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Gear

The Straightline: Why You'll Be Riding Rockered Skis Next Year

What’s the hottest thing in gear for next year? That question was answered decisively at the 2010 SIA trade show in Denver last week, and it’s a one-word answer: rocker.

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Rocker, the early rise in the tip and tail of skis and snowboards makes them float easier turn in deep or junky snow, easier to initiate turns on groomers and more forgiving and playful overall. While some rocker is a bit extreme for day-to-day riding, many manufacturers are now dialing in designs that allow for impressive hard snow performance with all the soft snow advantages. Plenty of new designs from all the major ski and snowboard brands stand out. But rather than calling out a few of them, I’ll put this very important bug in your ear: Rocker is for real, and if you’ve yet to try it you owe yourself a favor. Don’t wait until next winter. Go demo some of this year’s crop of rockered equipment. And then do what ever it takes over the summer (mow lawns, wash the neighbor’s cat, baby sit screaming infants) so you can afford some of next year’s rockered gear.

For more on rocker, go to www.skiingmag.com/rocker101.

Read our reviews of powder speciality skis (many of which have rockered technology).