ROCKER

Is it Magic ?
 

    Rocker is a dimensional curve along the bottom, top, and rail of the surfboard usually referenced from nose to tail.

Bottom Rocker - Dimensional curve following a straight line along the bottom of a surfboard. Bottom rocker is the backbone or foundation of a well designed surfboard.

Deck Rocker - Dimensional curve following a straight line along the top of a surfboard. The area defined by plotting bottom and deck rocker defines the foil or thickness flow of a surfboard from nose to tail.

Rail Rocker - Dimensional curve along the rail of a surfboard. This line follows the outline and the bottom of a surfboard's rail(s). The relationship between a surfboard's bottom rocker and rail rocker helps define the bottom contours of a surboard.
 
     
    Rocker is an extremely significant variable in the design of a surfboard. Bottom rocker is (generally) the first design element a shaper puts into a surboard. Once the bottom rocker is established the shaper will proceed to add bottom contours and foil the board from nose to tail and side to side, ALL in relation to the bottom rocker. It's essential that these additional variables compliment the bottom rocker of the board. If these design variables are not in sync, they risk working against each other.

A well designed bottom rocker, functional - relevant - and well executed, is the foundation of a "magic" board.

There are three primary varieties of rocker evident in surfboard design: (1) "Continuous" curves, (2) "Staged" curves, and (3) a "hybrid" combination of both. All these bottom rockers may be applied to most surfboard design - shortboards, specialty shortboards, semiguns, guns, tow boards, hybrids, funboards, and longboards - as shapers design the performance characteristics into a surfboard. However, you could make a strong argument that each of these bottom rockers is generally better suited to some designs than others.

Continuous Curves Rocker is a bottom curve with no flat spots that still flows from greater curves in the nose and entry of the surfboard to lesser curves in the mid and tail sections of the board. These smooth and continuous curves allow a surfboard to turn with relative (to length, template, and bottom contours) ease, yet develop speed, and project well out of turns.

When applied to shortboards, specialty shortboards, semiguns, and guns this type of rocker allows a surfboard to transfer from rail to rail, turn in a variety of arcs (turning radius), and drive out of the turns with a variety of projection. Shapers may dial up or down these performance features by varying the degree of these curves. A relatively greater continuous rocker pattern will have a tighter turning radius and less projection out of a turn - a relatively flatter continuous rocker pattern will have a longer turning radius and more projection out of a turn.

When applied to funboards, hybrids, and longboards continuous curves rocker allows a surfboard to glide or trim at speed and turn. Shapers may dial up or down these performance features (just as they do in other types of surfboard designs) by varying the curves. Hybrids will have rocker patterns similar to shortboards designed to turn and accelerate when the opportunity presents itself yet glide and trim through waves with less energy and power. Funboards and longboards will have rocker patterns that are flatter throughout, particularly in the nose. They are still characterized by slow arching continuous curves with no flat areas. The flatter nose and forward rocker of longboards is the trimming area of the board. The greater rocker curves in the aft section of longboards is the turning area of the board.

Staged Curves Rocker is a bottom curve that is relatively flat through the mid section of the surboard with accelerated curves in the entry and tail sections of the board. The staged curves rocker is a radical extension of continuous rocker where the rocker in the mid section of a surfboard has been "flattened" to dial up the speed and projection of a shortboard out of it's turns. The extent that these flat and accelerated curves transition into each other is critical to the successful application of this design. Smooth transitions allow the board to maximize performance and prevent the board from pushing water - bogging and slowing down. Poor, interrupted transitions will cause the board to drag and lose speed.

Staged curves rockers are applied primarily to shortboards, specialty shortboards, and semiguns. Decreasing the curve and extending these relative flatter curves of the mid section yield greater speed and projection and longer arcs out of the turns. Increasing the curve and shortening the flatter mid section yields less projection, tighter turning radius, and shorter arcs out of the turns, without loss of speed. (Surfers with the skill to ride these boards will be able to generate and maintain speed no matter what the natural arc or turning radius of the board.) Shapers apply these principles to maximize a boards performance in a variety of conditions.

Hybrid Combination Rocker is a bottom curve that draws on the relevant features of continuous curves rocker and staged curves rocker. These rocker patterns are applied primarily to the wide variety of hybrid surfboard designs. To accomplish the varied goals of these designs shapers will combine the smooth even curves of the continuous curves rocker and the flatter curves of the mid section of staged curves rocker to maximize performance. Hybrid combo rocker may be configured to carve and accelerate through turns in critical waves and hold speed and power to transition through flatter and less powerful waves.
 


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