Do you know your rockers from your cambers? For ski lovers, this season's hot new trend are rocker skis and snowboards - a new arched shape that promises a joyous glide through powder and back country terrain.
For years, skis and snowboards simply had camber, a "tip-to-tail arch that distributed weight for glide and helped drive you across the hill by returning energy to your edges," states Outside magazine, a renowned US sports and fitness magazine. Camber skis and boards are ideal for hardpacked snow but can be demanding in powder.
Rockers, however, are inverted camber skis, which are claimed to operate as powder flotation devices. Last year rockers were spotted on the slopes but this year the trend expects to grow even more, with ski blogs and magazines widely reporting that rocker technology is here to say. And manufacturers are developing new products to meet demand, offering rocker skis and boards that promise smoother rides through powder and back country with more maneuverability and style. Also, many new skis and boards offer a hybrid of both camber and rocker designs. The rocker design was developed by the late Canadian extreme skier Shane McConkey, who died in a ski stunt accident last year.
Top rocker skis to look for this year? K2 Hell Bent skis are 50 percent camber, 50 percent rocker and designed for deep snow. "The tip has the most elevation and the longest measurement of rocker and offers skiers a 'surfy' feel for increased soft-snow performance," reviews blogger Two Seasons (blog.twoseasons.co.uk). Price: $1,089.95 (799 euros) with bindings. Another popular brand is the Volkl Gotama, a rocker-inspired snowboard designed for off-piste riding and freestyle moves, priced at $825 (604 euros). Other models include Line Prophet 100, Salomon Shogun, and Rossignol S7.
For a primer on rocker technology, visit: