Science Explained - Snowboard Cambers

Oct 31, 2013

Hybrid-V, Jib Rocker, Powder Rocker, S-Rocker and Traditional Camber… and that’s just Amplid! The most important thing to remember is that at Amplid we match the camber profile of the board to the shape and flex pattern. All of these elements contribute to the way a board rides so it’s important that the camber profile works harmoniously with the board’s other design elements.


Traditional Camber


traditional-camber


We’ll start with Traditional Camber because it’s the original camber profile. A snowboard with traditional Camber rests on its contact points and is bowed from these points to the centre. When a cambered snowboard is loaded through a turn, the force generated is distributed along the edge and focused at the contact points creating a lot of grip at the extremities of the board, which is good for edge hold. A Traditionally Cambered snowboard also flexes against its natural form when carving, building up potential energy like a coiled spring. When the rider unloads the board from a carved turn this stored-up energy is released firing the rider out of turn into the next; this is why cambered snowboards are described as lively. If a cambered board is flexed at the tail for an ollie, the board naturally wants to return to its original form and so the snap generated from releasing your weight and jumping is what we call pop. Cambered snowboards are lively and have lots of pop, the stiffer the flex the more potential energy is stored in each carve but the more force is required to flex the board in the first place. For inexperienced snowboarders, having pressure focused at the contact points can make a snowboard feel catchy and twitchy. In powder the dynamics of a cambered board cause the tail to rise and the nose to dip, which makes them demanding and sometimes stubborn in deep snow. At Amplid we keep Traditional Camber for our expert snowboards the UNW8 and HiDef. These are snowboards designed to be ridden by aggressive and experienced snowboarders who are happy to sacrifice ease of riding and floatation for the rewards of liveliness, pop and edge hold.


Who it's for: Dedicated corduroy carvers, pro-line poachers, pipe smokers and aggressive freeriders. Advanced to expert.


Jib Rocker


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Jib Rocker is the opposite of Traditional Camber in appearance and performance. Amplid snowboards with Jib Rocker rest on a flat base between the bindings, from the bindings the profile of the nose and tail gradually rise towards the tips. Freeing the tips from the snow and moving the contact points to around the feet make boards with Jib Rocker very loose without the sometimes catchy feel of Traditional camber. The tips of Jib Rocker snowboards naturally want to rise out of deep snow making them easy boards to ride in powder. Tricks like manuals, butters and presses are much easier because the nose and tail are pre-bent in the direction of flex. The Flipside to this profile is that the tips can feel soft to heavier or experienced snowboarders meaning that the pop and liveliness of the snowboard doesn’t match that of camber. Also, because force is not being transferred to the extremities of the edge, edge hold can feel lacklustre. We use Jib Rocker on Amplid’s softer jib/park snowboards the Liquorice and the Dopamine as these boards are for riders who would rather butter, jib and bonk their way down the mountain than carve hard and straight-line.


Who it's for: Beginners and jibbers of all levels.


Hybrid-V


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Hybrid-V is a compromise between Traditional Camber and Rocker. Despite what other brands claim, this camber profile is not the ultimate solution for all snowboards, but it is a fantastic option for mid-flexing all-mountain snowboards which are intended to be ridden regular and switch. The general/majority profile of Hybrid V snowboards is reverse camber which makes floating in deep snow easy work and means much less pressure at the start and end of the effective edge when on a very slight edge or flat basing. Under the rider’s feet traditional camber is introduced which gives the snowboard additional pop and more load resistance, so it can withstand tail heavy landings. The camber under the feet also helps to increase the edge pressure at the extremities of the board which improves edge hold Vs reverse camber snowboards. Because the waists of Hybrid-V snowboards have a degree of rocker, they are softer between the bindings and as a result are easier to flex than Traditional Cambered snowboards, so ollies, presses and butters require less force, aggression and control to execute cleanly. The LoBro, Paradigma and Pocketknife all have a Hybrid-V camber profile.


Who it's for: Beginners, intermediates and freestyle focused all-mountain riders of all levels.


Powder Rocker


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The Creamer is the only board that Amplid builds with Powder Rocker. Powder Rocker is a directional camber profile which is not so directional that it can’t be ridden switch in deep snow. The early rise nose helps the Creamer to plane on top of deep snow at lower speeds and keeps the elliptical nose above the surface of the snow in tight terrain. Continuing a flat profile from between the feet into the tail gives the Creamer more stiffness and resistance behind the rear foot which allows for better control in hard and soft snow conditions and helps the Creamer to stick tail heavy landings. Finally, because the Creamer’s taper (the nose is slightly wider than the tail to help with floatation in deep snow) is only 4mm with no camber under the rear foot, it can be ridden switch in deeps snow without feeling awkward and catchy. Team rider John Rodosky chooses to ride the Creamer with Powder Rocker because it blends deep snow performance with tail control and freestyle versatility.


Who it's for: All-mountain riders from intermediate to expert who want a versatile powder board that can be ridden switch.


S-Rocker


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The S-Rocker profile was a by-product of the R&D work conducted on the Morning Glory Snowboard. The first prototypes of the Morning Glory had a Powder Rocker profile but after testing in deep snow it was found that with so much surface area in the nose of the board, the Morning Glory did not plane readily. The stance was then moved to being almost centred on the sidecut, but although it felt less tail heavy the board feel still wasn’t right. Everything came together when camber was reintroduced underneath the rear inserts. Camber under the rear foot not only added more power and control into the tail of the board than Powder Rocker could provide but the flow of powder into the camber cavity pushed the board’s tail up and the nose down giving the stance a perfectly balanced feel and the ultimate trim for maintaining speed on flatter terrain. S-Rocker is the ultimate camber hybrid for freeriding. A long rockered, elliptical nose prevents riders from going over the handlebars in deep snow conditions and the cambered tail helps to keep the board balanced whilst providing extra stiffness and pop for landings, ollies and slashes. Combined with the Morning Glory’s shaping this profile encourages its rider to ride much more front foot heavy than on other powder boards giving it a looser tail in tight terrain and a much more surf-like feel.  


Who it's for: Old surf dogs and pow junkies looking for the ultimate powder riding experience and don’t care about riding switch. Intermediate to expert.