Understanding the different types of snowboard cambers can be quite confusing at first especially when board companies like to brand their cambers by their own specific name. But really once you get a basic understanding of the different types of camber, its easy to understand and really they only fall under 4 main profiles. The main profiles are Traditional camber, Reverse camber or Rocker, Flat, and Hybrid camber.
Here's the different between all four profiles:
Once upon a time, all snowboards were made with traditional camber. It was the only way companies were building snowboards at the time and was based off how skis were made.
Basically, traditional camber is when camber runs underneath the board from the contact point (where the board hits the snow) at the tip to the contact point at the tail. You might hear people say camber from tip to tail - this is traditional camber.
This is the most aggressive style of camber, and it can be way less forgiving then other camber profiles. What does that mean exactly? Well, it typically takes a lot body weight and an aggressive style of riding to get the middle of the snowboard in contact with the snow and achieve edge control. This can be quite difficult for beginners to do and they tend to catch an edge a lot easier than other camber profiles.
The positives of traditional camber are that it provides great pop for ollies and jumps, improves edge-hold, adds to spring out of a turn and helps with stability at speed.
Reverse Camber or Rocker
Reverse Camber or what people like to call Rocker, is the exact opposite of traditional camber. This is the continuous rocker or banana shape between the tip and tail (contact points) of the snowboard, keeping the contact points off of the snow.
Typically reverse camber is recommended for beginners because the middle of the board is already in contact with the snow so no body weight or pressure is needed push the board down to achieve edge hold. Reverse camber can be a great option if you prefer a more surfy feel.
This loose feeling can be great if this is your riding style but it can also lead to less stability at speeds. Additionally, reverse camber boards tend to have less pop, don't hold an edge as well as traditional camber, and can be more difficult to land big jumps.
Hybrid profiles are a mix of 2 to 3 of the different camber profiles (traditional camber, reverse camber, or flat). This where snowboard companies tend to get fancy with their profiles and there is numerous different types of combinations.
The most common hybrids are rocker/camber/rocker (hybrid camber), camber/rocker/camber (hybrid rocker) and rocker/flat/rocker (flat-to-rocker).
Hybrid camber is a very popular snowboard profile amongst riders and is used numerous boards across the market. It is a great option if you care looking for all the benefits that Traditional camber gives you - loads of pop for ollies/jumps, stability at speeds and great edge hold. The rocker tip and tail brings a more forgiving/playful ride. This takes away that aggressiveness that Traditional camber usually brings, making it so you don't have to put in as much effort to turn the board and hold an edge.
Hybrid camber boards are highly rated if you are looking for the best of both worlds when it comes to your next snowboard purchase.
Hybrid Rocker profiles tend to produce a slightly looser feel than Hybrid Camber profiles, due to that rocker being between the feet. They also tend to be a little bit quicker edge to edge because of this. With significantly more rocker than camber, this profile typically floats a bit better in powder as well.
Flat to Rocker
The Flat to Rocker profile isn't super common and only a handful of snowboard brands offer this profile option. It's great for beginners as they feel more stable due to the flat section underfoot and the rocker section towards the tip and tail reduce the likelihood of catching an edge and make turn initiation easier.