Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Please explain the actual benefits of rocker boards
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  • #572705
    75 Posts

    I understand the shape differences between rocker and non-rocker boards, but what are the real-life benefits?

    The Venture site says: “It gives a rider the freedom to pivot at will, rather than locking a rider into a turn. This not only makes a board really fun to ride, but allows you to power through chop and crud without getting hung up. Rocker also excels in deep snow by increasing floatation.”

    Is all this stuff true or is it marketing hyperbole?

    411 Posts

    There are a bunch of threads about this already but, what the hell.

    Short answer, Rocker is way better than trad camber. Not hyberbole at all.

    The theory behind rocker is that powder in particular behaves much more like water than say, concrete. Therefore, it makes sense to borrow from surf, wakeboard, water ski, etc. designs and have a rockered shape to improve float.

    Basically, a rockered board shape makes it easier to keep the tip of you snowboard raised above the surface of deep snow. Some people complain of a loss of pop with rocker, arguing that you first have to decamber the tail before it pops. While this may occur on board shapes with rocker outside the bindings, on a rocker shape like Lib-Tech’s where the rocker is between your feet, your board is stomped flat by your weight from standing on it. Therefore, when you pop it, you don’t have to decamber anything because it is already flat and in contact with the snow.

    The Rocker between your feet means that a slight shift of your weight back allows you to float much better, rather than having to shift your weight all the way to your back foot on a traditional camber board, especially those with out any taper or additional length.

    The result is you get a much more floaty board that is also really playful on hardpack, less catchy, less likely to send you for a somersault in chop or curd and just a better all around board.

    You should probably also do a search, as I believe that there is a 2 page or more thread on this very subject.

    24 Posts

    I have snowboarded since 1989….obviously have seen all the fads come and go. Here is my take on rocker FOR RESORT boards…

    f*ing awesome.

    Let me preface…i do not ride park. I do steeps, trees, big lines, cliffs etc…where rockered boards supposedly are terrible. When i first tried it I was not a huge fan…it is a different style of riding. you are turning more with both feet than traditional carving. I also found myself needing an incredible amount of forward lean to keep my knees super bent.

    It takes a bit to get used to. But after i did…realized i could ride a 159/162 in pow as deep as i could find (mind you i have a 196 swallowtail too…so i know float) I also was bouncing through crud, spinning easier, WAY easier to land airs and catching an inadvertant edge is virtually gone.

    I have 2 Lib TRS’s (159/162) with magnetraction i ride. I sold every cambered board i had except my split.

    My issue for rocker on splits is it is very hard to traverse on a rockered board. Camber give you engery to track up hill based on its design….traversing in soft snow on a rockered board …and it basically when you start to go slow it digs itself into a ‘U” and stalls out. So that is one main drawback.

    I have ridden with someone who had a DIY split rockered board and he had some problems while skinning across slopes. both ‘U’ing” out and not having an edge contact under his feet on hardpack traverses. But i was VERY jealous watching his cruise the pow once he got up.

    My suggestion. Try it….and give it a full day …because it takes some getting used to. Also try a ‘stiff’ rockered board. Skate Banans’s for example are very hard to control at speed because they are so soft. Park rats swear by them of course.

    you may hate it. i, myself, loved it.

    24 Posts

    HA…good review ehcarley…i would have saved my fingers repeating you…i think we posted at the same time

    4150 Posts

    Good thoughts and 2nd’d on the search.

    Re skinning. Just like riding rockered boards….you’ll get used to the difference in skinning too. Its a non-issue in my opinion.

    Dangerous E
    58 Posts

    Rocker is definitely not marketing hype. In my opinion it’s the future of snowboards (bold statement, I know). But I think that most people that have ridden one would agree. They make it easier to turn, almost intuitive. And w/ the introduction of rocker and camber (Never Summer, Lib and a few others I think) you can kinda get the best of both worlds. However, it’s hard to break the old habit of decambering the board before each turn so it took me a few days to get really comfortable on my rockered stick.

    And the float in powder is no joke either. I especially notice it when going between my rockered resort board and my split (’61 Mojo). I am utterly salivating to split a rockered board.

