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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 rails. The juxtaposition of 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 profile of a board from nose to tail and rail to rail, 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 surfboard.

There are three primary varieties of rocker in surfboard design: (1) Speed Box or staged rockers, (2) Continuous rockers, and (3) Relaxed rockers. All of these rockers have important features in common, entry rocker, mid board rocker, and tail rocker. They all share these fundamental features more curve in entry, less curve mid board and more curve in the tail. All these rockers may be applied to most surfboard design - shortboards, semiguns, guns, tow boards, specialty shortboards, mid legths, 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.

A Speed Box or staged rocker is a bottom curve that features relatively flat curves through the mid section of the surboard with accelerated curves in the entry and tail sections of the board. Speed Box rockers ashare this feature with continuous rockers with the rocker mid board reduced to dial up the acceleration, speed, and projection of a shortboard out of it's turns. The extent that these reduced 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, abrupt, interrupted transitions will cause the board push water, drag and lose speed.

Speed Box rockers are used primarily in shortboards, specialty shortboards, and semiguns. Decreasing the curve and extending these relative flatter curves of the mid section yield greater acceleration, speed, and projection with longer natural 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 acceleration and 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 use these fundamental principles to maximize a boards performance in a variety of conditions.

A Continuous rocker is a bottom curve with no flat spots or staged notable transitions. The curves flow from more curve in the nose and entry of the surfboard to less curve in the mid and tail sections of the board. These smooth and continuous curves allow a surfboard to turn with relative ease, accelerate and develop speed, and project well out of turns.

When applied to shortboards, semiguns, guns, and specialty shortboards, continuous rocker allows a surfboard to transfer from rail to rail, turn in a variety of arcs (turning radius), and project out of turns with acceleration and speed. 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, a relatively flatter continuous rocker pattern will have a longer turning radius and more projection.

When applied to mid length designs, eggs and longboards continuous rocker allows a surfboard to glide or trim at speed and turn with ease. Shapers may dial up or down these performance features, as they do in other types of surfboard designs, by varying the curves. Mid length designs 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. Contemporary 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.

A Relaxed rocker is a Speed Box or Continuous rocker with reduced entry and tail rocker. These lower rockers offer performance characteristics of Speed Box and Continuous rockers in small and marginal conditions. Relaxed rockers are designed to help a surfboard carve and accelerate through turns and hold speed and power through transitions in smaller waves lacking the energy and power of more substantial waves.

Rocker Option Illustrations
Speed Box Rockers These designs feature an area of flatter rocker under the surfer's torso and hips when paddling and under the surfer's stance when surfing. The Speed Box can vary moderately in length. The integrated tail and entry rockers are tuned to surfer's requirements. This rocker profile can be fine tuned to a wide variety of conditions.
Speed Box Rocker - note the area of flatter rocker through the mid section of the board
Continuous Rocker These designs feature continuous rocker from nose to tail. They excel in crisp and hollow waves. These conditions generally provide all the speed and power required for solid performance surfing. The continuous rocker profile keeps the board free and loose in the pocket and in the tight transitions experienced in challenging - quality waves without compromising acceleration, speed and projection.
Continuous Rocker - note the constant curve from nose to tail
Relaxed Rocker These designs feature low tail rocker and relaxed entry rocker. This rocker profile excels in marginal and moderate conditions by generating and carrying speed in and out of the pocket without sacrificing control in powerful surf.
Relaxed Rocker - note the relaxed / lower rocker in the nose and tail

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