The outline shape of a Shark represents only a portion of the effective curve that makes these boards perform so well in most powder conditions. A description of "the shape" is incomplete without discussion of the two presses and the bottom contours they produce. Press number 1 is the press block used for the Goblin, Needle, and Dart; press number 2 produces the Tiger, Chuna, and Big Chuna.
Rocker: the lengthwise curve
Press 1: press one has been the press block used at Shark Snowsurf for the past 3 years. It has no rocker, a slightly upturned nose, and a 17 degree kicktail. The concavity of the boards makes them appear to have rocker, but the boards from Press 1 are made to have zero rocker when resting. The zero rocker allows the board to plane on top of the snow more efficiently than a board with a lot of rocker.
Press 2: press two was made for the fleet of short boards that are being produced for this season. Press 2 has a much shorter flat section in its "rocker" makeup, allowing a mellow early-rise nose that starts just in front of the rider's front foot. The tail produced by press 2 is a double stage 22 degree kicktail--perfect for crackin' ollies!
The 8mm thick bamboo layup allows just the right rocker to happen when the rider's weight engages the board in soft snow. This dynamic relationship is what gives Sharks pop. Pressure through a turn or dip flexes the board. The board snaps back into shape very quickly when the pressure is released--POP!
Concave: the lateral curve
To say that a flat surface planes better on snow is true, but a little deceiving. A completely flat powsurfer would be very low performance; but, adding a concave shape gives the board a "live" feel. Concave results in quick turn initiation and rider control. Obviously, the curved surface is easier to stand in, trapping the board under the rider's feet. But, concave alone transferred to the bottom of the board makes for very loose turns. With simply a convex base, the board would "wash out" when turned sideways such as in a turn. Hence.....the channel!
Channel: the control
To prevent wash out, Sharks have a shallow channel at the edges of the board, spanning the rider's stance. The beginning and end of said channel is very important. From the nose, the board maintains its concave through the football shaped spoon. As the sidecut begins, the channel starts to slowly emerge, starting at the rider's front foot. The spoon (concave portion) lets the board be free in the nose. If the channel was located too far toward the nose, the board would track too hard, making it very difficult to initiate turns. Placing the channel only between the rider's feet brings balance to this situation. The channel remains consistent through the rider's stance approaching the tail. When it reaches the back foot and tail upturn, the channel is ended in a cutaway or fades out, depending on the modeland press.
Nose and tail upturn
The nose of these powsurfers has less upturn than a conventional snowboard. The reason for this difference is float vs plow. Too much upturn would waste valuable surface area and make the board slower. Sharks are ridden in powder snow. No matter how advanced a rider is, the board will ride with the tail in the pow and the nose out. By the way...it's bad form to ride the tail too much (slow!). One should aspire to engage the entire board with the surface of the snow (fast!).
The tail of the board is upturned just enough to give a release effect but still allow the rider to ollie. As well, when making turns on steep terrain, the tail is up and out of the way for quick turn initiation. At speed, the tail upturn means less. It does keep your back foot nicely on in rough patches though. The tail upturn is more functional when the rider is negotiating terrain at slower speeds.
All of these shapes come together to make a board worthy of riding more and more challenging terrain, letting the rider push their own limits and find progression for years to come. After all, isn't that what we're all looking for? To be challenged?