Mogul Mick's Skiing Secrets

Understand Skiers' Slang


    Abattoir -
Mogul Mick's signature freestyle move, where he catches big air off a roll and lands upon a six-pack of stupid snowboarders, sitting on their padded posteriors right in the middle of the run.

    Abstem -
Wedging out the tail of the downhill ski.

    ACL -
Acronym for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the tearing of which produces skiers' worst knee injury.

    Acro -
Acrobatic skiing, linking jumps, flips and spins.

    Air (as in Catching Air) -
Jumping off the snow.

    Airplane Turn -
Turning the skis in mid-air, to engage a new set of edges upon landing a jump.

    Alpine Skiing -
The resort-based, sit and ride up, stand and slide down paradigm.

    Apres Ski -
The night-life of a ski area, preferred by some to slope-side activities.

    ASS -
Acronym for Abominable Snow Slider; anyone on the slopes who is wearing a really stupid-looking hat in order to get attention.

    AT -
Acronym for Alpine Touring, using free-heel safety bindings that lock down after climbing, along with downhill-style skis; backcountry skiing combing Nordic and Alpine functions.

    ATS -
Acronym for the American Teaching System; also known as "Always Teach Steering."

    Avie -

    BAFL -
Acronym for Big Air, Flat Landing, which may result in compression fractures of the vertebrae.

    Balance -
The fundamental skill of skiing, also known as a sequence of linked recoveries.

    Biff -
To bump the snow with your body, as in a brief uphill fall and quick recovery.

    Big Air -
Leaving the ground for at least a couple of seconds of hang-time.

    Boilerplate (Bulletproof) -
Hard, dense, unedgeable ice, often created by a mid-winter thaw or rain.

    Bomb Hole -
Impression in the snow produced by landing big air.

    Bombing (Booming, Schuss-booming) -
Recklessly going straight down hill at high speed. The record for speed skiing is 150 mph.

    Bonk -
To bounce off an object. (Caution: this word is also Brit-speak for "shag")

    Bono -
Skiing full-speed into a tree.

    Bowl -
Steep, wide run, usually higher on both sides.

    Bros -
Our fellow rippers and shredders who are just out for fun, rather than doing big hucks for big bucks like some of the Pros.

    Bumps (Moguls) -
Series of small hills and troughs made by skiers repeatedly turning in the same place.

    Bunny (Snow Bunny) -
Novice female skier, usually more interested in posing than in skiing.

    Bunny Hill -
The beginner's slope.

    Butt-Dragger -
Beginning snowboarder.

    Butt-Plant -
Falling upon one's posterior, which is (almost) always good for a laugh.

    Camber -
The natural longitudinal curve of an unweighted ski's base, which gives it rebound out of turns.

    Cap Ski -
Monocoque ski construction, without a separate sidewall.

    Carvaholic -
Skier or snowboarder addicted to the sensation of carving.

    Carving -
Turning with the dug-in edge of a ski or snowboard, producing a crisp, clean arc without significant skidding or side-slipping.

    Champagne Powder -
Very dry snow, which is so light that it can't be made into a snowball.

    Chatter -
Vibrations produced by a ski not holding its edge on ice or hardpack.

    Checking -
Briefly setting an edge to reduce speed.

    Chinese Downhill (Geschmozzle) -
Race where everyone starts together.

    Chocolate Chips -
A cluster of rocks poking out of the snow.

    Chowder -
Chopped-up powder.

    Christie -
A skidded turn made on corresponding ski edges.

    Chute -
Steep, narrow run, usually higher on both sides.

    Clamps -

    Cliff -
Any drop of more than three feet.

    CM -
Acronym for Center of Mass, awareness of which is necessary for balance.

    Coach -
Psycho-babble for Snowsports Instructor.

    Corduroy -
Shallow, closely-spaced parallel grooves in the snow made by grooming machines.

    Core Shot -
An impact causing severe damage to a ski's base, exposing its core.

    Corn -
A type of spring snow that forms into small, light pellets.

    Cornice -
Overhanging ridge of windblown snow or ice.

