Rocker is another important design element of a surfboard.
It has a big influence on the types of waves and turning capabilities a board is best suited for.
Outline shapes alone really aren’t enough when trying to determine which board to ride for which wave – the surfboard’s rocker is going to tell you how much you’re going to need to work to make those steep drops or get through those slow sections.
What is Surfboard Rocker?
Rocker describes the bottom contour of a surfboard from the nose to the tail.
Overall rocker can be broken down further into nose rocker and tail rocker.
- Nose rocker is the bottom curve from the nose/front of the surfboard. This will affect how the board drops into waves and paddles. Less rocker in the nose can have a tendency to nose dive/pearl in steeper waves.
- Tail rocker is the curve out of the back of the surfboard. This will affect how the board pivots and turns. More rocker in the tail will give the board a greater ability to pivot and turn quickly, but will also slow it down.
It’s yet another design aspect that can be tweaked and experimented with immensely.
Surfboards rockers exist on a spectrum to less rocker (flatter bottom) to more rocker (curved/arched bottom).
What does a Surfboard’s Rocker do?
A surfboard rocker has a heavy influence over how a board fits into the face of a wave.
A surfboard with a flatter rocker with have more surface area and will be able to go faster, but will be slower to turn.
A surfboard with a larger rocker with be able to drop into steeper waves, surf more vertically, and turn loosely, but it will slower.
Boards with more rocker are best suited for fast, steep, and hollow waves.
Boards with less rocker are great for smaller, slower, and mushier surf.
A board with too much rocker in weak surf is going to feel really sluggish.
A board with too little rocker in faster, steeper waves will have a tendency to nose dive – or pearl.