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Rock the mountain: ski's with Rocker

With freeride skiing gaining popularity in Europe, demand for ski’s that are better equipped for freeriding is on the rise. That is why this year you will see many more ski’s that will have some form of ‘Rocker’ incorporated in them. But what is Rocker and when can you use ski’s that incorporate Rocker?

Traditional Camber vs. reverse sidecut


Traditionally a lot of ski’s sold in Europe were race oriented. This means they are made for speed and stability when your downhilling a slope at 100 k’s an hour. Using a technique called ‘traditional Camber’ the ski is actually pressed down onto the slope, so that even when you go very fast, you will still have enough stability. Next to that these ski’s have sharp edges providing grip when you hang into a corner. On very well maintained corduroy these ski’s are the best choice if you want to test your speed limit.

But what if there is fresh pow? And the slopes turn from race tracks into heavenly bowls of powder? Or if you are not interested in the set tracks or testing your speed limit but want to explore the side- or backcountry where you will find crud, moguls and deeper snow. Having ski’s that press you into the snow to increase stability won’t help you stay afloat and stay on top of the snow... So the technique you actually need is exactly the opposite of ‘traditional Camber’. Say hello to ‘reverse sidecut’ or ‘Rocker’.

full rocker

The banana shape of a ski that has full Rocker makes it possible to ski effortlessly in deeper snow. The full Rocker makes sure you stay afloat. And because the actual part of the ski that does still touch the snow is smaller then in traditional slope oriented ski’s, you are also able to make your turns a lot easier.The downside is that your ski will become less stable on higher speeds.

Mixed blend
So we have traditional camber, which provides too much stability and down-pressure to stay afloat in deep snow and we have fully incorporated Rocker that provides a lot of float, but to little stability when charging down a steep powdery mountain face. So, smart as they are, many ski companies have come up with ski’s that have a blend of both Camber and Rocker. Providing stability and float at the same time. And these mixed blends come in various shapes, sizes and withs suited for people who like to stay on the slopes but also will go out when it is snowing heavily and aren’t afraid of moguls or crud, to blends that are suited for side- and backcountry freeriding.

blend rocker camber

Rocking it for the first time
If you are on the market to buy new ski’s this year, or would like to have a ski with a more all mountain character next to your race ski’s? Make sure to try and check out some of the new available ski’s that incorporate Rocker. The addition of Rocker will make skiing easier. You won’t always find perfect groomers but will most likely also come across crud, moguls and on some days, when you are lucky, fresh pow.

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