Skiing & snowboarding terms

A glossary of words and phrases that you might or might not know
 
Aerials   Ski jumping with an emphasis on freestyleand performing flips and rotations off jumps.
All Mountain skis   that the larger percentage of skis available fall into this category. The skis are designed to perform well in most snow conditions. They are usually used on on  piste skiing.
Alpine Skiing   Downhill skiing. Not telemark, or crosscountry. Just skiing. Down a hill. The toe and heel of the boot are fixed to the ski.
Amplitude   Amplitude is all about how much air skiers get out of the pipe.
Apres-Ski Après-ski doesn’t actually involve any sort of skiing. Après is the French word for ‘after’ so this literally translates to ‘after-ski’. Usually but not exclusively time spent in the bar after a day of skiing. The perfect opportunity to enjoy a hard-earned drink (or six), have a bit of a dance (if you are so inclined), and swap your tales apf adventure of the days skiing.
Artificial Snow  Man-made snow produced with a Snow cannon/machine.  Not as good as real snow, but helps to make sure the runs open as and when they should.
Avalanche  A mass of snow falling down the side of a mountain at high speeds. Avalanches are usually  an issue  off-piste. If you stay on open, marked pistes you don’t have to worry about avalanches as the ski resort/patrol are responsible for ensuring the pistes are safe.
Avalanche beacon  A safety device by skiers and snowboarders in case of an avalanche. The beacon transmits a signal which can be used by rescuers to locate a person who is buried in the snow.
Avalanche control  Ski Resorts/ patrols control the risks of avalanche on a  mountain by triggering small avalanches with explosions to make the ski slope’s safer for people using them.
Backcountry skiing Also called off-piste or out-of-bounds skiing. Occurs in unmarked, unpatrolled areas beyond the boundaries of the patrolled resort area. Experience, a guide, avalanche knowledge and proper equipment is imperative when backcountry skiing.
Base The bottom surface of your skis or snowboard to which wax is applied to improve glide on snow. ‘Base station’ – the lowest point you would board a chair lift, cable car, or gondola.
Overall depth of the snowpack.
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.
Basket  The round or star shaped piece of plastic on the bottom of your ski pole that prevents your pole from digging into the snow too deeply.
Biathlon   A race, and regular event at the Winter Olympics, that brings together cross country skiing and rifle shooting.
Big-mountain skiing or snowboarding  The style of skiing or snowboarding seen in ski movies, featuring fast, big turns on long, steep vertical descents and, usually, cliff drops.
Binding  The piece of kit that attaches your boot to your ski or snowboard. Bindings on skis are designed to release the boot in the case of a fall whilst snowboard bindings don’t auto release.
Black diamond   this is the North American term denoting a higher level of difficulty and risk on the ski runs.
Black Run  Advanced level ski slope for good skiers and snowboarders. The hardest classification of piste across Europe.
Blue Run   an easy run, usually ideal for beginners & intermediates. Across most of Europe is denotes the easiest of runs except France, who have Green runs.
Bombing   Going down a slope recklessly fast. An apparent danger to others.
Bonk   To bounce off an object during freestyle.
Bowl   this describes a large mountain basin usually free of trees and ideal for large sweeping turns. See Cirque below.
Box  A man-made feature found in the snow park. It’s literally a box for sliding along.
Brain bucket  A helmet.
Bunny slope  The area of the mountain with a gradual decline, perfect for beginner skiers to be taught basic ski techniques. Learn more about the best ski resorts to learn to ski.  See Nursery Slope.
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  The largest aerial lift – these large cabins can hold upwards of 100 passengers, and often cover long vertical distances travelling up and down their own dedicated cable.
Camber   this is the curvature of the base of a ski or snowboard and it is to distribute weight across the ski.
Carve   this is the technique where you use the edge of the scheme or snowboard to cutting to the snow in order to turn and change direction.
Carving  Clean turns using the edges of skis or a snowboard, leaving sharp turn lines in the snow. Often seen as a crucial step in progressing from intermediate to advanced ability.
Carving Skis  Narrower skis designed for tight, clean turns.
Cat Track  Relatively flat paths used by piste bashers to get around the mountain.
Catching an edge  When the edge of a ski or snowboard accidentally digs into the snow, usually resulting in a fall or a near fall.
