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Beginner's Guide to Ski & Snowboard Gobbledegook

It’s been dumping for days, the pow is sick, get away from the snowploughers on the groomers, catch some first tracks, a few nice face shots, and lay down some gnarly lines before it gets tracked out, then schuss to the apres ski bar to show off your steezy new kit to all the ski bums.

Sound like gobbledegook??? Take a look at our beginner’s guide to ski and snowboard lingo, swot up, and be ready to sound like a pro on your next winter holiday……

Après-Ski - The highlight of many a skier’s day – afternoon drinks! Beers, dancing on tables, live music, and the setting sun!

Base - The overall depth of snow in resort at any given time. Endless discussions can be overheard at the start of the season about the good/bad base that is building up.

Carving - A series of clean smooth turns using the edges of skis or a snowboard. If you are a piste skier, this is the ultimate goal!

Dumping - A highly technical term for an epic snowfall of fresh powder, “it’s dumping out there” are word we like to hear…..

Face Shot – A wonderful phenomenon when the powder is so deep that the snow hits you in the face with each turn.

Fall Line - The most direct line down a slope; known as such as if you fall, that’s the direction you’ll slide.

First Tracks - Being the lucky few to ski or snowboard the fresh snow before anyone else does, leaving behind your lines for everyone else to see. Expect a battle on a fresh snow day to be the person to get first tracks!

Flat Light - Grey skies and dim light that can cause problems spotting changes in terrain, and give some people a little motion sickness.

Freerider – Skiers or snowboarders who prefer to ski steep off-piste, jab through the trees and ride powder bumps. Backcountry lovers who live for the steep and deep!

Freestyle - A style of skiing or snowboarding primarily focused on tricks, freestyle riders will be found at the park spinning twisting and crashing!

Gnarly – someone or something that is over the top extreme, radical, dangerous etc. “that was an awesome ski run, so steep and Gnarly”

Groomer – A perfectly groomed piste, beautiful corduroy ridged pistes, most likely to be found in the mornings after the piste bashers have done their work.

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

Line - The proposed route down the mountain, or the tracks left by a skier or snowboarder “check out my line”.

Park Rat - A snow park junkie who spends day after day lapping the snow park lift perfecting his jumps and spins.

Pow - Light, dry, fluffy, deep powder snow. What every mountain lover does the snow dance for.

Schussing - Skiing straight, no turns, in a tucked position to try and cover ground, usually on flat sections.

Ski Bum – those people who are lucky enough to spend the whole winter season in the mountains, no work all play!

Skier’s Left - the area to the left of someone heading downhill “there is a big rock skier’s left”.

Skier’s Right - the area to the right of someone heading downhill.

Sick- another word for crazy, cool, insane, amazing, radical.

Snowplough - A beginner’s technique for slowing down on skis, bringing the front tips of a pair of skis together, pushing the tails apart, and applying pressure on the skis’ inside edges.

Steezy - combining the words ‘style’ with ‘ease’. A sick trick in the park done well could be described as being steezy. A rider’s clothing, normally baggy, oversized, and well worn, can also be described in the same fashion if they are looking particularly cool .

Tracked Out - Slang term for a slope of once fresh snow that has been ridden over repeatedly. Popular off piste routes can get tracked out in a matter of hours on a powder day.

Tomahawk – a dramatic fall whereby a skier or snowboarder loses control and crashes in a cartwheel tumble, turning head over heels down the mountain side.

Traverse - Skiing across a slope, often in a zigzag pattern, as opposed to straight down. typically used to keep speeds down on steep slopes or to cut across a mountain to get to a fresh line of pow.

Twin Tip - Skis where both the tail and tip are turned up at the end, enabling a skier to ski backwards with ease. Popular with freestyle skiers, as the twin tip shape allows for take-offs and landings off jumps. Also popular for big mountain skis, as the shape handles smoothly in powder conditions.

White Out - When visibility drops to almost nothing and you can barely see your hand in front of your face. On these days you should head to the trees or your cosy chalet log fire.

Wipe Out - A massive and undignified fall, often in conjunction with a tomahawk and a yard sale.

Yard Sale - A dramatic crash in which all of a skier’s or snowboarder’s gear – skis, poles, hats, gloves, etc, end up scattered around the slope.

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