Get the lowdown on all the ski lingo and jargon, and show your fellow shredders and jibbers what you've got!

The ski season is upon us, and those lucky enough to go will be hitting the slopes, crashing through knee-deep pow-pow, zipping down a groomer, or stomping sick new tricks with your rat bros.

Now, if you understood any of that, congrats! You're on your way to becoming a certified ski bum. If you didn't (no shame), you're probably wondering what. does. that. even. MEAN?! Fear not, because you've got us! Below is an extensive list of the terms and slang you may hear out there this season or at the X-Games in Aspen. So grab your brain buckets, and let's smash this, gapers!

*Please note that due to the pandemic, some ski resorts in Colorado may limit the number of skiers and snowboarders.
Stay up-to-date with our guide to the 2020/2021 winter ski season.

Ultimate Guide to Skier Lingo:

All-Mountain Ski

Also known as the One-ski Quiver, these skis are made to perform in all types of snow conditions.


Used to describe the light at the end of the day that shines off the glistening mountains and is the picture-perfect time for you to snap a few photos for your Instagram.


This literally means "after ski" in French. This could refer to any celebratory post-ski day activities like a slopeside beer at the bar or even just shooting pool. It's whatever YOU want it to be!


Includes any skiing that is not at a resort. This means that you're away from the floods of people and traffic. But, be warned, this is skiing/snowboarding at your own risk so tread lightly.


Used when you fall and take a tumble, albeit in a majestic fashion. "He just bailed on that rail, brah!"


A facemask that's used to cover exposed skin. Particularly helpful in the wind or heavy snowfall.


Skiing downhill at an alarmingly stupid rate without any regard for yourself or those around you.


Refers to spring or early ski season when rocks stick out from beneath the (minimal) snow cover, which is highly dangerous for skiers and boarders. Not to mention the damage it does to your skis.


An expression between males that's used in place of "bro."

Brain Bucket

This is your helmet. It keeps your brain safe.


Compacted snow that's so rock-solid it could actually deflect bullets.


Clean turns completed by using the edges of the skis or snowboard. Typically done in either tight turns or giant S-shaped swoops.

Champagne Powder

THE BEST. It's a type of snow that is light, dry, and extremely smooth. Steamboat Ski Resort, right here in Colorado, trademarked the term. Pretty sick, right?


The vibrations of skis or snowboards that are caused by traveling at high speeds.


Chopped up snow + powder = chowder. It's honestly not the best.


You know those corduroy pants, the ones with the lines running down them? It's basically the same thing, but with snow. They're the fresh lines on the slopes in the morning, courtesy of the snowcats that go through.


A frozen layer that's covering softer snow or completely buried underneath fresh snow.


It's used outside of the ski resorts, too, but this is referring to a massive snowfall of fresh powder. "It's dumping outside."

Eat Wood

When a skier or boarder gets up close and personal with a tree, if you know what I mean ...


Exactly what it sounds like. It's the metal strips on the sides of skis and snowboards.

Face Shot

You hit the snow, the snow hits back. It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, it's friggin' COLD.


Another way to say powder.


A newcomer or tourist. More often than not, they're easily identified by their unstylish wardrobe selections.


The shortened version of gnarly. Synonyms include sick, rad, sweet, etc.


Trail maintenance when new snow is added and bumps are smoothed over. Tractors (aka snowcats) rake the snow and form the corduroy lines.


A skier or boarder who rides on rails, boxes, and other features. They are also referred to as park rats.

Knuckle Dragger

What a snowboarder does when they lean over on a hard carve or turn and touch the snow with their hand.

Knuckle Huck

When snowboarders "huck" themselves off the "knuckle" of the big air landing before touching down.


The path a skier or boarder takes down the mountain.

Lunch Tray (or Launch Tray)

Your snowboard.


A run that's so super steep or even dangerous that you can't afford to take a spill.

Park Rat

Another way to say jibber. They're ski junkies, of sorts. So good luck trying to get a park rat to do or say anything else other than skiing.

Planker (or Two-Planker)

A Skier.


Known as pow-pow in Colorado, this is the light, dry fluffy snow (aka powder).


A metal bar built for skiers and snowboarders to slide up.


A skilled skier who tends to bomb their lines. Usually, a sight to behold!


When a boarder falls face down and their legs, along with their board, flip up in the air. These are brutal to witness, and even more so to experience.


An accomplished snowboarder who knows exactly what they're doing. They're the pros here, folks.


See Gnar.

Six Pack

A lift that holds six people.

Ski Bum

One who lives and breathes skiing. Most of the time, they avoid anything that isn't skiing and this means work, too.


Melted snow that is so heavy and wet it can make it difficult to really do anything.


Used in place of "shred" or "killing it." Only to be said by rippers.


To execute a trick without tripping up or any flaws. Basically, when everything goes as planned.


To ski or ride backward.

Tree Well

Danger zone. It's an area of loose snow that sits at the base of a tree that's surround by deep snow. It can be dangerous and sometimes fatal to skiers and boarders who fall into them.

Waist Deep

Measurement taken when the powder is overflowing like crazy. But honestly, is there really a thing as too much powder? We think not.


Caused by heavy snowfall, this happens when visibility drops to essentially nothing. 

Yard Sale

If a skier or boarder has a major fall that causes them to lose their skis, gloves, hat, or poles, it's referred to as a yard sale.

So, what do you think? Are there some terms that we missed on our list? Share them with us in the comments below, and we'll see you out there on the pow-pow, fellow rippers!