Have you heard the term snowboard sidecut radius and wondered “What the heck does that mean?” You’re not alone. Picking the correct sidecut for the terrain and style of riding you want to do is important - it heavily impacts how easily and quickly you can turn, among other things. In this article, we've answered some of the most common questions you might have about a sidecut radius and highlight the types of sidecuts Never Summer uses for their boards.
So let’s get into it!
What Exactly Is a Snowboard Sidecut Radius?
If you look at your board, you'll notice a slight arc along its length—that’s the sidecut. There are different depths and curvatures of sidecuts, each of which plays a role in the way the board performs. A sidecut radius is simply a term used to describe the total measurement of those sidecut depths and curvatures.
To measure your snowboard’s sidecut radius, you’ll want to envision the arc of your sidecut turning into a full circle to one side of your board. The radius or half diameter of this circle becomes your sidecut radius. Typical sidecut radiuses of snowboards are 6—10 meters.
So how does all of this translate into how the board performs? Well, you can only carve a turn as long as your board's sidecut radius. For instance, if your board has a longer sidecut radius (shallower sidecut), you'll be able to pull off smooth arcs and turns over a longer distance. If your board has a shorter sidecut radius (deeper sidecut) it’ll make sharper turns over quick and short distances. Can you see how the sidecut radius is important when considering the type of terrain you might be riding?
What Sidecut Radius Should be Used for Each Terrain?
Where you are zooming down the mountain will have a huge influence on the kind of board you go for in terms of the sidecut radius. The type of terrain you are riding determines how sharp or wide your turns can be. Here’s our recommendations:
Longer shallower sidecuts are good for open mountain runs where you have the distance to take wider turns. They’ll allow you more stability and control at a higher speed.
A smaller deeper sidecut works best for snowboarding in trees and parks. They’ll allow you to achieve quick spins and abrupt turns.
What are the Different Types of Snowboard Sidecuts?
Now that you understand the general concept of what a sidecut radius is and how it can impact your turns, it’s also important to highlight the different types of sidecuts that can be used to create many different snowboard profiles.
Snowboards with radial sidecuts are quite common. A radial sidecut is a simple arc that runs from one contact point to the other along the board length. Typically, a snowboard with a radial sidecut comes with a traditional camber profile. If you go for a board with a radial sidecut, it will be more difficult to change directions as you power through turns during snowboarding.
A progressive sidecut is built for more flexibility during snowboarding. Here, the snowboard has multiple sidecut radii just along its edge—while the tip and tail of the board have deeper sidecuts, the middle of the board has a larger radius. With progressive sidecuts, you can initiate sharper turns and accelerate in between arcs.
Also known as a combination sidecut, you will find multiple sidecuts in snowboards that have serrated edges. Sometimes, it is a mix of radial sidecuts and progressive sidecuts. For other designs, you can have multiple radial cuts.
Boards with multiple sidecuts grip the ice better, so you don't have to start feeling twitchy during snowboarding. You can change directions quickly and have faster transitions around short turns.
Many people opt for asymmetrical snowboard sidecuts because they give better balance and control. In asymmetrical sidcuts, the heel-edge has a smaller radius to support the toe-edge’s shallow radius.
Because asymmetrical cuts align with human physiology, it is a lot easier for snowboarders to initiate sharp heel side turns when snowboarding. Typically, this type of cut goes with an asymmetrical core and flexibility.
Snowboard Profiles With Varying Sidecuts
At Never Summer, we have different snowboard profiles you can choose for your next board. Let's take a quick look at 6 of them:
1. Triple Camber Profile
Game changing innovation. The center rocker of our patented Rocker Camber profile is now a third camber area flanked by two small rockers. The result is unparalleled edge hold, response, and optimal float in powder.
2. Single Camber Profile
With float mechanics and front end rise, this improved traditional camber provides the deep carving nostalgia feeling of traditional camber with increased performance in powder as a result of the early rise nose.
3. Fusion Rocker Camber
Fusion RC merges different features to create the perfect rocker camber. Fusion Rocker camber gives you firmer snow grip on the back foot, and looser grip on the front. This gives the board a very surfy, back foot driven feel. This is ideal for powder, trees, and directional riding. Apart from flexibility, you'll also have lots of snowboarding fun.
4. Ripsaw Rocker Camber
Enjoy a firmer snow-grip with our ripsaw rocker camber. With its enhanced features, Ripsaw Rocker Camber introduces you to the full range of snowboarding versatility.
5. Original Rocker Camber
This snowboard profile is an excellent definition of versatility. Perfect for anyone who loves to place, this rocker camber gives you a one-of-a-kind snowboarding performance.
6. Shock Wave Rocker Camber
Snowboarding with this rocker camber provides heavier weighted contact points on the tip and tail. This provides more grip while carving, and a longer camber area to increase the pop and stability.. The rocker is short so that you can take quick abrupt turns.
Now that you have a good idea what a snowboard’s sidecuts radius is and how it impacts your snowboards performance, it's time to find the perfect board. Remember, if you want to ride long, smooth turns you’ll want a longer sidecut radius. If you want to make sharper turns you’ll want to pick up a board with a shorter sidecut radius. Happy riding!