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Mama Bear, seeing as you and a cub are thinking of upgrading to skiing I thoughts I should bring you up to date on the Skiing vernacular


Understand Skiers' Slang


Compliments of Mogul Mick

Abattoir - Mogul Mick's signature freestyle move, where he catches big air off a roll and lands upon a six-pack of stupid snowboarders, sitting on their padded posteriors right in the middle of the run.

Abstem - Wedging out the tail of the downhill ski.

ACL - Acronym for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the tearing of which produces skiers' worst knee injury.

Acro - Acrobatic skiing, linking jumps, flips and spins.

Air (as in Catching Air) - Jumping off the snow.

Airplane Turn - Turning the skis in mid-air, to engage a new set of edges upon landing a jump.

Alpine Skiing - The resort-based, sit and ride up, stand and slide down paradigm.

Apres Ski - The night-life of a ski area, preferred by some to slope-side activities.

ASS - Acronym for Abominable Snow Slider; anyone on the slopes who is wearing a really stupid-looking hat in order to get attention.

AT - Acronym for Alpine Touring, using free-heel safety bindings that lock down after climbing, along with downhill-style skis; backcountry skiing combing Nordic and Alpine functions.

ATS - Acronym for the American Teaching System; also known as "Always Teach Steering."

Avie - Avalanche.

BAFL - Acronym for Big Air, Flat Landing, which may result in compression fractures of the vertebrae.

Balance - The fundamental skill of skiing, also known as a sequence of linked recoveries.

Biff - To bump the snow with your body, as in a brief uphill fall and quick recovery.

Big Air - Leaving the ground for at least a couple of seconds of hang-time.

Boilerplate (Bulletproof) - Hard, dense, unedgeable ice, often created by a mid-winter thaw or rain.

Bomb Hole - Impression in the snow produced by landing big air.

Bombing (Booming, Schuss-booming) - Recklessly going straight down hill at high speed. The record for speed skiing is 150 mph.

Bonk - To bounce off an object. (Caution: this word is also Brit-speak for "shag")

Bono - Skiing full-speed into a tree.

Bowl - Steep, wide run, usually higher on both sides.

Bros - Our fellow rippers and shredders who are just out for fun, rather than doing big hucks for big bucks like some of the Pros.

Bumps (Moguls) - Series of small hills and troughs made by skiers repeatedly turning in the same place.

Bunny (Snow Bunny) - Novice female skier, usually more interested in posing than in skiing.

Bunny Hill - The beginner's slope.

Butt-Dragger - Beginning snowboarder.

Butt-Plant - Falling upon one's posterior, which is (almost) always good for a laugh.

Camber - The natural longitudinal curve of an unweighted ski's base, which gives it rebound out of turns.

Cap Ski - Monocoque ski construction, without a separate sidewall.

Carvaholic - Skier or snowboarder addicted to the sensation of carving.

Carving - Turning with the dug-in edge of a ski or snowboard, producing a crisp, clean arc without significant skidding or side-slipping.

Champagne Powder - Very dry snow, which is so light that it can't be made into a snowball.

Chatter - Vibrations produced by a ski not holding its edge on ice or hardpack.

Checking - Briefly setting an edge to reduce speed.

Chinese Downhill (Geschmozzle) - Race where everyone starts together.

Chocolate Chips - A cluster of rocks poking out of the snow.

Chowder - Chopped-up powder.

Christie - A skidded turn made on corresponding ski edges.

Chute - Steep, narrow run, usually higher on both sides.

Clamps - Bindings.

Cliff - Any drop of more than three feet.

CM - Acronym for Center of Mass, awareness of which is necessary for balance.

Coach - Psycho-babble for Snowsports Instructor.

Corduroy - Shallow, closely-spaced parallel grooves in the snow made by grooming machines.

Core Shot - An impact causing severe damage to a ski's base, exposing its core.

Corn - A type of spring snow that forms into small, light pellets.

Cornice - Overhanging ridge of windblown snow or ice.

Coulie (Couloir) - A narrow chute with rock walls on both sides.

