the flat base when riding down grabs a lot more than I would expect. To the point of going over the handle bars. Much harder to turn too. Not an ideal spring profile in my book.

The Neversummer rocker camber profile (rocker between the feet, camber on the outside of your stance), as mentioned, very playful. It likes to to turn. I also have no problem charging hard, pinning a straightline with it. Still, I have to will the straight line a bit more than with the Venture profile as I just find my myself naturally making a turn. When you really have to weight a turn, you feel the camber in the profile kick in noticeably. Floats great in powder when you back off and let the rocker take over. The Vario grip sidecut, it works decently enough. It's not a make or break deal for me either way, but neither is magne. In wet snow, it rides about as easy as you can expect. Not nearly the drag as I had with the Odin. Not even close, much easier to turn. Very fun in corn.

Things to be aware of. Skinning. The rocker is right under foot when skinning. In deep snow, no problem, tips dive up, and it skins great. Icy, steep, skin track, it can be harder to maintain traction. Your technique has to be on. Much like AT guys on rockered skis.

I can't really say anything bad about either Venture or Neversummer. Well made, top quality products. Both make super fun boards to ride. If you don't like one or the other, it boils down to your riding style and personal preference.

Nacho, I don't think you'll get banned, I and others might completely disagree with you, but you have a right to voice your opinion if you like. I am a fan of both companies and think they are doing awesome stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:39 am 
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Yeah, different rocker/camber profiles can make big differences in how boards ride. I have now ridden Venture (flat in the middle, and early rise tip and tail) and furberg (rocker in the middle, flat sections under foot, early rise tip and tail). And I have taken a good look at the NS rocker/camber (rocker in the middle, camber from the foot to the contact point).
For skate style riding, spinning, freestyle, boosting (where "pop" might matter) and for riding on hardpacked surfaces, the NS approach makes a whole lot of sense to me, especially when combined with the deep sidecuts on NS boards. The problem with the NS approach comes when charging pow and steeps at speed, the deep sidecut will over pressure the tip and tail of the board, and the camber at the tip and tail will contribute to this factor, making the board want to turn a lot, and not be as stable as it could be in longer radius pow turns, straightlines, and in steeps at speed when trying to smear turns to control speed: with such a deep sidecut, the transition from smear to carve will never be that smooth, of course, NS' industry leading dampness likely helps mitigate this tendency somewhat.
When comparing NS/Venture (two very high quality construction, made in the US, boards) one must consider the big difference in sudecut depth as well as the rocker/camber profiles, as looking at the rocker/camber profile alone does not tell the whole story.
The furberg is another animal alltogether, as the 20 m radius on my 173 means one never has to worry about stability, or the board being hooky, but if a rider is looking for a super turny freestyle board for riding at low speeds, one should look elsewhere. On the other hand, the furberg is very maneuverable once up to speed (and no, it does not need to be maching), as the rocker, shallow sidecut, and tapered tip and tail work together to make the board plane up, and pivoting is effortless, as is any kind of smear or slarve. And when one wants to arc a nice round turn, rider input can make that happen as well, with an uncannily smooth entrance and exit from the turn, thanks to the tapered tip and tail and shallow sidecut. This board is a revelation for anyone looking for a super smooth, predictable, and free flowing backcountry ride, and the deeper the snow, the better.
I love the build quality of the NS boards, and I wish they would make a shape more suitable to my style of riding and preferred terrain (how about a 167 with a 26 mm waist, 8 mm of taper, a 11-14 meter sidecut radius, a longer tapered tip, and a mellow full rocker profile, no camber). Until then, boards like Venture and furberg work better for me, and, maybe, Trapper???

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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:01 pm 
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Location: powder central, bc, canuckistan
barrows wrote:
The problem with the NS approach comes when charging pow and steeps at speed, the deep sidecut will over pressure the tip and tail of the board, and the camber at the tip and tail will contribute to this factor, making the board want to turn a lot, and not be as stable as it could be in longer radius pow turns, straightlines, and in steeps at speed when trying to smear turns to control speed: with such a deep sidecut, the transition from smear to carve will never be that smooth, of course, NS' industry leading dampness likely helps mitigate this tendency somewhat.


not sure if i follow yer logik on this one barrows, in my exp the transitn from carve to butta is absolutely seamless on the ns rides, part of the super fun playful rep.
my theory is that the tite sidecut helps, cuz you can rail a tighter turn ie the board gets further accross the line of travel while still carving... longer sidecut bigger stable turn seems to me creates a bigger break bw carvin edge n washin butta.

the other thing im not quite on board with is the theory on long sidecuts and stability in big turns.... i mean, i know its true, kinda, but its kinda like sayin that its unstable to straitline on a board with any sidecut.... which is also kinda true, but ya dont actually need much side to side (rotational) stability when your goin strait... i need that rotational stability when im turnin hard, or spinnin... when im layin down big open turns its kinda like straitlinin... jus point that shiz!
my :twocents: canuckistani is worth US$0.02017 today, so there!!

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 Post subject: Re: Rocker Differentiation
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Mark, Thanks for weighing in on the SL, I know you ride one, and I am sure that you love it.
For something totally different, try a furberg someday, in deep snow.
My remarks are based on my 25 years of riding different sidecut radii from 8 m to 20 m. I am primarily talking about performance in backcountry conditions. A deep sidecut does the following: it creates a high angle of attack of the edge at the contact point of the board, distributes a lot of edge pressure to the tip and tail of the board, and makes the board have to turn in a tight radius (the radius of the sidecut) unless one breaks a carved arc into a sliding turn.
On the other hand, a long radius sidecut creates a low angle of attack of the edge at the contact point (making for a smooth and gentle entry into a turn, and an easy to slarve entry), keeps more edge pressure underfoot, and allows one to rail long radius arcs (up to the radius of the sidecut) or make shorter radius arcs by downweighting the board during the turn (in soft snow). Long radius sidecuts also make it much easier to adjust turn radii mid turn, through combinations of downweighting and/or slarving the turn. The shorter radius sidecut "wants" much more to follow the sidecut, and breaking out of the arc of the sidecut is generally much less smooth the shorter its radius is.
The short radius sidecut makes the board very responsive to rider input, responding very quickly to the slightest input (or bump in the terrain). While the longer radius sidecut requires more effort on the part of the rider to initiate turns, and also results in more stability, and more predictability, especially when encountering difficult snow conditions at speed (buried avy debris, breakable crusts, etc).
Now, all this is rather over simplified, as flex pattern, rocker/camber profile, longitudinal taper, and taper at the tip and tail, as well stance position will affect the ride as well, but consider my above remarks as to sidecut only, all other factors remaining equal (although, of course in reality they are not).
My general feeling is that long radius sidecuts result in a less responsive, more stable ride, which allows for a wider variety of turn types and sizes via rider input, and smoother entry and exit from turns.
The best way to get a really good example of what I am talking about would be to ride a deep sidecut board, like the NS SL, back to back with a really long radius sidecut board, like a furberg, in deep/backcountry snow conditions. With these two boards the difference in sidecut is so huge, it will likely overwhelm any of the other differences in their design.
Now I am by no means suggesting the NS SL is a bad board, I am just saying it is not for me, as I much prefer the ride of a longer radius sidecut. I was just out with one of my riding partners here who just got an SL split, and he is very happy with it; I would never suggest he is "wrong" to like the board, just that we like different things.

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http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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