Cat-skiing  Backcountry or off-piste terrain which is accessed via a snowcat.
Chair Lift A type of aerial lift, which consists of a continuously circulating steel cable loop strung between two end terminals and usually over intermediate towers, carrying a series of chairs, typically with skier or snowboarder passengers.
Chatter  The vibration of skis or snowboards caused by moving at high speeds. Excessive chatter reduces contact between the ski and the snow and the ability to stay in control.
Chutes  Narrow sections of snow between two rock walls typically skied by expert or advanced skiers or snowboarders.
Cirque  A bowl shape or amphitheater usually sculpted out of the mountain terrain by a glacier.
Clamps   Another term for bindings.
Cliff-hucking  A move done by only experienced skiers and overly ambitious beginners in which the skier jumps off a cliff.
Corduroy  A common term for a freshly groomed piste as the small ridges resulting from the grooming process resemble a piece of corduroy fabric.
Corn Snow characterized by its large corn-kernel-sized granules found during the spring.
Cornice  An overhanging mass of snow at the edge of a ridge or peak.
Couloir  French for ‘corridor’, a couloir is sleep and narrow gully with high sides. These are usually found off-piste, outside of the marked ski areas.
Crevasse  A deep, and often hidden, crack in a glacier. Potentially very dangerous, which is why off-piste glacier skiing is generally restricted to groups with Mountain Guides.
Cross country skiing   this is a very physically demanding form of skiing, which involves people using narrower skis to ski across countryside and sometimes the smallest loads of points areas.
Cross Country Skiing   Cross country skiing is done on flat tracks and gentle hills, rather than traditional ski slopes. The heel of a crosscountry skier differs from that of a normal skier in that it isn’t attached to the ski. With over 107 medals won, including 40 golds, Norway are the undisputed kings of cross country skiing at the Olympics.
Cross-country skiing  Skiing on flat terrain using self-produced power with no extra help from slopes. There are two recognized cross-country skiing techniques  “skating” and “classic” (or “striding”). Cross-country skiing is more aerobic than alpine skiing and uses lighter weight boots and lighter, narrower skis.
Cross-country Skiing  A part of the Nordic Skiing family, cross-country-skiers use very narrow skis with bindings that allow the heel to lift off the ski. Cross-country skiing is done on flat(ish) ground with gentle uphill and downhill sections.
Cross-country Skiing  A discipline using narrow skis along flat tracks and gentle hills rather than ski slopes.
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.
Delamination   involves the separation of layers of the ski or snowboard, which can ruin a pair of skis if not dealt with promptly.
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.
Downhill  A speed discipline in alpine ski racing, downhill features poles (gates) which are set the maximum amount apart to increase speeds.
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. 
Drag Lift  A category of surface lift that drags skiers and snowboarders up a slope. Button lifts and T-Bars are both types of drag lift.
Dry Slope   Dry slopes allow you to go skiing without snow. They’re ideal for practicing out of season or in countries where snow covered ski appropriate mountains are rare. If you’re based in the UK, why not check out our guide to 8 dry slopes in England and Wales.
Dump  An unusually large or heavy snowfall.
Eagle   An aerial with arms and legs spread apart. Usually happens instinctively when someone is new to the park, and going off one of their first kickers.
Early season  The beginning of ski season. Typically before the New Year. Learn more about the best resorts for early-season skiing.
Edge  Used for control whilst turning, this is the metal strip on the edge of the ski or snowboard.
Effective Edge  The amount of the edge that is in physical contact with the snow during a turn. Modern skis with sidecut have a longer effective edge than the straight skis of yesteryear, resulting in a more stable, easier-to-turn ski.
Ego bumps  Small, well-spaced moguls on an intermediate slope that are generally easier to ski than those found on more difficult slopes.
Epic  A day characterized by the large amount of powder or other conditions that make it unforgettable and out of the norm.
Equipment  Refers to your skis, snowboard, boots and ski-poles. 
Face Shot   They’re what happen when you’re skiing in the deep stuff, and the powdery snow around you sprays up into your face.
Face-plant  When you crash, while skiing, and fall flat on your face.
Fakie   Skiing or snowboarding backwards.
Fall Line  The most direct line down the mountain. If you fall, that’s the line gravity will take you down the hill.
