Rocker and Rolling Skis

Ski Magazine online notes a new trend in ski design: the rocker.

Skis typically feature a design characteristic known as camber. Lay the ski on a flat surface (flat side down) and look at the ski — the tip and the tail rest on the surface and in between the tip and tail the ski bows upward. That is what is meant by camber and skis have another characteristic called reverse camber which is about the ski resistance to being bent the other way.

Rocker, on the other hand, is the opposite. Place a rockered ski on a flat surface and the tip and tail rise off of the surface and rests on the surface in between.

Ski Magazine claims the rocker ski is best suited to powder, less so in crud, and tricky on groomers. Ski Magazine then goes on to note ski manufacturers are starting to adopt this rocker design into their skis and are experimenting trying to find designs that minimize the rocker’s weaknesses.
My understanding of ski design and function leads me to believe one thing — if ski manufacturers can design away the poor groomer performance then the skis will most likely be restricted to beginner and intermediate skiers. The article notes the skis will not have the pop of traditional skis (a properly worked stores energy in a turn and that energy can be turned into a speed boost) but I can see that it will be easier for new skiers to carve.

In order to carve on traditional skis, skiers must get the ski into reverse camber but rocker skis are already arced properly for a carve and beginning skiers will not have to work up the speed or apply the needed forces to lay the skis on edge and turn.

Call me unconvinced I will continue to watch this new gear development.

Good Stuff!

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