    Just one man’s opinion, but as a snowboarder of almost 20 years, I’m sold. :thumpsup:

    Edit: posted this same time as everyone else I guess, kinda repetitious.

    53 Posts

    Ok, I get why it would work in pow. What about every other condition in the BC? Windpack, ice etc. I’m thinking that in an ugly steep chute survival riding situation the rockered tips would turn up and not offer much control. Anyone? Cuz I’m just guessing. Also, and this is just an anectodal observation but the people who I see riding rockered around the resort are sliding their turns, riding slow and generally not hard charging. Intermediates rejoice your learning curve just got shorter?

    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    It’s odd to me that as progressive minded as the snowboarding community has been over the past 20 years, more riders simply won’t even give rockered boards a try before passing thier end all judgement.

    I ride rockered boards in all conditions and I am generally hauling ass. I have yet to run up against any of the supposed negetives of a rockered deck. In fact, my experience and that of everyone I know who rides similar boards is the opposite.

    153 Posts

    I’d just like to add that different types of rocker ride different. My k2 floats a little better than my lib–its rockered outside the binders instead of between–but the lib still floats better than camber and holds a little better on hard pack than the k2. Just got on the new mervin c2 rocker/camber and found it reduces float a little compared with straight banana and reaches a bit more of a midpoint, feels a lot like camber on a groomer, but still some benefits of rocker, still more float than a traditional board. So to lump all rocker together in one category might be a bit misleading. Definitely love the ability to stand on both legs equally even in deep snow, so much more control…so that pretty much has me sold as i mostly use groomers as a way back to pow lines when riding resort. Also feels a little more manouverable when riding groomers, might benefit people who like to butter around a lot.

    830 Posts

    I can’t say I have an opinion since I haven’t ridden one or even bothered to check em out when at the local REI. Personally, their isn’t a factory split out there that seems to meet my needs, but I haven’t done much research since it will be a long while till I have the funds to buy a factory split, I just going to keep splitting my own, seems to work just fine for me.

    What I was going to throw out here is I been getting out with a local ripper/pro once in a while. I was asking him his opinion on rocker, a little Q and A so I could learn something. His response was in short, rocker more like riding a beat 6 year board, great for riding switch but most the pros like T. Rice aren’t even riding them anymore, and he’s not looking to hop on the bandwagon anytime soon. Not sure just another opinion, right or wrong.

    Bones I don’t that people are being resistant or closed. I would love to try a rocker splitty some time, but it’s commitment to throw down the amount of money it takes to buy a factory splitty these days. So I think most of just analyze the idea in theory with no real experience to draw from. I have serious doubts how it would respond on a steep firm face, if it’s designed to enhance pow riding. I think for guys like me looking to ride some commiting steep lines I want as much edge as possible and I want it to be responsive/firm. I still need to check out magna traction. Plus like Colin said boards ride different, people ride different. Different strokes for different folks. I wish all I rode was pow, but dam those high pressure systems and seasonal changes.

    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    I’m looking to ride mine down the Messner or the Orient Express in June. Those lines are kinda steep and just a little commiting.
    I’m a big fan of steep commiting terrain and I try to avoid the easy meadow skipping that many seem to be happy with.
    To each thier own. I’m simply saying that folks should give it a shot before flat out saying that it’s shit in this or that terrain.

    87 Posts

    I just got the 66 storm R and have only rode it at the resort on a semi decent pow day and loved it, took it out yesterday for 3k+ up and down, from windboard to pow and death crust, Thing killed it. Only question, what am I going to with all these cambered boards?
    Actual benefit-happiness

    709 Posts

    Never ridden a rockered, and most likely won’t for awhile. Hell, I love my 65 Prior B.C. split, and I’m most likely going to buy an older 65 C Storm to have that one split. I’d definitely like to try a rocker’d, but I’m not going to drop cash on a rockered w/o signing off.

