Glossary of Ski Terms | A-Z Skiing Terminology (2022)

Chill Factore’s Definitive Guide to Ski & Snowboarding Terminology

Ever been on the slopes and heard some crazy skiing terms being thrown around that you’ve never come across before? We’ve all been there. That’s why we put together this handy guide of skiing terminology – a dictionary of snow sports, if you will – so you can hit the snow without the fear of being caught out.

So, sit yourself down, grab a cold drink and get swotting up. There’ll be a test at the end. (Just kidding)

Want to skip the revising and hit the slopes?

Find out about our ski and snowboard lessons

Popular skiing terms and snowboarding language


Aerials:Freestyle ski jumping involving flipping in the air.

Alpine Skiing: Downhill as opposed to Nordic skiing or Telemark skiing.

Apres-Ski: Time spent in the bar after a day of skiing.

Artificial Snow: Man-made snow. Not as fine as real snow.

Air-to-Fakie:This is a half pipe trick where you approach the wall riding forward, no rotation is made in the air, and you land riding backwards.


Baseplate: A very important part of your bindings. The baseplate sits at the bottom of your bindings in contact with the ski/snowboard and transfers all of your movement into the ski or board.

Backside:This term originates in surfing and refers to riding the waves in a certain way. In snowboarding, it describes your direction of rotation when the rider spins clockwise in the air and their left foot is facing down the hill.

Biathlon: A cross country race that combines skiing and rifle shooting.

Binding: The thing that connects your boot to your ski or snowboard. The bindings on skis are designed to release the boot in the case of a fall. Snowboard bindings don't auto release.

Black Run: Advanced level ski slope for good skiers and snowboarders.

(Video) ENGLISH VOCABULARY LESSONS: Ski & Snowboarding Equipment #1

Blindside: This is an advanced rotation where vision is impaired during during takeoff or landing and you must stretch to look over your shoulder.

Blue Run: A gentle slope suitable for beginner skiers and snowboarders.Recommended after taking aBeginner Lesson

Button Lift: A ski lift with a round plastic disc at the end of a long pole. The disc is placed between the legs and gently pulls skiers and boarders up the slopes.


Cable Car: A large aerial lift that transports skiers and snowboarders up the slopes.

Carving: Turns where the edges of the skis or snowboard are used.

Carving Skis: Narrower skis designed for tight, clean turns.

Chair Lift: An aerial ski lift that you sit on and rest your skis or snowboard on a bar.

Crevasse: A deep and sometimes hidden crack in a glacier.

Cross-country skiing: A discipline using narrow skis along flat tracks and gentle hills rather than ski slopes.

Cork: This is an off-axis spin where the rider’s head dips below the relative position of the board.


DIN Settings: Deutsche Industrie Normen in German, this is the tension release setting that determines at what pressure your binding releases the boot on a fall.

Drag Lift: A lift that simply pulls you up the slope as you stand on your skis or snowboard.

Downhill Edge: The edge of the ski that is on the downhill side as your are traverseing the mountain.

Downhill Ski: The ski that is on the downhill side as you traverse the slope.

Ding: Something which is unavoidable on difficult terrain. This is a scratch or gouge in the base of the board which can occur if you ride over a rock or hit a hard chunk of ice.


Edge: Used for control whilst turning, this is the metal strip on the edge of the ski or snowboard.

Equipment: Refers to your skis, snowboard, boots and ski-poles.

(Video) Pro Skiers Explain: Waterski Terms


Fakie: Skiing or snowboarding backwards.

FIS: Stands for Federation Internationale de Ski, the international organization of ski sports.

Freestyle: A style of skiing or snowboarding that focuses on jumps, tricks and aerials.Interested?Click hereto find out more about Freestyle at Chill Factore.


Gate: A flag or pole in the snow marking a racing area. Visit our Race Club page too learn everything you need to know about race at Chill Factore.

Goggles: Worn to protect your eyes against sun, wind and glare.

Gondola: An aerial lift that is enclosed and generally faster than an open chairlift.

Grab: Grabbing hold of any part of your skis or snowboard whilst doing tricks and jumps.The most basic of all aerial stunts, want to know more?Click hereto find outmore about Freestyle at Chill Factore.