Figure eight  Tandem skiers whose tracks when viewed from above give the illusion of the numerical “eight.”
Figure eleven  The tracks left by a skier who makes no turns.
First Lifts  Getting the very first lift up the hill and being the first to enjoy the fresh corduroy. Generally accompanied by a smug feeling and an even more smug Instagram post.
First tracks  When a skier is the first to ski an area of fresh snow before anyone else; also known as “freshies.”
FIS   The world’s leading governing body for winter sports. Stands for ‘Federation Internationale de Ski’ (International Ski Federation).
Flat Light  Low clouds, grey skies, and/or dim light making differences in terrain difficult to judge as the lack of shadow definition on the snow makes everything look flat.
Flex   the term used to describe the amount of stiffness in the outer shell of A ski boot.
Foot bed   this is the sole inside the ski boot liner that is removable. They come into forms the standard fitted foot bad for The boot for the custom bed which can be fitted to your funny shape to improve the comfort and affective and S of your ski boots.
Freeride skiing or snowboarding see Big-mountain skiing.
Freerider   Freeriders want to leave the restrictions of the pistes behind, and let their skis out the cage. Off-piste lines, weaving between trees, steep runs in the back country; you name it, this lot are probably up for it.
Freeskiing / Freeriding  Adventurous off-piste skiing. Freeskiers and freeriders love big off-piste lines, couloirs, weaving through trees and often jumping off cliffs. Not to be confused with freestyle.
Freestyle  A style of skiing or snowboarding focused on doing tricks. You’ll find a lot of freestylers in the snow park.
Funicular  A cable railway in which a pair of tram-like cabs on rails moves along cables and transports skiers up and down a steep slope. Funiculars are more widely found in Europe. Learn more about the world's top funiculars.
Gaper    A novice who, through bad skiing and bad style choices, inadvertently signposts to others on the slope that they have no idea what they’re doing.
Gate  A flag or pole in the snow marking a racing area. 
Giant slalom  An alpine ski racing discipline in which the poles (gates) spaced at a greater distance to each other than Slalom but less than in Super-G.
Glacier  A naturally-occurring mass of dense ice. In many ski areas, like Hintertux, Tignes and Zermatt, glaciers allow for skiing during the summer.
Goggles   Worn to protect your eyes from harmful things like the sun’s UV, as well as wind, glare, and ice. Those who don’t protect their eyes on the mountain risk snow blindness, a painful and temporary loss of vision. Look after your peepers, skiers.
Gondola  An enclosed ‘bubble’ lift that fits, on average, between four and twelve passengers. Usually smaller than a cable car and faster than a chairlift.
Grab  Holding onto any part of your skis or snowboard while in the air. An important part of freestyle, grabs are used to increase the stylishness of a trick and to maintain balance.
Grass skiing  An all-seasons skiing discipline done on grass with specialized equipment.
Green run   this describes the easiest of ski slope’s/piste after skiers progress from the nursery slopes. Not every country has a green category, some start at blue runs.
Groomed slope  Refers to the slope terrain that has been groomed and is now smooth.
Groomer   A term used to describe a machine capable of snow grooming.
Grooming  Where large piste basher machines flatten and smooth the snow on the slopes. Usually done throughout the night in most ski resorts. 
Grooming Machine  See piste basher.
Halfpipe  A U-shaped channel with smooth walls used by freestyle skiers and snowboarders for aerial tricks.
Hard Pack  Snow that’s been packed down as far as it will go, the snow on a groomed piste for example.
Headwall  A steep cliff, usually the uppermost part of a cirque.
Heli-skiing  A skiing discipline requiring helicopter transportation to the highest slopes and known for providing skiers/boarders with fresh tracks.
Herringbone  A skiing technique named after the marks left by skis when a skier nudges upward through the snow.
Ice  When the snow on the slopes becomes like ice as it hasn't snowed for a while.
Indie grab  An industry term for grabbing the skis or snowboard under the boot on the outside edge while executing a jump.
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 here
Inside Edge  The ski that is on the inside of a turn.
Jib  Riding skis or a snowboard on a non-flat surface like a box or a rail.
Jump turn  A method of turning direction by jumping with your skis in the air; generally used in steep terrain.
Kick turn  An about-face turn while stationary, by lifting one ski and reversing its direction, followed by the other ski.