    Coulie (Couloir) -
A narrow chute with rock walls on both sides.

    Crud -
Wet, heavy, clumpy, cut-up, mashed-potato-like snow, in which turning is difficult.

    Cruising -
Making big turns at high speed.

    Crust -
Frozen surface covering loose snow.

    Daffy -
Aerial with one ski forward, the other aft.

    Damp -
Ability of a ski to dampen or absorb vibrations.

    Death Cookies -
Firm or frozen clumps of snow, usually the result of incompetent snow-making.

    Deeps -
Deep powder conditions, requiring a powder cord or leash on your skis.

    Disco Sticks -
Short slalom and twin-tip skis, capable of very short radius turns.

    Eagle (Spread Eagle) -
Aerial with arms and legs spread apart.

    Ego Snow -
Machine-groomed packed powder, which holds an edge without much skill or effort.

    Expert -
Someone with the ability to ski under control in any terrain or snow condition.

    Extreme -
Ski conditions or tactics that put your life in danger.

    Face-Plant -
Falling on your face, which is rarely a funny situation.

    Face Shot -
Skiing fast in deep powder, causing it to fly up into your face.

    Fakie (Going Fakie) -
Skiing, snowboarding or skiboarding backwards.

    Fall-Line -
Path taken by a large ball rolling down a slope.

    Fatty (Fat Ski) -
A very wide ski designed for powder conditions.

    Fib -
Glib attempt to excuse a fall, by saying, "I caught an edge," or "I lost an edge."

    Figure 11 (Schuss) -
Running straight down hill, with skis parallel.

    FIS -
Acronym for Federation Internationale de Ski, which regulates World Cup ski competition.

    Freecarving (Funcarving, Supercarving) -
Laying down slow-speed trenches on hypercarvers without using poles.

    Freerider -
One who prefers to ski off-piste steeps, jab through the trees and huck powder bumps.

    Freeride Skis (Riders) -
Mid-fat, all-terrain skis that excel in the steep and deep.

    Free Skiing -
Non-competitive, non-task-oriented skiing, done for adventure, enjoyment, exploration and/or self-expression.

    Freestyle -
Aerials off a ramp or tricks on a timed mogul run, these are the only events at which the U.S. Olympic Ski Team excels.

    Freshies -
Fresh, untracked snow.

    Frozen Chicken Heads -
What you get when spring slush freezes.

    Gapers -
Spectators, whose location on the slope impedes one's downhill progress.

    Gap Jump -
Big sproing launched to carry you over a gap.

    Garlands -
Series of turns linked by sideslips, progressing in one direction.

    Glades -
Skiable terrain among the trees.

    Gliding -
Forward motion of an edged ski (or snow toy), as opposed to sliding any which way.

    GLM -
Acronym for Graduated-Length Method, a teaching technique using progressively longer skis.

    Gnar (Gnarly) -
Very challenging conditions.

    Goods (The Goods) -
Untracked powder, usually in the trees.

    Gorilla Turn -
Using the whole body to force the turn around.

    Granular -
Snow consisting of big, coarse crystals that look like rock salt.

    Hardpack -
Firm, almost icy snow.

    Herringbone -
"V"-shaped climbing step; duck-walking uphill.

    Hinge -
Falling downhill with great force.

    Hip Check -
Smearing one's butt on the snow while turning in steep powder, in order to scrub off speed.

    Hit -
Take-off point of a terrain feature, from which one can catch air.

    Hoho -
Handstand on the apex of a halfpipe.

    Hooking -
Tendency for a ski to turn uncontrollably.

    Huck -
To ski off a cliff or roll, catching big air.

    Hurl Carcass -
To huck in a really major way. The current record is 226 vertical feet.

    Hypercarver -
Short ski with a radical sidecut and a turn radius less than 14 meters, often skied without poles.

    Invert -
Aerial maneuver during which one is upside down.

    Jetting -
Accelerating while exiting a turn by projecting the feet forward.

    Jibbing -
Sliding down anything that isn't snow, such as a railing or sitting snowboarder.