Crud - Wet, heavy, clumpy, cut-up, mashed-potato-like snow, in which turning is difficult.

Cruising - Making big turns at high speed.

Crust - Frozen surface covering loose snow.

Daffy - Aerial with one ski forward, the other aft.

Damp - Ability of a ski to dampen or absorb vibrations.

Death Cookies - Firm or frozen clumps of snow, usually the result of incompetent snow-making.

Deeps - Deep powder conditions, requiring a powder cord or leash on your skis.

Disco Sticks - Short slalom and twin-tip skis, capable of very short radius turns.

Eagle (Spread Eagle) - Aerial with arms and legs spread apart.

Ego Snow - Machine-groomed packed powder, which holds an edge without much skill or effort.

Expert - Someone with the ability to ski under control in any terrain or snow condition.

Extreme - Ski conditions or tactics that put your life in danger.

Face-Plant - Falling on your face, which is rarely a funny situation.

Face Shot - Skiing fast in deep powder, causing it to fly up into your face.

Fakie (Going Fakie) - Skiing, snowboarding or skiboarding backwards.

Fall-Line - Path taken by a large ball rolling down a slope.

Fatty (Fat Ski) - A very wide ski designed for powder conditions.

Fib - Glib attempt to excuse a fall, by saying, "I caught an edge," or "I lost an edge."

Figure 11 (Schuss) - Running straight down hill, with skis parallel.

FIS - Acronym for Federation Internationale de Ski, which regulates World Cup ski competition.

Freecarving (Funcarving, Supercarving) - Laying down slow-speed trenches on hypercarvers without using poles.

Freerider - One who prefers to ski off-piste steeps, jab through the trees and huck powder bumps.

Freeride Skis (Riders) - Mid-fat, all-terrain skis that excel in the steep and deep.

Free Skiing - Non-competitive, non-task-oriented skiing, done for adventure, enjoyment, exploration and/or self-expression.

Freestyle - Aerials off a ramp or tricks on a timed mogul run, these are the only events at which the U.S. Olympic Ski Team excels.

Freshies - Fresh, untracked snow.

Frozen Chicken Heads - What you get when spring slush freezes.

Gapers - Spectators, whose location on the slope impedes one's downhill progress.

Gap Jump - Big sproing launched to carry you over a gap.

Garlands - Series of turns linked by sideslips, progressing in one direction.

Glades - Skiable terrain among the trees.

Gliding - Forward motion of an edged ski (or snow toy), as opposed to sliding any which way.

GLM - Acronym for Graduated-Length Method, a teaching technique using progressively longer skis.

Gnar (Gnarly) - Very challenging conditions.

Goods (The Goods) - Untracked powder, usually in the trees.

Gorilla Turn - Using the whole body to force the turn around.

Granular - Snow consisting of big, coarse crystals that look like rock salt.

Hardpack - Firm, almost icy snow.

Herringbone - "V"-shaped climbing step; duck-walking uphill.

Hinge - Falling downhill with great force.

Hip Check - Smearing one's butt on the snow while turning in steep powder, in order to scrub off speed.

Hit - Take-off point of a terrain feature, from which one can catch air.

Hoho - Handstand on the apex of a halfpipe.

Hooking - Tendency for a ski to turn uncontrollably.

Huck - To ski off a cliff or roll, catching big air.

Hurl Carcass - To huck in a really major way. The current record is 226 vertical feet.

Hypercarver - Short ski with a radical sidecut and a turn radius less than 14 meters, often skied without poles.

Invert - Aerial maneuver during which one is upside down.

Jetting - Accelerating while exiting a turn by projecting the feet forward.

Jibbing - Sliding down anything that isn't snow, such as a railing or sitting snowboarder.

Kicker - A big hit.

Kick Turn - Turning skis 180 degrees, one ski at a time, while stationary.

Knuckle-Dragger - Carving snowboarder.

Kodak Courage - Skiing foolishness, inspired by nearby ski magazine photographers.

Liftie (Lift Op) - Ski lift operator.

Lift-Lickers - Children who can't resist freezing their tongues to the chairlift.

