This page is going to discuss which snowboard camber types are best suited to different styles of snowboarding. If you aren’t sure about what camber means or if you’d like to learn more about camber profiles check out the link below.
This page is going to go through 4 broad styles – the styles that I have defined are:
- All Mountain
- Freeride; and
Of course everyone has their own style and these are very broad definitions but it will give you a place to start. To learn more about the styles as defined on SnowboardingProfiles.com check out this post.
Freestyle boards typically have hybrid rocker or hybrid camber or flat to rocker profile.
But there are freestyle snowboards made in almost every camber profile you can think of so if you are used to a certain profile and you don’t want to change then there will be a board for you.
But here’s a couple of reasons why the above three profiles are the most popular
The Hybrid camber profile is the now the most common for freestyle boards – with that camber underfoot and between the bindings offering pop and stability – with the rocker tip and tail aiding in a more catch-free ride, helping with buttering and adding forgiveness on landings.
The camber section towards the tip and tail in the hybrid rocker profile is great for landing jumps (the rocker section of the board flexes initially on landing for give, and then the camber sections engage for stability). And that importantly adds pop too. The rocker between the feet helps on jibs and to give a looser feel, which a lot of freestylers like.
The flat section in the flat to rocker is also fine for jibbing assuming that the flex of the board is medium-soft or soft. And the flat section can aid in stability for landing jumps. Flat-to-rocker is typically for more jib oriented freestyle boards or for beginners in the park.
See below for the breakdown of 48 freestyle boards I looked at (model years looked at = 2016-2019):
|Number of Freestyle Boards||% of Freestyle Boards|
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||7||15%|
The following are figures I looked at in 2015. Comparing 49 freestyle and 22 jib/street board. So things have changed a little but not too much. The biggest mover was hybrid camber boards, with hybrid cambers now the dominant force, with 35% and previously 20% of freestyle boards. Continuous rocker boards decreased the most.
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||11||22%|
|Flat to Rocker||9||18%|
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||4||20%|
|Flat to Rocker||12||60%|
Total Freestyle & Jib/Street Boards
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||15||21%|
|Flat to Rocker||21||30%|
So as you can see there are boards made for freestyle riding across the range of camber profiles – with some being more popular than others.
NOTE: THIS POST IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING UPDATED – ONLY THE FREESTYLE SECTION HAS BEEN UPDATED SO FAR
All mountaineers like to do a bit of everything. How much of each type of riding they do will depend on the person. A majority of riders fall somewhere in this category – some leaning more towards freeriding and some more towards freestyle.
Because you need your board to be super versatile, if you want to be able to a bit of everything on one board, the camber profile needs to be versatile enough to excel everywhere on the mountain.
It comes as no surprise then that the flat profiles, traditional camber profiles & continuous rocker profiles don’t feature heavily in all mountain boards. And it also comes as no surprise that hybrid profiles dominate this type of snowboard.
In fact hybrid profiles made up 95% of the 40 boards that I looked at – so just 5% for the other 3 camber profiles combined.
All-Mountain Boards Camber Profiles
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||1||3%|
|Flat to Rocker||10||25%|
If you are more of an All-Mountain-Freestyle rider then I also analyzed some all mountain freestyle boards. Unsurprisingly the most common camber profiles used for these boards came somewhere in between Freestyle boards and All Mountain boards.
For all mountain freestyle boards hybrid profiles made up 74% (compared with 61% of freestyle boards that use hybrid profiles and 95% of all mountain boards that use hybrid profiles) of the camber profiles used in the 53 all-mountain-freestyle boards that I looked at. The continuous rocker profile made 15% of the rest, with flat and traditional just 12% between them.
All-Mountain Freestyle Boards Camber Profiles
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||8||15%|
|Flat to Rocker||10||19%|
An aggressive all mountain rider is usually someone who is in between a freerider and an all mountaineer. The table below shows the camber profile percentages for the aggressive all mountain snowboards that I analyzed.
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||0||0%|
|Flat to Rocker||0||0%|
As you can see aggressive all mountain boards tend to favor some kind of camber in the profile. This will add to the stability at speed and the edge hold needed for aggressive riding.
More than half of all the aggressive all mountain boards I looked at had a hybrid camber profile. The rocker sections in this profile will help the aggressive all mountain rider to get float in powder.
Freeride boards are pretty dominated by Hybrid Camber boards.
This isn’t too surprising. A hybrid camber profile offers freeriders rocker sections towards the tip and tail (sometimes just towards the tip) for extra float in powder. And the camber section in the centre of the board allows for greater edge control.