Kicker  The sharply angled end of a jump, allowing a skier or boarder to gain significant height.
Last   the makers term for the interior shape of a ski boot.
Lift pass  The pass that allows you access to the ski lifts in a particular ski area or resort. Sometimes simply a waterproof tag to be attached to the outside of a jacket, contactless swipe cards are now becoming very common. Remember that your swipe card will need to be on your left-hand side as that’s where the readers are.
Liftie  A lift operator.
Liner   this is the removable in the boot which is usually soft and designed to provide a combination of support and padding to make boots more comfortable.
Magic carpet  A type of conveyor or surface lift often found in beginner learning areas for its ease of use.
Micro fleece   this is a modern form of fleece, which is normally tighter and not as dense that reduces The overall size and bulkiness, as it is worn underneath the ski jacket but above the base layer.
Milk Run   Your first run of the day, when you’re not yet “in the groove” as it were.
Moguls   a slope covered in bumps that make skiers have to do very tight turns to negotiate.
Mondopoint   this is the standard European measurement for shoe sizes, commonly used for ski boots.
Monoski A single, wide ski where the skier’s boots are attached side by side. Monoskiing was popular in Europe throughout the 80s and early 90s, but never quite caught on in the United States. 
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.
NASTAR  Citizen racing program with courses at many mountains allowing anyone to participate and to handicap themselves against world-class racing times.
Never-ever  Someone who has never skied and signs up for a first-time ski lesson.
Noodle   A ski lacking in strength and rigidity, unstable at high speed.
Nordic Combined  A race that combines country skiing and ski jumping.
Nordic Skiing  Most commonly used to refer to cross-country skiing, but is actually a wider term referring to types of skiing where the toe is attached but the heel of the boot is free to lift up from the ski. Nordic skiing includes cross-country skiing, telemark skiing and ski jumping.
Nursery slopes  A very easy slope with a very gentle gradient that is the ideal place for first-timers and beginners to learn to ski or snowboard.
Off-Piste  A snowy area away from the marked ski slopes. Popular with freestyles and people that enjoy powder snow. Also known as Back Country.
Ollie  A jump or hop on skis or snowboard that can be done on the flat.
On-piste "Piste" is the French word for trail or run. Therefore, "on-piste" would mean on a trail or run, typically a groomed one.
Out-of-bounds  Terrain outside the boundary of the ski area with no avalanche control or ski patrol; many times these areas are illegal to ski.
Outside Ski   Look at the ski on the outside of your turn. That’s your outside ski.
Packed powder   is the term used to describe relatively new snow that is been groomed over repeatedly and this is harder than powder.
Parallel turning  Turning with skis in a parallel position as opposed to the perpendicular wedge shape of the snow-plough turn.
Park Rat   Someone who can’t get enough of hitting the parks, and showing off their tricks.
Pillows  The soft tops of moguls after a fresh powder dump.
Pipe   see half pipe
Piste  Designated ski runs. Comes from the French word for “ski slope.” Often referred to as ‘trails’ in North America.
Piste Basher  A tracked vehicle used for grooming ski slopes to even out the snow and prepare the slopes for skiers.
Pizza  Performed by slowly snowplowing down a slope; generally used by ski instructors when teaching young children.
Planker   A slang term for a skier.
Poma lift  See Button Lift
Pond skimming  A silly spring-skiing past-time at ski resorts in which skiers don fancy dress costumes and try their best to skim across an icy pond. 
Pooping   Sitting back while skiing, so it looks like you’re sitting on the toilet.
Pow Pow   Slang for powder. Used excitably by skiers when skiing through some first class white stuff.
Powder  Fresh snow that hasn't been packed down. Found off-piste or just after a heavy snowfall. 
Powder Hound   A skier who’s addicted to powder 
Powder skis  Designed to work in powder snow conditions and capable of floating high on the powder. These are usually considerably wider than normal skis including the waste time ski.
Power strap  A Velcro strap at the top end of the ski boot used to make sure to fit well on to the calf and shin and allow best control and to skis through the boot.
Pre-release  Denotes the situation when skis unhinge or detatch earlier than anticipated.
Quad  A chairlift carrying four people.
Quarter pipe   this is a half pipe divided into half lengths news for a single often massive aerial trick.