Grooming: Where large piste basher machines flatten and smooth the snow on the slopes. Usually done throughout the night in most ski resorts.


Halfpipe: A U-shaped channel with smooth walls used by freestyle skiers and snowboarders for aerial tricks.

Hard Pack: Snow that has been compressed down as far as it will go, making it hard packed.

Heliskiing: Getting a lift from a helicopter to off-piste areas that are otherwise inaccessible, in order to ski on fresh powder snow.


Ice: When the snow on the slopes becomes like ice as it hasn't snowed for a while.

Indy Grab: The most basic snowboarding grab, this is where you grab the toe edge of the snowboard with your rear hand whilst in the air.Want to learn for yourself?Click hereto find outmore about Freestyle at Chill Factore.

Inside Edge: The ski that is on the inside of a turn.


Jib: Snowboard or ski across a non-snow surface like a rail or box.Learn the art of the "Jib" and other freestyle tricks.


Kicker: A small, triangular shaped jump usually made of snow.We use these on ourmain slope, find out more


Lift Pass: A lift pass is a ticket that allows you to use the ski lifts.Book yourLift Passnow to have access to the slopes

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Method Air: With both knees bent and the heels rising towards your back, the front hand grabs the heel edge and the board is pulled to level of the head. Practice your freestyle skills on our Terrain Challenges.

Moguls:Moguls are bumps set out on a slope - usually found on black runs and used by advanced skiers.

Monoski: A type of ski with both boots attached to a single ski.

Mute Grab: Whilst in the air, grabbing the toe edge of the snowboard between the bindings with your front hand.


Nordic Combined: A race that combines country skiing and ski jumping.

Nordic Skiing: See cross-country skiing.

Nose Bonk: To intentionally hit and rebound off of a natural or manmade object with the nose of the board.


Off-Piste: A snowy area away from the marked ski slopes. Popular with freestyles and people that enjoy powder snow.

Ollie: A jump or hop on skis or snowboard that can be done on the flat.A fundamental trick that we teach in outFreestyle Lessons

Outside Ski: The ski on the outside of a turn.


Packed Powder: The perfect ski conditions where new snow has been groomed or ridden over to pack it down.

Piste: The French word for "ski slope".

Piste Basher: A tracked vehicle used for grooming ski slopes to even out the snow and prepare the slopes for skiers.

Powder: Fresh snow that hasn't been packed down. Found off-piste or just after a heavy snowfall.


Rail: A metal bar found on snow parks built to be used by freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

Red Run: Intermediate level slope.

Rope Lift: Usually found in beginner ski areas, this is a lift where you hold onto a slow moving rope and it gently pulls you up the slope.

(Video) #3 How to talk about A SKIING HOLIDAY – Key Words and Phrases


Saloupettes/Ski Pants: Warm, waterproof trousers designed for snow sports.Take a look at all of outClothingoptions here

Schussing: Skiing straight downhill without turning.

Ski Area: The area of the mountain designated for skiers. Usually marked by flags or ropes at the edges of the slopes.

Slalom: A downhill ski race between tightly spaced gates that must be passed through with short, quick turns.To see more about Slalom at Chill Factore,visit our race club page.

Slope: A slope is an area of snowy hill that is designated for skiers/snowboarders.

Slush: Wet snow, snow that is melting.

Snow Canon/Snow Machine: Machines on the slope that turn water into artificial snow.

Snow Park: An area built especially for freestyle skiers and snowboarders, filled with jumps, rails, boxes etc.

Snowplough: A beginners technique where the skis are held in a 'V' formation with the tips almost touching. It allows for slowing down and turning.


T-Bar: There are two types of T-bar lifts - singles and doubles. Each are a T bar suspended from a moving line. With a single T-Bar lift, the bar goes between our legs and pulls you up the slopes. The double is shared with a friend and one half of the T goes behind your bottom.

Telemark Skiing: This is a combination of downhill and cross-country skiing. The skis have detached heels, but are still wide enough to handle going fast and making sharp turns.To learn all about this type of skiing have a look at our uniqueTelemark Sessions.

Tips: The front end of the skis.

Travelator/Magic Carpet: A conveyor-belt like lift where you stand on the lift and it carries you to the top of the slope. Usually found on beginner slopes and children's areas.

Traverse: Skiing across a slope in a zigzag pattern rather than straight down.