Since float in powder and edge-hold are both very important things for freeriders so it’s no surprise to see this camber profile dominate this category.
Freeride Boards Camber Profiles
Of the 36 freeride boards I looked at 50% of them were hybrid camber, with hybrid rocker (17%) the next most popular.
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||2||6%|
|Flat to Rocker||5||14%|
Powder Boards Camber Profiles
The 34 powder boards I looked at followed a similar trend with Hybrid Camber being used on 47% of the boards with Flat to Rocker (32%) the next most popular.
|Continuous Rocker/Reverse Camber||3||9%|
|Flat to Rocker||11||32%|
Over to You
As you can see there are heaps of camber options for each style of riding. In my opinion some profiles are better than others depending on the style – but some people have personal preferences for a certain camber profile no matter their style.
If you are unsure of the camber profile you should go with hopefully this page has helped you to decide.
If you are looking for the best camber profile for beginners check out this post on snowboards for beginners.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments you are very welcome to leave them in the comments section below.
Hunter Orahood says
Nate, this is by far the most helpful and resourceful snowboard website there is so thanks for all the work you put in for helping everyone in the snowboard community. Selecting the correct gear for your riding is super important regardless of your skill level. I recently switched to a camber underfoot rocker in the front board and as a bigger rider (6’4 / 12 boot 220lbs) love that locked in feeling and pop camber offers and the ability to get a little float when needed. I road a burton flying-v for a while and I wanted to love it, but it just washed out too much and couldn’t keep the edge locked at high speeds. The only hybrid boards like flying v that I’ve found to hold an edge and pop like camber, but have the playful forgiveness of the rocker are the lib tech and a couple of the never summers with the mild camber that I’ve tested out. Next hybrid board I will get probably go skunk ape or similar. I wish burton made a hybrid, volume shifted board that was in the 7 flex range, seems like lots of companies are starting to make at least one board like that.
Luka Smith says
Love the article and all the info. I just need some help figuring out what board profile would suite my riding style the best. I live in France and often change places to go snowboarding so I don’t have specific snow conditions but i do get quite a lot of powder. I love riding out of bounds on the fresh pow but also jibing on the regular runs as well as jumping (either park or on the side of the runs). I would like a profile that is nimble enough to jib and enable tricks (180s,360s,backflips) as well as cruising through the trees but also be stable enough at higher speeds when pointing straight down the mountain, lastly I really want a profile capable of cruising through powder.
My boot size is 7,5 US and i run my bindings +9 in the front and -6 in the rear (Im goofy)
Any chance you could help me find a good profile and board as well ?
Thanks for your message.
I think you would be best suited to either a hybrid camber or hybrid rocker. Since you still like to to tricks like 180s, I wouldn’t go directional camber (camber all the way back to the tail with a rockered nose), which is a nice profile for powder, I find. And I wouldn’t go too directional overall. Because you’re trying to strike a balance between powder, freestyle and speed, I think a hybrid profile that rides similar in both directions is the way to go. And you certainly want some rocker for when you’re in the pow. But certainly some camber for stability at high speeds and for pop for jumps, ollies, spins etc. It’s whether you put that rocker between the feet and then have camber out to the tip and tail (hybrid rocker) or have camber between the feet and have rocker towards the tip and tail (hybrid camber). In theory, at least in my head, hybrid camber is better for powder, but I’ve ridden some hybrid rocker boards that are really decent in pow too, so in practice both would be good options.
In terms of board options, I think something all-mountain is a good way to go. A good do-it-all kind of deck. You could go freeride and get the best of speed, carving and powder, but you would sacrifice on freestyle. Or you could go all-mountain-freestyle, but then you would sacrifice in terms of powder. So I think all-mountain is a good in between. There’s always a compromise and to get the best of both worlds, you’d want to have 2 separate boards, but if you want one board for everything then I would go all-mountain. Check out the following for some great options:
>>My Top 10 All Mountain Snowboards
Check out the score breakdowns for those to see what you think might suit you best. If you narrow it down but still can’t decide, let me know and I can try to help you narrow it down further. Or if you find other options you want to run by me. Also, if you are after sizing recommendations, I can do that for the individual boards, once you’ve narrowed it down a little.
Hope this helps
Luka Smith says
Thank you very much for the help! I’ll continue my own research and come back to you if I have more questions.
Luka Smith says
I looked at your list and the YES Standard looks to be an extremely nice choice but i have no idea what size to take could you help me ?
I would say probably 151 or 153, probably 153, depending on your boot size. If you could let me know your boot size, that would be great.