    Kicker -
A big hit.

    Kick Turn -
Turning skis 180 degrees, one ski at a time, while stationary.

    Knuckle-Dragger -
Carving snowboarder.

    Kodak Courage -
Skiing foolishness, inspired by nearby ski magazine photographers.

    Liftie (Lift Op) -
Ski lift operator.

    Lift-Lickers -
Children who can't resist freezing their tongues to the chairlift.

    Lunch Tray (aka "Launch" Tray) -

    Manky -
The nasty odor of polyester underwear after a strenuous day on the slopes.

    Mid-Fat (Low-Fat) -
A wider shaped ski, designed for both on- and off-piste skiing.

    NASTAR -
Acronym for NAtional STAndards Race, a group of small-scale standardized race courses at resorts across the country.

    Noodle -
A ski that lacks torsional rigidity, making it unstable at speed.

    Nordic Skiing -
Usually meant as cross-country ski touring on skinny skis with free-heel bindings; the Nordic skiing events in the Winter Olympics are something quite different.

    Nosebone -
Snowboard jump with front leg straight and rear leg flexed.

    Off-Piste -
Ungroomed portion of the ski area.

    Ollie -
Snowboard pre-jump move, where one foot is lifted before the other.

    Out-of-Bounds -
Unpatrolled regions outside the designated ski area.

    Pack -
To slam hard.

    Parabolic -
Hourglass-shaped ski, with a much wider tip and tail to increase ease of turning and carving.

    Park -
The snowboard terrain area, with hits and half-pipes.

    Pin-Head -
Dedicated telemark skier.

    Pipe -
Half-pipe in a terrain park; also, drug paraphernalia used by snowboarders on long chairlift rides.

    Piste -
Packed snow.

    Planker (Two-Planker) -
A skier.

    Poaching -
Skiing out of bounds.

    Poodle Turns -
Show-dog demo turns made by PSIA Instructors, even when they're not teaching.

    Poma -
Mr. Pomagalski's brand name, now a generic term for platter-pull lifts.

    Pooping -
Sitting back on the skis, while bent at the waist.

    Pop -
Ski rebound, which catapults you from one turn into the next.

    Posing -
Trying to get noticed.

    Posse -
The group of people you usually ski or ride with.

    Pow (Pow-Pow, Powder) -
Light, dry, fluffy snow.

    Powder Elevens -
Schussing in powder.

    Powder Hound -
Skier preoccupied with sniffing out powder stashes.

    Powder Pig -
Skier prone to wallowing in the deep, white stuff.

    Pre-jump -
To lift skis or board into the air before reaching the crest of a jump.

    PSIA -
Acronym for Professional Ski Instructors of America.

    P-tex -
Polyethylene ski base material.

    Quiver -
One's collection of skis, each pair specialized for a different purpose.

    Rag Doll -
Someone who tumbles downhill while limp and presumably unconscious.

    Railing -
When an edged ski runs uncontrollably straight instead of turning.

    Rebound -
Kinetic energy released by a decambered ski; pop.

    Retraction -
Pulling the skis up towards the body with the legs, to change edges or absorb bumps.

    Ripper -
An accomplished, carving skier.

    Rolls -
Sudden drop-offs, where the slope rolls over an edge.

    Royal -
Carved turn made only on the inside ski.

    Ruade -
Turn made by lifting both ski tails and pivoting on their tips.

    Run -
Designated ski slope or trail.

    Run Rubbish -
Packs of snowboarders blocking runs.

    Scissoring -
Crossing one's ski tips, with edge-to-edge contact.

    Scrapers -
Snowboarders who sit on their butts and scrape their way down steep slopes.

    Screaming Starfish -
Someone cartwheeling downhill while yelling for help.

    Shaped Ski -
Modern ski with a pronounced sidecut.

    Shovel -
Upturned portion of a ski's tip.

    Shredder -
An accomplished, carving snowboarder.

    Sick -
Extreme, hairy, dangerous.

    Sideslip -
Sliding sideways down the hill by releasing the edges.