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

Manky - The nasty odor of polyester underwear after a strenuous day on the slopes.

Mid-Fat (Low-Fat) - A wider shaped ski, designed for both on- and off-piste skiing.

NASTAR - Acronym for NAtional STAndards Race, a group of small-scale standardized race courses at resorts across the country.

Noodle - A ski that lacks torsional rigidity, making it unstable at speed.

Nordic Skiing - Usually meant as cross-country ski touring on skinny skis with free-heel bindings; the Nordic skiing events in the Winter Olympics are something quite different.

Nosebone - Snowboard jump with front leg straight and rear leg flexed.

Off-Piste - Ungroomed portion of the ski area.

Ollie - Snowboard pre-jump move, where one foot is lifted before the other.

Out-of-Bounds - Unpatrolled regions outside the designated ski area.

Pack - To slam hard.

Parabolic - Hourglass-shaped ski, with a much wider tip and tail to increase ease of turning and carving.

Park - The snowboard terrain area, with hits and half-pipes.

Pin-Head - Dedicated telemark skier.

Pipe - Half-pipe in a terrain park; also, drug paraphernalia used by snowboarders on long chairlift rides.

Piste - Packed snow.

Planker (Two-Planker) - A skier.

Poaching - Skiing out of bounds.

Poodle Turns - Show-dog demo turns made by PSIA Instructors, even when they're not teaching.

Poma - Mr. Pomagalski's brand name, now a generic term for platter-pull lifts.

Pooping - Sitting back on the skis, while bent at the waist.

Pop - Ski rebound, which catapults you from one turn into the next.

Posing - Trying to get noticed.

Posse - The group of people you usually ski or ride with.

Pow (Pow-Pow, Powder) - Light, dry, fluffy snow.

Powder Elevens - Schussing in powder.

Powder Hound - Skier preoccupied with sniffing out powder stashes.

Powder Pig - Skier prone to wallowing in the deep, white stuff.

Pre-jump - To lift skis or board into the air before reaching the crest of a jump.

PSIA - Acronym for Professional Ski Instructors of America.

P-tex - Polyethylene ski base material.

Quiver - One's collection of skis, each pair specialized for a different purpose.

Rag Doll - Someone who tumbles downhill while limp and presumably unconscious.

Railing - When an edged ski runs uncontrollably straight instead of turning.

Rebound - Kinetic energy released by a decambered ski; pop.

Retraction - Pulling the skis up towards the body with the legs, to change edges or absorb bumps.

Ripper - An accomplished, carving skier.

Rolls - Sudden drop-offs, where the slope rolls over an edge.

Royal - Carved turn made only on the inside ski.

Ruade - Turn made by lifting both ski tails and pivoting on their tips.

Run - Designated ski slope or trail.

Run Rubbish - Packs of snowboarders blocking runs.

Scissoring - Crossing one's ski tips, with edge-to-edge contact.

Scrapers - Snowboarders who sit on their butts and scrape their way down steep slopes.

Screaming Starfish - Someone cartwheeling downhill while yelling for help.

Shaped Ski - Modern ski with a pronounced sidecut.

Shovel - Upturned portion of a ski's tip.

Shredder - An accomplished, carving snowboarder.

Sick - Extreme, hairy, dangerous.

Sideslip - Sliding sideways down the hill by releasing the edges.

Sierra Cement - Central California's heavy, moist powder.

Sitzmark (Bathtub) - Impression left in the snow by a fall.

Skiboards - Very short shaped skis with non-releasing bindings, designed for tricks and skating on snow.

Ski Bum - Someone who has discovered the best alternative to working.

Ski Patroller Turns - Linked short-swing parallel turns down the fall line, using heel-thrust edge-checks.

Slam - To crash or fall hard.

Slash-'n-Burn Turn - A carved, banked turn off a wall.

Slow-Dog Noodle Turn - Going over a bump while sitting way back on your skis.

Smack (Talking Smack) - Bragging.

Smear - To scrub off speed on the steeps by dragging your hip across the snow.

Snotsicle - Frozen nasal discharge, usually the result of cold-induced rhinorrhea.

