The modern day 'ski lingo' (language) (2023)

Skiingand snowboarding are two of the greatest winter sports on the planet, and likeanything else in this world the two sports have certain terms and jargon thatcan be confusing without a bit of definition.

Belowyou will find a number of terms/phrases used in the skiing and snowboarding bubble. We have provided a brief definition to help you understand them... Now commit them to memory, use them wisely andjoin your fellow shredders, jibbers and magic carpet riders!

All-Mountain Ski: These skis are designed to perform in alltypes of snow conditions and at most speeds. Also known as the One-ski Quiver.

Après-Ski: The day’s over – time for drinks. Think dancing on tables, listening to livemusic, if you are lucky you will be joined by a saxophone player; all whilst swappingwar stories from the slopes. We welcomeyou to the Folie Douce!

Backcountry: Otherwise known as off piste – often the most memorabledays spentskiingare in the backcountry - Away from the pisted motorways andfloods of people. This is skiing and snowboarding at your own risk, thus thebackcountry is a place for knowledgeable experts only.

Bail: This term is used when you majestically fall to theground and take a tumble “She bailed on that rail.”

Balaclava: A facemask worn to cover exposed skin. A keyextra whenever you are caught riding a lift in fierce, driving wind or snow. Or nowadays for the ‘park rat’ which we willinvestigate further on

Base: Not the fish or low heavy musical tones…. It is usedto describe the underside of a ski or snowboard which can take a few scrapesalong the way. Also used in reference to the main area at the bottom of a ski resort, or the overalldepth of snow.

Base Layer: Not to be confused with base, the base layer isthe layer of clothing worn underneath your shell and snowpants, and should bechosen based on how cold the day will be. A good set of thermal underwearoften serves as an effective base layer.

Bomber: Slang term for a skier or snowboarder flying down aslope in an out of control fashion. Think your sporty friend who is good at everything and skiing in his firstweek, determined to be as good as you.

Brain Bucket: Slang term for ahelmet.

Bros: Our fellow rippers and shredders (terminology givenfurther down), basically mountain people who are just out for fun, rather thandoing big hucks (stunts) for big bucks like some of the Pros.

Bumps: The term used by novices for anything and everythingthey encounter such as moguls plus what they have all over their body at theend of the week.

(Video) Mastering Ski Lingo With Dash Longe | Mountain Top Series

Carving: A series of clean turns using the edges of skis ora snowboard. Carving turns can vary from tight turns to giant “S” shapedswoops. If you are a piste skier, thisis the art form you want to achieve… The holy grail.

Chatter: The vibration of skis or snowboards caused bytraveling at high speeds. Excessive chatter reduces contact between the ski andthe snow and the ability to stay in total control. Also used for when you gatecrash a mothermeeting on the chair lift

Crust: Refers to a frozen layer either covering softer snowor buried under a fresh dusting of snow.

Death Cookies: Slang term for the cookie-sized chunks of iceformed by grooming and snowmaking; a plague at resorts when it is really cold.

Dump: Slang term for an epic snowfall of fresh powder; At-shirt with the staple slogan, “I love big dumps” can be found in many skitourist towns… We hear that!

Edge: The sharpened metal strip on the sides of skis andsnowboards, used for gaining control by biting into the snow for smoother carvingand cutting. Holding an edge is a key to a good turn.

First Tracks: Cutting through fresh snow before anyone elsedoes, leaving behind your trail for all else to see. If achieved expect a smile from ear to ear butremember to quickly take a picture!

Freerider: One who prefers to ski steep off-piste, jabthrough the trees and ride powder bumps. He/she is the backcountry lover who has the best day out of everyone.

Freestyle: A style of skiing or snowboarding primarily focused on tricks. Expect twin tippedpark skis and the notorious balaclava of the park rat

French Fries: American term for skiing with skis parallel toone another; the opposite of pizza. Whydo they always relate things to food!?

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Fun Box: A box found in Terrain Parks built to slide (seeJib) across on skis or snowboard. Ifdone wrong you won’t want to call it a fun box ever again… the ‘pain box’ ismore suited.