Hi Nate – probably dumb question on camber…..but what is meant by “loading the camber”? I’m starting to progress into some jumps and found it helps me when I push down into the board (for lack of a better way to say it) and kind of use it to spring into a jump (Ollie type). I have a hybrid camber board, but not sure if what I’m doing is considered loading the camber or something else. Thanks!
Yeah my understanding of “loading the camber” is just that. Essentially you’re compressing the camber to load it up. You load up the camber for both turns and jumps/ollies – essentially any time you want to get pop. Some boards I find you’ve got to load up quite a bit to get the pop out of it – and other boards that pop doesn’t need as much loading – it’s easier to “extract” the pop. Usually the more you can load a board up, the more pop you can get, but at the expense of effortless pop. Some are nicely in the middle and some have some pop that’s nice and easy to access, and then can go another level when you really load it up – if that makes sense.
But yeah certainly to get any kind of pop you need to bend your knees into the board and then pop up (essentially quickly straightening your knees).
Hope this helps and makes sense
Thanks Nate !
You’re very welcome dl!
Great summary of all the types. I have been riding for about 5 years now on a Rome Artifact SDS (Hustlin’ edition). Mr riding style now is a little bit of everything, but not as aggressive in the park as i used to be. I snowboard mainly in the Midwest and enjoy bombing hills, carving through tree runs (if they’re ever considered that in the Midwest), and running through the park to hit a couple jumps and simple boxes/rails. I am looking for something that will handle well at speeds, carve in some of the icy conditions you see in the Midwest, and handle smaller jumps (<25-30ft) with the ability to land and ride out switch with no problems.
I am looking into a new board and am slightly overwhelmed by the many different types. I would think an All-Mountain board would be the best fit but am unsure of the camber/rocker profile that might best fit by riding style.
A couple I have been looking at include the YES Standard, PYL and The Greats, Never Summer Prototype 2, Burton Custom, and Niche Story. I am open to any other suggestions but was looking for a little guidance!
Thanks for your message.
I think you’re on the right track for what you’re describing. In terms of camber profile, something hybrid is often a good way to go, IMO. Weather that be Hybrid Camber or Hybrid Rocker. Hybrid Rocker tends to give a slightly looser/more surfy feel and hybrid camber more stable. Of course these are broad terms as some hybrid camber can be predominantly camber and others have more rocker in them. The same goes for hybrid rocker.
Both can certainly work for the things you’re describing but hybrid camber will feel closer to traditional camber (which I believe the Rome Artifact of around 2013 had). So maybe if you want a more familiar, but still different, feel, then that could lean towards hybrid camber.
The other thing to consider is flex. A stiffer flex will certainly help with stability at speed, but too stiff and it can affect maneuverabilty at slower speeds (which is often beneficial in trees) – and not as fun (or easy) for boxes and rails. So, something mid-flexing would be your best bet, IMO. The PYL is potentially too stiff for that reason, so could cross that off. Based on what I can tell the 2013 model Artifact was quite soft flexing, so going a little stiffer is probably a good idea. The following is how I would rate the stiffness of the boards you mentioned.
Proto Type Two: 5/10
Story: 7/10 – or maybe closer to 6.5/10
Note these aren’t what the manufacturers rate them at. This is the feel I get from them.
In terms of edge-hold in hard/icy conditions, the Standard, PYL and Greats and Niche Story are all really good in those conditions, IMO. The Proto Type Two not quite as good but still good and the Custom just a bit down again – to put a number on it:
Proto Type Two: 4/5
Based on everything, I think the Standard would be a great option. The Greats and Proto Type Two would also work well, but the Standard is a little better in powder. The PYL probably a bit stiff and not as good for riding/landing switch. The Story could also work but also not quite as good at riding switch and just a little stiffer feeling. Also if you’re wanting to stick with hybrid camber over hybrid rocker, then the Proto Type Two and Story are both hybrid rocker.
If you search the site, I have reviews for most of the boards mentioned that you can check out.
Hope this gives you more to go off for your decision
Hey great read, I have a few questions for you. I am an intermediate rider blues and single black diamonds. I am looking for a decent all around board that would do well in Ice’y/hard conditions since I live in PA. I used to have a DC chain board that was a all mountain hybrid, I am looking for something that allows me to go fast and carve up the mountain while still giving the flexibility of hitting rails in the park. Any suggestions? I am 5’11 170-185lbs.
Thanks for your message.