Queue  An unfortunate event at the bottom of a lift, often caused by people wanting to sit with their friends and not filling up all the seats. 
Quiver  A collection of ski types. For example, a full quiver of skis would include an all-mountain pair, a powder pair and a frontside pair. A one-quiver ski means it’s a very versatile ski.
Race boots   designed for racing these boots that are usually narrower and recreational and once again capable of more pressure being inserted the time to turns.
Racing ski   Race skis are more commonly known as slalom skis or giant slalom skis.
Rag Doll   Someone who tumbles down over and over again after falling.
Rail  A metal bar built to be slid on by skiers and snowboarders in the snow park.
Rail slide  A technique performed by sliding skis or a board across a metal or wooden rail, generally done in terrain parks.
Red Run  Intermediate level slope. Great for our Improver Level courses
Reverse Camber  The downward are formed in the ski or snowboard. The more pressure applied the greater the amount of term that is camber crates.
Ripper   Someone who is particularly good at skiing could be called a “ripper.”
Rockered skis The "rockered" shape of the ski mimics the attributes of a water ski, enabling a skier to float over a surface with minimized risk of snagging an edge. 
Roller skiing  An all-seasons skiing discipline generally performed by cross-country skiers on roads as training in the off-season.
Rope tow  A moving rope that skiers and snowboarders hold onto to get them back up the slope.
Salopettes  Salopettes are ski trousers – waterproof trousers built to keep you warm and dry while skiing or snowboarding - but with shoulder straps
Ski Pants  Warm, waterproof trousers designed for snow sports.
Schuss To ski down the slope without turning.
Shaped Skis   Term used to describe the hourglass shape present on the most modern skis. Wider in the tips and tails and narrower at the waist, shaped skis require less effort to turn as the shape itself initiates a carve. The actual shape can differ greatly between manufacturers and type of ski.
Shell   The hard plastic outer portion of a ski boot.
Shovel   The front end of a ski, which often bows out to a larger shovel shape to avoid sinking into snow.
Shred   A term used by skiers and snowboarder of a good standard, to describe the action of skiing or snowboarding.
Sidecut   The inner curvature of a ski or snowboard, measured by the difference between the narrowest point in waist of a ski or snowboard to the widest points at the tip and tail. The shape of sidecut is the key component in creating the skis turn radius; the more drastic the sidecut, the shorter the turn.
Six-pack   Slang term for a six person chairlift.
Ski Area   The area of the mountain designated for snow sports. Marked off by flags or ropes.
Ski Boards   also known as snow blades, these extremely short skis, are like a cross between skiing and inline skating.
Ski Brake   the part of the ski binding designed to stop a ski from shooting downhill after being detached.
Ski Bum   A work shy layabout who does nothing with their time but ski.
Ski in ski out  Lodging on or near the slopes allowing skiers to ski in and out of their accommodations. *Definitions vary by resort and should be carefully checked
Ski lift  See Chairlift.
Ski patrol  Trained skiers employed by the resort to ensure slope safety, patrol the slopes and mitigate any possible dangers like the potential risk of avalanches after a storm and obstacles/risks on the mountain. They also act as a kind of on-slope paramedics, assisting injured skiers and boarders.
Ski touring A combination of Alpine and Nordic skiing where both uphill and downhill travel is possible without needing to remove skis. Typically, ski touring is done in the Backcountry or off-piste, and skis, bindings and boots allow for free movement of the heel to enable a walking pace.
Skier’s Left   Used to describe the area to the left of someone heading downhill.
Skier’s Right   Used to describe the area to the right of someone heading downhill.
Ski-in  Accommodation that can be reached from the ski area via skis or snowboard.
Skijoring  The winter recreation activity of being pulled over snow by a dog, horse or a motor vehicle.
Skins  Strips of material that can be temporarily affixed to the bottom of skis for climbing up hills while Ski Touring.
Ski-out  Accommodation from which it’s possible to ride from the door to the lifts.
Ski-walk Adjustment   An adjustment on some ski boots that allows the upper cuff to hinge backward, giving room for a more natural walking motion when skis are off. Important not to use this mode when skiing.
Slalom  An alpine ski racing discipline in which the poles (gates) spaced more closely than those in Giant Slalom, Super G and Downhill, necessitating quicker and shorter turns.
Slope  A slope is an area of snowy hill that is designated for skiers/snowboarders.