Gnar -A shortened version of the word gnarly, meaning high on the scale of dangerousness and coolness.” While that definition is certainly applicable to the game of G.N.A.R (this will be in the next Blog post) . it is actually an acronym that stands for Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness. G.N.A.R. is also the bonus chapter in Robb Gaffney’s book, Squallywood, and was created by Shane McConkey

Grooming: The most common form of trail maintenance, done tospread new snow and to smooth over bumps, icy patches and other obstacles. Togroom, tractors known as Snowcats or piste bashers drag giant rakes over thesnow; on steeper slopes, winches are used to drag rakes up the incline.

Jib: Riding a snowboard or skis across on a non-snowsurface, be it a rail, fun box, or even fallen log. Jibbers are a new phenomenon which like touse everything and anything as their playground.

Kicker: A purpose built jump to try out those tricks thatyou have been seeing the youngens’ do on those awesome videos.

Liftie: A slang term for a ski lift operator. If you want some free local knowledge, theseguys have the ear to the ground

Line: The proposed route down the mountain ‘check out that line through the trees’

Lunch Tray (aka "Launch" Tray): Snowboard.

Magic Carpet: Like Ronsil, it does exactly what it says onthe tin... just no flying. Aconveyor-belt like surface lift. Typically found only on smaller, bunny slopeswhere younger kids learn to ski and snowboard.

Park Rat: A Snow Park junkie who refrains from exploring or leaving the confines of his playground

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Planker (Two-Planker): Skier

Pow (Pow-Pow): Light, dry, fluffy snow referred to normallyas powder. You can eat this all day longand never get full.

Rail: A bar, typically metal, built to be slid up by skiersand snowboarders. Almost exclusively found in a Snow Park and can provide a bitof comedy when novices attempt them.

Ripper: An accomplished skier who skis even when he isdreaming. They ‘rip’ up the terrain likenobody’s business.

Schussing: Skiing straight downhill without turning. Normally done when a slope flattens out butalso attempted anywhere by university trips to get ‘gnar’ points

Scissoring: Crossing one's ski tips, with edge-to-edgecontact which can cause quite a kafuffle.

Shredder: An accomplished snowboarder who like the ripperknows exactly what they are doing.

Sick: Extreme, hairy, amazing, dangerous, awesome, radical

Six-pack: Slang term for a chair lift carrying six people. Have you had one?

Ski Bum: Someone who has discovered the best alternative toworking.

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Ski Groomer:Thisis snow groomer equipment used to improve skiing trail conditions by cutting,compacting, and grooming the snow. Ski groomers areperfect for laying ski tracks, dual ski tracks, skijoring snow grooming, andcross country ski tracks.

Snowplough: A beginner’s technique for slowing down on skis.Done by bringing the front tips of a pair of skis together, pushing the tailsapart, and applying pressure on the skis’ inside edges. Also called pizza(Americanisation at its finest)

Stomp: This term is used when you land a trick. For exampleyou would say, “He just stomped that landing.”

Tracked Out: Slang term for a slope of once fresh snow that hasbeen ridden over repeatedly and boy are you sad.

Traverse: Skiing across a slope, often in a zigzag pattern,as opposed to straight down; typically done to keep speeds down on steep surfaceor to cut across a mountain to get to a fresh line of pow pow.

Twin Tip: Skis where both the tail and tip are turned up atthe end, enabling a skier to ski backwards with ease. Originally popular onlywith freestyle skiers, as the twin tip shape allows for reverse (known as fakieor switch) take-offs and landings off jumps. Modern advancements, however, haveseen twin tip shapes appear more often in big mountain skis, as they shape handlessmoothly in powder conditions.

Waist Deep: Measurement taken when there is just too muchpowder (is there ever too much?)

White Out: When visibility drops to almost nothing; caused by heavy snowfall, fog, or a combination of the two. On these days you should head to the trees.

Wipe Out: A pretty un-poetic and painful fall

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