The annual British Snowboard Test is held in May on the Kaunertal Glacier in Austria and is the showcase for the coming seasons snowboard, bindings and boots for all the UK suppliers. This year the date was moved back a week so that it didn't clash with that all important "Royal Wedding" and all the suppliers and shop staff still managed to get t the event on time and even more important, have a good old social, do some networking.
Snowboards4u sent 3 guys to attend and do some product testing and with the weather being sunny all week, we had a great 5 days on the glacier and have used their time to test boards and bindings from all the brands that we stock and quite a few we don't ( but want to! ). We found that things are in a state of flux and the argument about "rocker" against "camber " is still ongoing and looks to be good for a few more years yet. .
When we had time in the evenings, we got into some lengthy discussions with some of the pro riders and some of the other shop owners and the result seems to be quite divided. The more freestyle orientated riders all seemed to love the boards with "Rocker", but all also said that they would always keep a more conventional cambered board in their board bag for fast burn up days and also for riding the pipe, Why? because the cambered base gives more control and grip -- OK if you can afford a quiver of boards?
The shop owners and staff all thought that "Rocker " was the future and that the easier turning, faster response and general "Fun" feel of the boards was most important to people who will get maybe 2 weeks on snow every year and that means that very second counts when you arrive in the resort. Being in the shop side of the argument, the Snowboards4u guys all came down in favour of the new rocker shapes and we will try and get as many of the new shaped bases into stock as possible, to make your time on the snow more fun and to minimise the amount of time you need before getting your boarding legs under you .