Uphill Edge: The edge of the ski that is on the uphill side when traversing the slope.

Uphill Ski: The ski that is on the uphill side as your traverse the slope.


Wax: Used on the underside of skis and snowboards to help them glide smoothly over the snow.

(Video) 10 Most Beautiful Ski Mountains In The World.

White Out: When visibility drops to almost nothing; caused by heavy snowfall, fog, or a combination of the two.

Feeling fully prepped for the slopes? Get a lift pass today with your friends and put your boosted knowledge of skiing terms into practice. Chill Factore is open 7 days a week, so there’s plenty of opportunity to brush up on your skills and enjoy your time on the slopes.


What is pizza in skiing? ›

Pizza and french fries refer to the way you position your skis. Pizza consists of pointing your toes, and by extending your skis together to create a wedge-shape. The bigger the pizza, the faster you will stop.

What is it called when you walk with skis? ›

Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

What is going backwards on skis called? ›

Trick Positions

Normal/Forward: The skier is moving forward (down the pipe or jump) in a basic stance. Fakie/Switch: The skier is taking off or landing backwards.

What are words for skiing? ›

Back to basics: 10 English words for skiing
  • Binding. Let's start with the basics: a binding is the plastic connection that holds your boots to your skis or snowboard. ...
  • Piste. ...
  • Off-piste. ...
  • Avalanche. ...
  • Run. ...
  • T-bar. ...
  • Snowplough. ...
  • Carving.
3 Mar 2017

What are ski lines called? ›

A piste (/piːst/) is a marked ski run or path down a mountain for snow skiing, snowboarding, or other mountain sports.

How do you stop on skis for beginners? ›

With both skis facing the right, lean your weight into the left hand ski a little and keep turning your skis parallel to the hill until you are facing slightly uphill, where you will come to a complete stop. Naturally, when you're turning to the left, you'll lean your weight into the right, or downhill, ski.

How do you turn french fries on skis? ›

Ski Tips with Josh Foster - For All You French Fry Lovers - YouTube

How do you ski snowplough? ›

Beginner Ski Lesson #1.3 - The Snow Plough - YouTube

What do skiers call snow? ›

Freshies – This is the word you want to hear while on ski holiday. You want to be getting freshies in the morning, or all day long. It's another term for fresh powder snow.

What is it called to ski downhill quickly? ›

SCHUSS – a fast, straight, downhill run on skis, without slowing down or turning.

What is ski slang? ›

"Spend Kids' Inheritance" is the most common definition for SKI on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

What is a 2160 trick? ›

A spin trick where the skier spins so much that the number of degrees spun exceeds the numerical value of the current year. To successfully land a future spin at this day and age, a skier would have to spin 2020 degrees or more (closest rotation would be 2160 degrees, that is, six full revolutions).

What are the bumps on ski slopes called? ›

What are Moguls? Moguls are bumps that you'll find on some groomed slopes at downhill ski areas. They can be constructed purposely by the ski area, but more often they form naturally as skiers carve turns down a slope.

What does POW mean in skiing? ›

Pow Pow is the slang term for the crème de la crème of skiing, fresh POWDER. Fine, dry, fluffy and lightweight; powder is the Holy Grail for snow sport enthusiasts. Large amounts of fresh snow make for epic conditions and give you the feeling of 'floating' on the surface.

What is the ski ramp called? ›

A ski jumping hill is a sports venue used for ski jumping. They vary in size from temporary handmade snow structures to permanent competition venues. At the top is an in-run where the jumper runs down to generate sufficient speed, before reaching the jump. The skier is then airborne until landing on the landing slope.

What is a Jerry in skiing? ›

Within the ski industry a “Jerry,” otherwise known as a “Gaper,” a “Joey,” a “Gorb,” etc. is someone [a skier or snowboarder] doing a boneheaded move. My personal definition of a Jerry is: An individual who exhibits a true lack of understanding for their sport, or for life in general.

What is a single water ski called? ›

You can also choose to ski on only one ski. That is called slalom skiing, and it is ideal for sharp turns and skiing at a higher rate of speed. Slalom skis are specially designed with two plates to accommodate both your feet. Then there is barefoot skiing. Yes, you heard right!