    Sierra Cement -
Central California's heavy, moist powder.

    Sitzmark (Bathtub) -
Impression left in the snow by a fall.

    Skiboards -
Very short shaped skis with non-releasing bindings, designed for tricks and skating on snow.

    Ski Bum -
Someone who has discovered the best alternative to working.

    Ski Patroller Turns -
Linked short-swing parallel turns down the fall line, using heel-thrust edge-checks.

    Slam -
To crash or fall hard.

    Slash-'n-Burn Turn -
A carved, banked turn off a wall.

    Slow-Dog Noodle Turn -
Going over a bump while sitting way back on your skis.

    Smack (Talking Smack) -

    Smear -
To scrub off speed on the steeps by dragging your hip across the snow.

    Snotsicle -
Frozen nasal discharge, usually the result of cold-induced rhinorrhea.

    Snow Farm -
Ski area depending primarily upon man-made snow.

    Snow Gun -
Device used to mix water and compressed air to produce ersatz snow.

    Snow Scum -
Skiers or snowboarders who ignore the Responsibility Code.

    Snow Toys -
Devices used for gliding on snow by those who are unable to ski.

    Spring Conditions -
When snow freezes at night and thaws during the day.

    Sproing (Gelandesprung) -
Using your momentum and a double pole plant to lift your skis off the snow and clear an obstacle.

    Stack -
To land a jump on a flat area.

    Steeps -
From double black diamond runs to the snow-holding limit of vertical, about 55 degrees.

    Stem -
To push out or wedge the tail of the uphill ski.

    Sticks (Planks) -
Skis; sticks are also what beginning children call their ski poles.

    Style -
The individual expression of technique.

    Sucker Hole -
Fleeting patch of blue in an otherwise overcast sky.

    Super-Sidecut -
Modern recreational ski, with a sidecut of at least 14 mm.

    Sweet Spot -
The balance point on a ski that produces optimum turning; the bigger sweet spot, the more forgiving the ski and the lower its performance in demanding situations.

    Swing Turns -
Tip-pivoted parallel turns down the fall-line, with quick edge-checks.

    Take-off -
The lip of a jump's in-run.

    Telemarking -
Skiing alpine runs on free-heel skis, making turns by kneeling on one ski.

    Ten-Eighty -
Aerial spin with three complete revolutions.

    Ten Eighty-Three -
Ski School radio code for a lost child.

    Terrain Features -
Natural or man-made obstacles on a run.

    Toilet Turns -
Sloppy turns made from the pooping position.

    Torsional Rigidity -
The resistance of a ski to twisting about its long axis, considered a desirable feature.

    Trail -
Marked ski run.

    Transition -
The sloped back side of a man-made jump, beyond the table-top.

    Traverse -
Skiing across the fall line, without turning.

    Tree Well -
Skier-trapping depression in the snow that surrounds a tree trunk.

    Trench -
Deeply-carved track of a ski or snowboard.

    Trustafarian -
Rich but ragged ski bum, pretending to be poor.

    Unweighting -
Any movement, up or down, that reduces the downward pressure on a ski or snowboard.

    USSA -
Acronym for United States Ski Association, a national race organization.

    Vermin -
Groups of snowboarders or skiers blocking access to the lift lines.

    Vorlage -
Moving one's weight forward just before a turn.

    Wedeln -
Linking hip-wiggling turns down the fall line, feet and knees locked together, edge-set minimal.

    Wedge -
Snowplow or double-stem position.

    Wide-Track -
Parallel skiing with feet 12 to 18 inches apart.

    Winter Theme Park -
A former ski area that has become over-run with snow toys.

    White Room -
Deep, dry powder.

    Windshield Wipers -
Sloppy, heavily skidded turns.

    Worm Turn -
A turn initiated with a biff.

    Yard Sale -
Losing articles of gear and clothing while tumbling downhill.

    Zipper Line -
The fastest route down through a mogul field.

    Zorb -
A huge sphere that rolls down the slope with a person inside; the worst of all snow toys.

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