Just like most sports, there’s jargon involved in snowsports. Skiers and snowboarders share many traits with their water-based counterparts, the surfers, and lingo is one of them. This has a lot to do with the fact that in the summer months, snow addicts head to the beaches to ride the waves instead of the mountains.
We’re all for inclusiveness, so, if you don’t know your shakas from your dumps, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Below is a comprehensive guide of slang, complete with a little definition to help you know what people are talking about when they use these words (we wouldn't want you using them in the wrong way and embarrassing yourself!).
In part I, we’re covering off A-F with part II filling you in on G-Z so that you’re clued up before you head off on your budget snow holidays!
Après-Ski: often referred to as just après, this is the time to get drinking, and dancing on the tables done. Usually accompanied by live music on the terrace, you can party hard before navigating your way down the home-run!
Backcountry: This is also a word that describes off-piste. This is when you aren’t skiing on the marked pistes.
Bail: This slang term is used when someone takes a fall. Mostly used in the park when a trick or jump doesn't come off.
Base: The term base describes the underside of the skis or snowboard. It can also refer to the general depth of snow or the main area at the bottom of a resort.
Bomber: A bomber is someone who is heading down a slope but isn’t in control of themselves.
Bros: This is the term we use to acknowledge people out to have fun, rather than people doing it to progress and train at their chosen sport.
Carving: This is the word used to explain a series of clean turns that have been made on the edges of skis or a snowboard.
Chatter: Not the stuff you see in gossip mags! Chatter is the vibration of skis or snowboards from riding at high speeds. When the chatter is excessive, contact between the skis/board and the snow is reduced, so control is lessened.
Crust: This term denotes the frozen layer that covers softer snow or is buried beneath a fresh layer of snow.
Dump: If you’re lucky, you’ll hear people talking about fresh dumps a lot! This is the slang term for a really good amount of fresh snow in resort.
Edge: Mentioned earlier in ‘carving’, edges are the sharpened metal strip on the sides of skis and snowboards. These edges give riders increased control through ‘biting’ into the snow. Blunt edges on the piste lead to falls, and/or burning thighs as you try to dig the edge in as you turn!
First Tracks: This is what you can make if you are on the hallowed first lifts of the day. You’ll be gliding through all the fresh snow before anyone else. You’re making the first tracks and trails for all the following skiers and snowboarders to see. Try and get a cool pic if you can!
Freerider: A person who likes to ski or snowboard the steep off-piste, dart in and out of trees and hit powder moguls/bumps.
Freestyle: This is a style of skiing or snowboarding that is based on doing tricks; usually in the snow park, but not restricted to there.
French Fries: A coaching term used in conjunction with pizza, that you will often hear being bellowed near the nursery runs to get people on skis to move them parallel to one another.
Stay tuned for the next instalment, coming soon…!