Understanding what camber and rocker is can be confusing at first due to the many different terms ski brands like to use. But it’s really pretty straightforward as, once you break it down, it simply describes the general profile of a ski. The profile of a ski is the shape they form when placed on a flat surface. The three main types of profile to understand are camber, reverse camber and rocker (or early rise).
Traditionally skis all had a camber profile. This means that while laying flat on the ground the waist of the ski would sit off the floor whilst the tip and tail would make contact.
This profile provides edge grip to the ski on piste and on firm snow. When the ski is under pressure during a turn the ski can flex fully without the tip and tail losing edge contact. This traditional camber design is still fundamental to modern skis in all categories, with designers incorporating it into the vast majority of skis on the market today.
Just as ski shapes evolved in terms of width and sidecut, so did the camber profiles. Along with creating wider skis with sidecut, designers started to play around flattening the camber profiles and adding extra rise to tip and tails. In the most progressive examples manufacturers started to fully reverse the profile creating the iconic Volant Spatulas, designed by legend Shane McConkey.