I would check out the following:
>>My Top All-Mountain-Freestyle Snowboards
>>My Top 10 All Mountain Snowboards
If you don’t see a lot of powder, then something from either list. If you do see some powder days and want that powder performance, then the all-mountain list is your best bet. I have what I consider the best boards in hard/icy conditions tagged in those lists. There are others that are almost as good, so if you don’t find any of the “HARD/ICY OPTION” boards that you like, then I can let you know the ones that I consider almost as good.
Hope this helps
I’m trying to decide between a Burton Socialite and Never Summer Infinity. I’m an intermediate rider and trying to get into park riding a little more, I don’t do too much now. I’m worried the camber profile on the infinity not be good for a newer park rider, especially because I’ve been riding on a flat board for the past 5 years. Yet the socialite is super soft… Which board do you think would be better for me?
Thanks for your message.
I would say both boards are relatively soft, but certainly the Socialite is softer – but that’s a good thing for starting out in the park. Maybe not such a good thing for the rest of the mountain if it was going to be your only board. But if you already have another board for riding the rest of the mountain, then I think the Socialite is going to be a better option for starting out in the park, if you can use it as your park specialist.
But if you’re looking for something to ride everything, then the Infinity is going to be a better option, more versatile. It won’t be as easy for the park as the Socialite but it’s not bad for it either – it’s not overly stiff, it’s still a twin with a centered stance, and whilst it’s going to be stiffer, it’s still on the softer side of medium. The camber profile isn’t what you’re used to but I think once you got used to it, you would find it was fine in the park. It’s a pretty easy going camber profile (the same as they have on the men’s Snowtrooper and that board is really easy going).
So yeah, I think the Socialite would be the better option for you if you were going to use it as a dedicated, get-better-at-riding-the-park board, but if you wanted something for everything, then the Infinity would be the better option.
The other thing to think about is the size. For riding park, it’s a good idea to go a little smaller than you normally would. If you get something just for the park, then you can be a little more liberal with how small you go, but if you’re going to have one board for everything, then a compromise with park performance and mountain performance, in terms of size is a better bet. If you’d like a size recommendation I’d be happy to give you my opinion – would just need your height, weight and boot size.
Hope this helps
Thank you so much! Looks like I’m going with the Infinity as I’m looking for something to ride everything. I am 5’7″ about 155 and wear a size 9.5 boot.
I think the 151 would be a good size for you for the Infinity, for your specs and a good balance between riding the mountain and riding the park. It should be a good width as well. The only thing would be if you ride with a straight back binding angle (e.g. 0-6 degrees), then it might be a little narrow. If you wanted to go shorter – i.e. if you were used to something a little shorter and didn’t want to size up (or if you wanted it to be easier for the park), then you could also ride the 149 – but again, you would want to have a minimum of 12 degrees on your back binding.
Also do you have any other boards in mind that would fit my riding style/goals?
I think one of the following would also be a good fit to ride a bit of everything but be beginner park friendly enough.
~ YES Emoticon
~ GNU Gloss
~ Arbor Popporazzi
~ Capita Paradise
~ GNU Velvet Gnuru
Hope this gives you some other options. But the Infinity would be a great choice too, IMO.
Thank you for your articles. They have all been very helpful to understand what kind of rider I am and about the different board profiles. I am an intermediate level snowboarder that is learning to handle the speed to bomb down mountains. I think I am an aggressive all mountain snowboarder because I like the powder and downhills and I do not really do the parks (please correct me if I am wrong). However, I usually board at Tahoe which is mostly hard snow. I currently have a Ride Manic (rocker) that constantly slips out from under me when I’m trying to carve on ice. Because of this I am looking for a new board.
I also read your reviews for the Top 10 All Mountain boards and the Top 6 Aggressive All Mountain boards. For the Yes Standard you put good for Hard/Icy snow and for the Slash ATV you do not have that description listed. Does that mean that the ATV is not good for hard snow? I guess another question I have is: Do i want to look for a Hybrid-Chamber or a Hybrid-Rocker?
I am 6’0″ and about 170lbs with boot size 9.5 (US). I am looking for a board that can handle the hard Tahoe snow and go on the occasional powder runs when there is enough fresh snow. But mainly a board that does not slip out from under me when carving on hard snow. I was wondering if you had any recommendations on a board, board profiles, height and flex?
Thanks for your message.
Firstly, the ATV is pretty good in hard/icy conditions, from my experience, but not quite as good as something like the Standard, IMO. It’s what I would call 4/5 in those conditions. I’ve only tagged the boards with a “Hard/Icy Conditions” thing if I consider them a 5/5 – i.e. what I find to be the best in hard/icy conditions. I haven’t ridden the Manic, but based on other Ride boards I’ve ridden, coupled with the Manic’s specs, I would rate it more like 3/5 – at most.
