Snowsport jargon

Whether you're thinking about taking to the slopes or you are an accomplished skier/boarder, there are some words and phrases that you should familiarise yourself with before you hit the slopes.

Take a look at our list of some of the most common terms you might hear on the slopes and around the resort. If you have any suggestions for more terms please get in touch with us and we'll add them to the list.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 



Air Jumping on a snowboard, getting some air under your board.

Alpine Skiing Downhill skiing typically using chairlifts to get up to higher ground for descents.

Après-Ski After a long day on the slopes this is the social scene back at the resort.

Avalanche A mass of loosened snow or ice that suddenly and swiftly slides down a mountain, forming one of the real dangers a skier can face.

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Base The average depth of snow on a mountain.

Bindings The equipment that keeps the ski or boarding boots attached to the skis/snowboard.

Board Park Area set aside in a resort for practicing snowboard tricks.

Bomber A person who skis too fast or out of control.

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Carving A tight turn made with the edge of the ski or snowboard.

Cross-country skiing Skiing on a flat, snowy surface using the body for momentum and resistance.

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Downhill skiing Gravity-induced skiing down a mountain. 

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Edging Controlling turns with the edge of your skis. 

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Fakie Riding a snowboard backwards.

Fall line The most direct route down the mountain, often involuntarily taken.

Freestyle A type of riding that involves doing tricks and jumping.  

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Glade skiing The art of skiing between trees.

Goggles Essential protective eye wear used to guard against ultraviolet rays, wind, and snow.

Goofy foot Riding with the right foot forward.

Grind To ride on an object, like a ledge, with the edges making contact.

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Half-pipe A U-shaped structure used to perform snowboard tricks by travelling back and forth from wall to wall.

Heelside The edge of the snowboard that your heels sit on.

High season The peak snowsport season, usually from February to early March.  

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Leash A cable used to connect the snowboard to the boot to stop the board sliding away. 

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Milk run The first run of the day.

Moguls Mounds and lumps of snow generally on very steep slopes, some natural and others created by skiers.

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Nordic skiing Cross-country skiing.

Nose-grab Grabbing the front of the snowboard during a jump.

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Off-piste Designated off-trail areas. 

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Parallel turn A turn in which the skis are kept parallel to each other.

Piste French word for trail and a groomed area of the slope.

Powder Freshly fallen snow, ungroomed snow.

Poma A surface lift straddled by skiers, with a plastic disc to sit on. Also known as a button lift.

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Regular Riding with the left foot forward on the snowboard.

Rider A snowboarder.

Rope tow A moving rope that skiers grab to be towed up the mountain.

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Slalom A race that combines downhill speed with technical ability

Snowpark An area of piste created for freestyle boarders and skiers, largely to do tricks.

Snowplow A popular beginner technique for stopping and turning. The front tips of the skies almost touch, while the back tips are bowed outwards.

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T-Bar A T-shaped rope tow on which two skiers balance in sitting positions and are pulled to the top. Also known as a drag lift.

Tail The rear end of a snowboard.

Tip The front edge or end of a snowboard.

Toeside The edge of the board that your toes sit on.

Traverse To ski across the mountain rather than down.

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Warped Getting sprayed with snow when someone stops right near you.

White out Poor visibility due to a combination of fog and snow. Usually occurs at high altitudes.

Wish Bone When a boarder snaps their board.

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