Slopeside  See Ski in ski out.
Slopestyle  A freestyle discipline in which athletes’ ski or snowboard down a course with a variety of obstacles including rails, jumps and other terrain park features.
Slush  Wet snow, snow that is melting.
Snorkeling  When powder runs up the body and blurs a skier’s vision. This is what powder skiers live for.
Snow Canon/Snow Machine  A machine that turns water into artificial snow, and then fires it out onto the slopes. Especially useful when it hasn’t snowed for a while.
Snow Park  A special freestyle area filled with jumps, boxes, rails and other features for jibbing and aerial tricks.  Some large snow parks will include halfpipes.
Snowboarding  Skiing on one “ski” which is wider and shorter, with both feet fixed in a position similar to surfing or skateboarding.
Snowcat  A tracked vehicle used for moving around snowy, mountainous areas; often seen dragging giant rakes as they groom runs, but also used to transport riders into the backcountry for cat skiing.
Snowplough  A skiing technique used by beginners to control speed and learn to turn. The front tips of the skis point inwards to create a pizza-wedged shape.
Snowskate   Similar to a skateboard deck without wheels, designed to be ridden on snow for freestyle tricks.
Softgoods  A catch-all term used to classify ski and snowboard clothing, including jackets, gloves, long underwear, and hats.
Steeze   Doing something and making it look both stylish and easy.
Stem christie  A basic turn begun with a wedge and completed by skidding on both uphill ski edges until your skis are parallel.
Straight-lining   See Schussing.
Super G  Like Downhill alpine racing, Super G is a"speed" event, in contrast to the technical events Giant Slalom and Slalom. The poles (gates) are closer together than Downhill, however.
Superpipe   A larger version of a regular halfpipe; walls in a superpipe can measure up to 20ft.
Surface Lifts   Lifts that drag, yank, or pull skiers up a slope along the ground as opposed to in the air; see Rope Tow, Tbar, and Magic Carpet.
Tail(s)  The rear of skis or a snowboard.
T-Bar  A surface lift similar to a Button Lift but shaped like a T. The handles of a T-Bar can accommodate two skiers on one lift but usually snowboarders ascend one at a time.
Telemark skiing  A skiing discipline where the heel of the ski is not fixed and requiring a different technique from alpine skiing.
Terrain Park   A freestyle zone roped off from other downhill runs and filled with jumps, rails, fun boxes, and other assorted obstacles. Parks can also include a halfpipe and boardercross run.
Tip(s)  The front of skis or a snowboard.
Tracked Out   Slang term for a slope of once fresh snow that has been ridden over repeatedly.
Tram  Also known as aerial tramway or cable car, a tram is an aerial lift that transports skiers up the mountain in a contained cab on a cable. Learn about the world's top trams.
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 the mountain, rather than down it.
Tree Line  The altitude on a mountain after which trees stop growing.
Tree Well    A dangerous hollow space formed around the base of trees after heavy snowfalls; fatal accidents can occur by falling into one.
Turning Radius   A function of sidecut, the turning radius equals the natural circle that a pair of skis or a snowboard can make on edge. The more dramatic the sidecut, the tighter the turning radius.
Twin Tips   Skis where both the tail and tip are turned up at the end, enabling a skier to ski backwards with ease. Originally popular only with freestyle skiers, as the twin tip shape allows for reverse (known as fakie or switch) take-offs and landings off jumps. Modern advancements, however, have seen twin tip shapes appear more often in big mountain skis, as they shape handles smoothly in powder conditions.
Unweighting Taking weight off the ski, usually prior to a turn.
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.
Vertical Drop   The distance between the base of a mountain and its tallest point.
Wax  Used on the underside of skis and snowboards to help them glide smoothly over the snow.
White Out  When visibility drops to almost nothing; caused by heavy snowfall, fog, or a combination of the two.
Whiteout  Limited visibility due to snow, fog or flat light.
World Cup  International races for all disciplines including alpine, cross-country, ski jumping, freestyle skiing and snowboarding and more.
X-C  An abbreviation of Cross-country skiing.
Yard sale  A major fall resulting in the skier/snowboarder’s clothes or equipment being strewn all over the hill – mimicking a yard sale.
Zig zag Traversing across a slope in a “z” formation.
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