    You know what would sell me.. I want to see high speed wheely roosters contest between a rocker’d and camber’d. Not gun it for 10 meters, and push hard. I’m talking maching so friggin fast that you can only do a wheely.

    there’s lots of good options, and it’s good to see companies progressing our sport (splitboarding)

    which is better camber gravity buds, or rocker gravity buds? :doobie:

    Unruly Baker
    333 Posts

    Don’t know, but I want one. Already have cambered splits in the quiver (NS Titan and Prior Spearhead), why not add another that is different?

    Looking to get either a Venture or NS in a factory split if I have $ burning a hole in my pocket, or have Monk split me a Lib if I can find one lightly used.

    If I don’t like it it appears there are plenty of folks interested enough that I won’t have a problem passing it along.


    Stagger Lee
    242 Posts

    @Unruly Baker wrote:

    Looking to get either a Venture or NS in a factory split

    That rockered NS Summit makes me :drool: in my pants.
    @Unruly Baker wrote:

    or have Monk split me a Lib if I can find one lightly used.

    FYI – He has one of these I think it’s around 164-166 cm. Unused. Last time I was around he had a few rockered decks available.

    Sorry for the drift w/spam everybody 😳

    I’m very rocker-curious. If any SLC locals want to let me take a spin on one their rockered splits I’d let you ride on of my bashed up splits 😛


    I have been out on my Venture Storm 163 rockered split and i’m not riding a cambered board anymore that’s for sure! Floats like a dream, surf turns in pow have never been tighter. The only drawback i have seen is in hardpack skin tracks. My cambered split seems to hold better. Big deal…. i have a split to shred pow! Ventures rocker, flat in between the bindings and rockered from inserts out to the tip and tail seems great. I have a Burton s-rocker fish and i am liking the venture.
    Stopped by the Venture factory the other day after riding some sick san juan lines. They said the decision on the rocker they use is to keep it simple. I’ve had my venture for over a month and have ridden it in varied bc conditions mostly wolf creek, monarch and some other san juan bc in colorado and the board has handled it all. After stopping by the factory and talking to the crew and riding my new split for over a month….. I would say Venture all the way! They are building what They and We want! Great to see awesome products coming from some like minded individuals!!! :rock:

    2486 Posts

    Do you ever run into Kenny, Kyle, Cartman, or Butters when you are out in the BC there?

    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    Hey TEX, you ever go over to Coronado?
    I used to live in one of those condos just south of The Hotel Del Coronado. Decent swell on the North end of the beach if I remember right.

    9 Posts

    If you are going for the rocker I would point you toward the lib C2. I have a Gnu Billy Goat C2 and it is the best of both worlds. With the magne-traction you can drop into and hold steeps that cambered boards cannot match. The Center edge makes all the difference. Magne traction makes it even better. It is more like a ski as your weight is centered over the stongest part of the board. Further, that part contacts at the same time as the tip and tail edges. In effect it gives you three hold points and really digs in like an ice ax when jumping edge to edge in a steep icy chute. I thought that the board would be catchy like a cambered board on the flats, but it isn’t. I can go much faster with more comfort on the board than either traditional camber or BTX. When i ride my Mojo now it is like it has no edges and it takes a bit to get used to. I would love to split a C2 Mullet. That would be the ultimate for me.

    I also ride a BTX TRS and it is fun to play with but you need the toe and tail edges for traverses and for steeps. BTW: T. Rice does ride C2 boards. Lib no longer makes cambered boards and as of next year, as I understand it, they will no longer make BTX boards. Everything will be C2. A board with center reverse but tip and tail touch is the way to go in my experience. The magne traction is also nice. As for powder, the rocker helps, but compared to tapered boards like the Fish or Mullet it is no contest from my perspective. I am not sold on tip rocker as it seems to me from riding my TRS that it would make holding a traverse or digging into a steep line very difficult (especially on a tapered board). I hope my old pre-s-rocker Fish keeps going strong.

    62 Posts

    I second the madsadsalad…
    The TRice C2 is the board for me. It floats better than my prior kyber and suites my style of riding a little better. The benefits of the magnatraction are pretty amazing too if you ever do hit an icy patch. When it comes down to its more fun to ride my trice than my kyhber. Can’t wait for the factory split next season!

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