What is bumpy snow called? ›

Crud: A type of snow characterized by an uneven surface, usually encompassing some lumps of soft powder-like snow as well as icy or slippery patches.

What is zigzag skiing called? ›

Slalom—Skiing in a zigzag or wavy course between upright obstacles, usually flags.

What is a female snowboarder called? ›

Betty – a female snowboarder. Bone – straightening one or both legs while doing a half-pipe trick.

How can I improve my ski confidence? ›

How to Build Confidence Skiing
  1. Differentiate between comfortable slopes and ones you just 'get down' There are pistes and levels of difficulty that most skiers feel comfortable on. ...
  2. Do a harder run twice. ...
  3. Look for short hard sections. ...
  4. Take into account changing conditions. ...
  5. Choose the right ski partners.
24 Dec 2019

How many days does it take to learn to ski? ›

On average, it takes around 10 weeks before you're confident on all types of runs, even the steepest blacks. But some people might get to this point quicker. Your parallel skiing should be flawless by now, with your skis side by side the whole way to make a smooth, linked turns.

How do I stop being scared of skiing? ›

11 Ways to Get Over Your Nerves on the Slopes
  1. Take a Lesson. The single best way to reduce ski anxiety is signing up for a professional lesson. ...
  2. Rent Your Gear. ...
  3. Go Slow. ...
  4. Beat the Crowds. ...
  5. Practice Falling. ...
  6. Go Back to the Basics. ...
  7. Breathe and Let Loose. ...
  8. Act Positive, Be Positive.
25 Feb 2019

How do you stop pizza when skiing? ›

Tykes Tips - How To Make A Ski Pizza - YouTube

How do you get out of pizza when skiing? ›

As you ski downhill, begin to make your pizza slice narrower by turning your heels back in, which will bring your feet, and with them your skis, into a parallel position. If you feel your skis going sideways, return to a comfortable wedge stance until you regain control of your skis.

How do I stop my skis from going sideways? ›

Foot Rotation / Hockey Stop - Tips for Intermediate Skiers - YouTube

What is a wedged turn? ›

The snowplough turn, snowplow turn, or wedge turn is a downhill skiing braking and turning technique. It is the first turn taught to beginners, but still is useful to advanced skiers on steep slopes.

What is a snowplough? ›

snowplough noun (VEHICLE)

a vehicle or device for removing snow from roads or railways: Hundreds of gritting lorries and snowploughs are on standby.

How do you wedge skiing? ›

Learning to ski: Snow Plow - Carving in the wedge position | English

What does butter mean in skiing? ›

Buttering is the act of using your skis' flex pattern to “pop” off the ground while spinning. Start slow when you're first learning. Once you develop the skill, you can add speed, which will load your skis and give you more pop. STEP 2: USE YOUR TAILS. One of the most common buttering tricks is the tail butter 360.

What is nose butter in skiing? ›

Definition: The act of rocking onto the tips (nose butter) or tail (tail butter) of your skis and holding your weight there long enough to turn 180 degrees or more in one smooth, beautiful, life-affirming motion.

What is wiped out in skiing slang? ›

The crossword clue Wiped out, in skiing slang with 5 letters was last seen on the March 21, 2022. We think the likely answer to this clue is ATEIT.

Why is it called the Super-G? ›

Super-G means super giant slalom. It combines the speed of downhill but the technical turning necessary of the giant slalom. The course winds more than the downhill course, but the gates are spaced out more so that the skiers can pick up speed.

What does GS stand for in skis? ›

Giant Slalom, or GS skis, are skied longer than SL skis.

What is it called when you ski through a tree? ›

Glade skiing (also known as glading) is alpine skiing through trees off-trail or on a defined woods trail. Glades are variously sought for their solitude, beauty, or caches of ungroomed powder. Woods also tend to hold better snow longer thanks to the shade and shelter trees provide.

What is shredding Gnar? ›

The game of GNAR has since become a legend among Squaw Valley skiers. “Shred” simply means to ski or participate in the game. So “shred the gnar” means you're off to go do gnarly things while skiing, according to Carey. He also notes that people often incorrectly think gnarly is a snowboarding term.

What is snow slang for? ›

transitive) US and Canadian slang. to deceive or overwhelm with elaborate often insincere talk.