Snow Farm - Ski area depending primarily upon man-made snow.

Snow Gun - Device used to mix water and compressed air to produce ersatz snow.

Snow Scum - Skiers or snowboarders who ignore the Responsibility Code.

Snow Toys - Devices used for gliding on snow by those who are unable to ski.

Spring Conditions - When snow freezes at night and thaws during the day.

Sproing (Gelandesprung) - Using your momentum and a double pole plant to lift your skis off the snow and clear an obstacle.

Stack - To land a jump on a flat area.

Steeps - From double black diamond runs to the snow-holding limit of vertical, about 55 degrees.

Stem - To push out or wedge the tail of the uphill ski.

Sticks (Planks) - Skis; sticks are also what beginning children call their ski poles.

Style - The individual expression of technique.

Sucker Hole - Fleeting patch of blue in an otherwise overcast sky.

Super-Sidecut - Modern recreational ski, with a sidecut of at least 14 mm.

Sweet Spot - The balance point on a ski that produces optimum turning; the bigger sweet spot, the more forgiving the ski and the lower its performance in demanding situations.

Swing Turns - Tip-pivoted parallel turns down the fall-line, with quick edge-checks.

Take-off - The lip of a jump's in-run.

Telemarking - Skiing alpine runs on free-heel skis, making turns by kneeling on one ski.

Ten-Eighty - Aerial spin with three complete revolutions.

Ten Eighty-Three - Ski School radio code for a lost child.

Terrain Features - Natural or man-made obstacles on a run.

Toilet Turns - Sloppy turns made from the pooping position.

Torsional Rigidity - The resistance of a ski to twisting about its long axis, considered a desirable feature.

Trail - Marked ski run.

Transition - The sloped back side of a man-made jump, beyond the table-top.

Traverse - Skiing across the fall line, without turning.

Tree Well - Skier-trapping depression in the snow that surrounds a tree trunk.

Trench - Deeply-carved track of a ski or snowboard.

Trustafarian - Rich but ragged ski bum, pretending to be poor.

Unweighting - Any movement, up or down, that reduces the downward pressure on a ski or snowboard.

USSA - Acronym for United States Ski Association, a national race organization.

Vermin - Groups of snowboarders or skiers blocking access to the lift lines.

Vorlage - Moving one's weight forward just before a turn.

Wedeln - Linking hip-wiggling turns down the fall line, feet and knees locked together, edge-set minimal.

Wedge - Snowplow or double-stem position.

Wide-Track - Parallel skiing with feet 12 to 18 inches apart.

Winter Theme Park - A former ski area that has become over-run with snow toys.

White Room - Deep, dry powder.

Windshield Wipers - Sloppy, heavily skidded turns.

Worm Turn - A turn initiated with a biff.

Yard Sale - Losing articles of gear and clothing while tumbling downhill.

Zipper Line - The fastest route down through a mogul field.

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My favourite


Balance - The fundamental skill of skiing, also known as a sequence of linked recoveries.

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No boarding one?




There is some reference to boreders


Butt-Dragger - Beginning snowboarder.

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

Run - Designated ski slope or trail.

Run Rubbish - Packs of snowboarders blocking runs.

Scrapers - Snowboarders who sit on their butts and scrape their way down steep slopes.


Of course none of these refer to the venerable boarders on this forum................ (where's the kiss-butt icon?) ah, there it is (_x_)

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No boarding one?




There is some reference to boreders


Butt-Dragger - Beginning snowboarder.

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

Run - Designated ski slope or trail.

Run Rubbish - Packs of snowboarders blocking runs.

Scrapers - Snowboarders who sit on their butts and scrape their way down steep slopes.


Of course none of these refer to the venerable boarders on this forum................ (where's the kiss-butt icon?) ah, there it is (_x_)

Of course we all fall into the category of "Shredder". ;)


What?! No mention of an Avis n00b?

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These two caught my eye


Bonk - To bounce off an object. (Caution: this word is also Brit-speak for "shag")

Bono - Skiing full-speed into a tree.

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