Browse through our master list of skiing and snowboarding slang, as well as a mixture of snow-related words and terminology for you to ‘wow’ people with your wisdom on the slopes!
Aerials – Freestyle ski jumping involving flipping in the air.
Biff – A near fall in which the skier or snowboarder briefly makes contact with the snow but recovers.
Chatter – Sound and vibration made by a ski or snowboard turning and having trouble maintaining an edge on hardback, boilerplate, or bulletproof snow.
Death cookies – cookie sized chunks of ice (sometimes more like boulders) that are created by the piste bashers and grooming processes. This is magnified when the conditions get very cold!nhf
Eagle – Also called spread eagle, this aerial move involves spreading one’s legs and arms wide apart while in the air.
Fakie – Skiing or snowboarding backwards, also known as a “switch.”
Gnarly – a word for something that is over the top extreme, radical, dangerous and/or perfect.
Hotdog – A skier or snowboarder who shows off, especially their aerial moves or prowess in moguls. Before there was freestyle skiing, there was hot dog skiing.
Indy Grab – Snowboarding trick in which rider uses their back hand to grab the middle of the board, between their toes, jumping can also be done with skis.
Jerry – Someone who is clueless about skiing or snowboarding.
Knuckle dragger – Description of a snowboarder, especially one whose hands touch the snow while carving turns.
Leash – A cord, belt, or other such device to attach a snowboard to a rider.
Mogul – Mounds of snow and ice formed by repeated turns of skiers/snowboarders (or built artificially). Also called bumps.
No fall zone – Section of a run where falling could carry grave consequences, such as the steep entry to a chute where the skier or snowboarder could keep tumbling.
One Ski quiver – Nickname for an all-mountain wide ski (aka mid-fat) that is designed to perform in a variety of snow conditions and is versatile enough that a skier need not own other pairs.
Pizza – Also known as the wedge or snowplow, a technique in which the skis are put in a V-shape with the tips close together in order to slow or stop.
Quarter pipe – A half pipe divided in half length ways and used for a single, often massive, aerial trick.
Rag doll – Description of a skier or snowboarder tumbling downhill while limp and presumably hurt.
Shred – To ski or snowboard with skill and passion, sometimes with reference to speed and at other times alluding to the snowy detritus left behind.
Twin tip – Alpine skis with the tip and tail both turned up, allowing the skier to easily travel or land backwards.
Untracked – Terrain with fresh snow that has yet to be visited by skiers or snowboarders.
Vertical Drop – The distance between the base of a mountain and its tallest points
White out – when the conditions on the mountain are severely reduced by falling snow or/and cloud cover. The layering cloud can seem to merge into the white snow surface making the horizon and surface irregularities impossible to see.
XC Skiing – Shorthand for cross-country skiing.
Yard sale – A crash in which a skier’s or snowboarder’s gear – skis, poles, hats, gloves, etc – end up scattered around the slope.
Zipper line In mogul skiing, the fastest route through the bumps, heading straight down the fall line, and requiring piston-like action in the legs.