What is bluebird skiing? ›

Bluebird Day

Bluebird is a distinctly American term for “a period of time characterized by sunny, cloudless weather, typically after a night of snowfall,” the term seems to be most popularly used in skiing, but there are examples of its usage in the hunting world as well.

What is the most spins on skis? ›

Kuura Koivisto, 20, just made history as the first skier to spin into the future with a Switch Double 2160. That is six full 360s! No other skier has ever spun past 1980.

Has anyone done a 2160 on skis? ›

Alex Hall landed the first 2160 on skis at X Games Aspen in January. Needless to say, he won gold in the men's ski big air contest.

What is a 1440 in skiing? ›

For example, a skier might land a switch leftside triple cork 1440 mute grab: In this example, the skier would be approaching the jump backwards (switch), spin to their left (leftside), then simultaneously do three inverts (triple cork) and four full rotations (1440) in the air while holding a mute grab.

How do you ski crud? ›

How To Ski Crud / Tracked Powder - Advanced Ski Lesson #6.5 - YouTube

Why do my skis wobble? ›

Most intermediate skiers experience "wobble" as you describe it when the skis are too flat on the surface. If you can carve on a piste and transfer from edge to edge with little effort then skis will ride the edge to help you.

How do you ski on bumpy snow? ›

How To Ski Bumps / Moguls - Advanced Ski Lesson #6.4 - YouTube

What is ski bunny? ›

Noun. ski bunny (plural ski bunnies) (slang, skiing) An attractive female at a ski resort, especially one who is more interested in being seen than in skiing.

What does gaper mean in skiing? ›

Gaper [gey-per] noun: 1. A skier or snowboarder who is completely clueless. 2. An acronym meaning Guaranteed Accident Prone on Every Run. (

What is chunder snow? ›

Chunder: Irregular, sometimes large clumps of snow such as snowcat debris. Sometimes also called chunk.

What is ski slang? ›

"Spend Kids' Inheritance" is the most common definition for SKI on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

What is skiing on one ski called? ›

Water skiers can use two skis (one on each foot, also called "combo skiing") or one ski (dominant foot in front of the other foot, also called "slalom skiing").

What is another word for ski slope? ›

What is another word for ski slope?
ski runcourse
mogulrace course
ski trail

What's another word for ski run? ›

What is another word for ski run?
race courseski slope
ski trail

What do skiers call snow? ›

Freshies – This is the word you want to hear while on ski holiday. You want to be getting freshies in the morning, or all day long. It's another term for fresh powder snow.

What does nose butter mean? ›

Definition: The act of rocking onto the tips (nose butter) or tail (tail butter) of your skis and holding your weight there long enough to turn 180 degrees or more in one smooth, beautiful, life-affirming motion.

What does ski d out mean? ›

The 26-year-old American has twice done something she hardly ever does in international competition: "ski out" of a race. It's a dreaded term for elite ski racers, one that is usually accompanied by the letters DNF – did not finish – meaning a skier failed to complete the course and register a valid run.

What is it called to ski downhill quickly? ›

SCHUSS – a fast, straight, downhill run on skis, without slowing down or turning.

What is zigzag skiing called? ›

Slalom—Skiing in a zigzag or wavy course between upright obstacles, usually flags.

What is bumpy snow called? ›

Crud: A type of snow characterized by an uneven surface, usually encompassing some lumps of soft powder-like snow as well as icy or slippery patches.

What is a 5 letter word for Maxim? ›

The crossword clue Maxim with 5 letters was last seen on the April 21, 2022. We think the likely answer to this clue is ADAGE.

What is a 4 letter word for bridge? ›

BRIDGE Crossword Clue
Bridge with 4 Letters (5 Additional results)
125 more rows

What is a waterfall over rocks called? ›

cascade, waterfall, especially a series of small falls, consisting of water descending over rocks or boulders. It may be natural or it may be artificial. The cascade has often been used as a feature of formal gardens.


1. Ski jargon buster - Al's Skiing Tips
(The Ski Club)
2. Introduction to Ski Touring
(Escape Route)
3. Downhill Skiing in Words
4. SLALOM SKIING - Pro Skier Coaching Tips
(Joel Howley)
5. Skiing Stereotypes | Dude Perfect
(Dude Perfect)
(New Zealand Alpine Club)

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