In terms of flex, because you’re not into park and because you want to ride at speed, something hat’s a bit stiffer is a good idea, but as an intermediate rider, I wouldn’t go too stiff – you probably won’t enjoy it. I wouldn’t go more than a 7/10 in terms of flex – something around 6/10, 7/10 is probably a good way to go for you, IMO.
In terms of length, I would say something in the range between 157cm and 159cm, for your specs, style & ability.
Width-wise, for your boot size I would say to look at something in the range of 243mm to 253mm in terms of waist width, if you ride with a reasonably angled back binding (i.e. 12-15 degrees) and between 251mm and 256mm at the waist, if you ride with a fairly straight back binding angle (i.e. 0-3 degrees). Add a couple of mms if you like to carve deep and take off a couple off mm if you have low profile boots (e.g. Adidas, Burton, Ride and Vans).
I find that Hybrid Camber or fully cambered tends to be better for aggressive riding, but certainly it depends on how much camber is in there, some hybrid rockers are predominantly camber and just have some subtle rocker between the feet – and some hybrid cambers, have very subtle camber and plenty of rocker and more playful. So generally speaking the more camber the more aggressive the board will be (and that’s more in two senses of the word – i.e. how exaggerated the camber is and how much of the length of the board is taken up with camber – if that makes sense – but let me know if you want that explained in more detail).
But as an intermediate rider, even if you are looking for something relatively aggressive, perhaps going fully camber isn’t necessarily the best idea. That said, some riders, even at an intermediate level, just take to full camber really well, but it’s an individual thing.
I think one of the following would be a good fit:
~ Rossignol One 159 (or 156 if you feel you prefer shorter)
~ Niche Story 156 (it’s a little wider at the waist, so you can go a little shorter, so I would recommend 156 over 159 in this case)
~ Jones Mountain Twin 157 (4/5 hard/icy)
~ Slash Brainstorm 157 (4/5 Hard/Icy)
~ YES Standard 156 (this is a wider board, so 159 would be too long for you, IMO, for this particular board)
~ Jones Explorer 159 (4/5 hard/icy)
~ Capita Mercury 157 (again this is on the wider side, so I wouldn’t go to 159 in this case for you – 4/5 hard/icy)
Hope this helps with your search
WHat would be a great profile for tight tree track runs that have alot of dips of various size, where sometimes you are almost sideways and you have to go from edge to edge quickly?? Im thinking a loose to med flex board with a rocker/camber/rocker profile . what do you think?
and in general, are rocker boards better for going over mogul heavy brachiosaurus like humps??
In terms of flex I probably wouldn’t go for too soft a flex as I find can affect response a little bit. But also, nothing too stiff, if you are going through a lot of bumps and dips – you do want your board to be able to flex a bit with those. So I think medium is a good way to go.
Edge-to-edge speed is definitely a must – this can be affected by the camber profile but other things such as side-cut radius, what the core of the snowboard is made of, ratio of effective edge to length etc are also important. But having at least some camber in the profile will make the board quicker from edge-to-edge, in my experience.
So I think either a Hybrid Camber or Hybrid Rocker but the advantage of the Hybrid Camber (rocker/camber/rocker) is that they are typically better in powder than hybrid rocker (camber/rocker/camber) and if you’re in the trees a lot, then you’re likely to be in powder a fair bit too.
I think in terms of brachiosaurus (love that description) moguls, I would say that some rocker in the profile is good to have – but I wouldn’t won’t to take a continuous rocker board through moguls – I’d want to have some camber in there too – so again, I think a hybrid model would be best for that situation.
Hope this helps
Hi, thank you for your article.. it’s very useful.. 🙂 i have a question to you.. i like to go fast and carve on snowboard.. but i think that i have done a mistake regard the choice of my snow board. I have a LibTech board, in particulary “the World’s greenest board” and it be a Camber-Mild Rocker-Camber.. My question is if the mild rocker at the center would create instability in carving… One thing..if see the profile of the board i can’t see the mild rocker at the center.. It seems like flat.. Thank you 🙂
I would not worry at all about the Rocker in the Lib Tech Greenest Snowboard – it’s very mild and this board is practically all camber. A little bit of rocker in there shouldn’t hinder your carving too much. The Greenest Snowboard actually has a good reputation as a good carver (I haven’t ridden it personally but from other sources it sounds like it carves well).
So I think your snowboard choice is fine – certainly in terms of carving and it’s also got a good reputation for being really good at speed.