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Rocker boards (confessions of an accidental snowboarder)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Posted this elsewhwere but thought it was worth pasting here

So I recently had cause to revert to snowboarding as injury prevented skiing and I was going to try to make the most of it. I've done a fair bit of boarding back in the day so I'm not quite a raw convert.

Some observations

- It is easier once you are moving downhill, you can do it in circumstances where you can't walk or ski properly (apart from scooting)
- One footing feels very vulnerable, took me a while to regain confidence off chairlifts etc
- Flats and particularly slow spring snow remain a PITA
- It's impossible to catch an edge on a new fangled rocker board (& believe me I tried)
- It is more than possible to crush the nose and fall over the front (also done a lot)
- Rocker board lacked a bit of oomph compared to trad camber - if I was getting back into it I can see my equipment choices would be potentially more limited these days
- Pow remains completely intuitive
- Faceshots are easier
- You quickly get confidence to drop into sketchy, narrow poo-poo because you know you can pivot within the length of the board
- When you haven't boarded in a while you forget how big a blindspot the heelside is, I spent far more time looking around than I do on skis
- It was fun
- Skiing is easier in all the adminy bits of skiing like flats, lift mazes, setting off, getting up small rises etc. My faff time probably increased 20-30% & I strap in standing.
- Everyone who wants to be an ski instructor should have to do some snowboarding as a second discipline if only to gain an appreciation for movement patterns, vulnerability, sightlines, unnaturalness etc.

So is that a fair take on rocker? Certainly easy to use at perhaps the expense of a bit of edge certainty on polished snow/hardpack. Hard to tell if it was rustiness or a genuine difference in equipment - I used to ride stuff like the Prior MFR which was a proper burly board which would kill it in a lot of circumstances (& back in the day a Ride Timeless).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
fatbob, I had a day on a Burton rocker hire board of some sort in Jan. It was a bit softer than my usual board but the rocker didn't seem to hold the board back although I'm unsure it made a massive difference in the pow.

I agree about the Ski Instructors choosing snowboarding as a 2nd discipline. Boarding gives a great reminder of what it's like to be a 'learner', which is perhaps missing with the other disciplines.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Rocker... never ridden it on piste, but rode a lot of powder boards which had rocker or were flat. I'm under-impressed in powder... rocker works better for skis than boards for what I think are simple mechanical reasons. The rocker boards I like (Joystick) feel pretty much like none-rockered boards. Some of the others feel too sloppy on the nose. They may help beginners, although I've not seen much evidence of that - a powder beginner will do better on an old Fish than (insert name of briefly fashionable rocker board here). Skis are different - really bad skiers can survive powder on rockered skis.

I can't comment on the "catch and edge" thing - I'm not sure how you do that, but I don't. It sounds reasonable.

"Easier to use" would be a good thing I suppose, but if you mean "easier to use" like a consumer mountain bike versus my track bike... well the consumer thing isn't easier to use for high-performance, if you see what I mean.

Overall I think rocker came and went; the manufacturers are over it, and the kids who thought it'd make them rippers know they were burned again.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
fatbob wrote:

- Everyone who wants to be an ski instructor should have to do some snowboarding as a second discipline if only to gain an appreciation for movement patterns, vulnerability, sightlines, unnaturalness etc.

Massive +1 from me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've got a rocker board, basically cause I was looking for a bendy board I could drive easily in a shed and it was the one that appealed the most. I disagree wholeheartedly about it being difficult to catch an edge, when in a straight line in particular it's far keener to throw me head first into a snowdrift than my combo wotsit hybrid mountain one. Standard relative beginner disclaimer applies.

I'm glad you noticed the one footing getting off lifts thing feeling very vulnerable, I don't think skiers ever get how lucky they are with lifts.

And another +1 for instructors needing to have a go on a board.
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Hi there, the rocker debate. Well I ride a rocker libteck and have done so for a few years. The last camber board was a burton T6 about as camber as you can get and went to a skate banana 4 years ago and now ride a banana magic. I ride a lot and to a pretty good standard after 8 winter seasons in Meribel (first put a board on my feet 18 years ago) I'm also pretty hard on my kit so I've had a few boards. For me camber means I can go a few cm shorter - for pow and park. I have the wavy edges and think they work very well and see no reason not to have them on any board. The only disadvantage I have noticed is that on the bigger kickers with rotation I was out on the landings more (just showing up my bad technique) but for every other facet of riding I think they [rocker boards] are just better or rather suit my riding style better. I regularly hike up, hit steep stuff then on the way back to the lifts go through the park - kickers and rails - on the same 157cm board (I'm 6ft and 12 stone).
To sum up; more versatile.
Sorry a bit more than the 2p I had intended.
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