Rockered Skis Vs. Traditional Camber
If you haven’t noticed yet, rockered skis have become extremely popular in the skiing world today. Some of you may be asking what the heck is a rockered ski and why would I ever want something like that? Well for those of you that have never heard of this type of ski before, it is when there is an early rise in the tip or tail of the ski. Here is a picture of what one looks like: As you can see, the difference from the traditional camber and the rocker ski is that the tips or tips and tails begin to rise much earlier. The benefit of this is that they provide much more flotation in deep snow. I grew up skiing on the East coast where the snow never got much deeper then a foot, so I never had the need for something like this. However, when I moved out to the Reno/Tahoe area, I really began to see the need for this new technology.
After the first time I got a chance to ride on a pair of rockered skis, I was hooked. The rockered ski requires much less effort in deep snow because your tips rise out of the snow. Rather than constantly being in the back seat trying to stay a float with traditional camber ski’s, the rocker allows you to keep your balance forward and remain in control with minimal effort. One problem with rockered skis is that although they preform great in deep snow, on the hard pack they are a lot harder to control. Due to the fact that there is less total edge contact with the ski and no underfoot camber, turning requires a lot more energy. Therefore, if you live in a place where it doesn’t snow all that often then a rockered ski is probably not the best option for you. On other hand, if you live in a place like Tahoe that averages 300 to 500 inches a year then you should definitely give a pair of rockered skis a try and I’m sure you will not be disappointed.
One new technology that I have seen emerge is the mustache rocker. This combine traditional camber with rocker technology so that there is an early rise in the tip and tail but also camber underfoot. Although I have never tried this type of ski before, I feel like it is going to be the future of all new powder ski’s. The reason why is because this ski will still provide the added floatation that comes with the rocker, but the traditional camber underfoot will still allow for better control of the ski all around the mountain. Hopefully soon I will be able to get a chance to try out a pair of ski’s that features this new technology but for now I can only speculate. If anyone out there has ever tried a ski like this before, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments!