Hey dudes, heading for the slopes this winter? Maybe it’s your first time, maybe you’re travelling with mates but if you want to be more ski geek than nerd you’d better listen up, for using the wrong lingo is going to get you weird stares and definitely not get you invited to the hottest après-ski parties.
Skier or snowboarder – and it’s a must for the latter, make sure you’ve got the latest style of brain bucket – black or red cut it – especially with added flames or a cute but still cool animal head hat – including ears.
Don’t know what we’re talking about? It’s a helmet and if you didn’t know that then it sounds like you’ll definitely need one – especially if you’re going to be a bomber schussing down the slopes! Schussing is the technical term for skiing straight downhill without turns, the cool call it bombing but it could just be your own kind of freestyle or no-style!
You’re all kitted out in the latest cool ski fashion and stood where it will all begin. Take a second to look out across the slopes and take in the herringbones, corduroy, death cookies and mash potato. Have we completely lost it? No, just read on…
Mash potato is recognisable because it looks just like it – a wet, often creamy discoloured snow that’s no fun to ski on and even less to fall in. Death cookies are disks of ice formed when a grooming machine reengineers the piste. Up to around 4 cm in diameter, they can take you by surprise and it’s a little like skiing or snowboarding through a hailstorm if you’re behind another skier.
Corduroy and herringbone are both patterns in the snow. The former is the name of the small parallel lines formed by the grooming machine, often made from the aforementioned death cookies whilst herringboning is what skiers who are too mean to take the lift do to get up a slope, skis side by side.
Depending on where you’re skiing, you may be treated to a terrain park where, a little like a skateboard or BMX park, you’ll have attractions like a halfpipe, a superpipe which can launch you 20 feet into the air, or a fun box; a wooden or metal box you can ruin your skis or board on whilst sliding or spinning across it looking cool or get it wrong – a fool. A jib is similar and is often a rail or even a log that you can slide along – again cue damage to those skis or boards.
On the real slopes though, you may be a novice and pizza your way down a slope or prefer French fries. The former is slang for snowploughing, the latter, skiing with your skis parallel like the professionals.
Try something crazy and take a huck off a kicker and do grabs like indies or mutes – you can even do these off moguls if you’re fast. A huck is the lift off from a cheese wedge shaped jump called a kicker. Grabs involve just that, with a front hand grab of the toe edge being an indie – the simplest grab and the mute doing the same with your rear hand. Doing so makes you look artistic in jumps but can also aid balance. These are normally done on snowboards but skiers can do the same and look even more elegant doing so.
Finally, when you’re out on the slopes and see mounds made by the carving of other skiers, these are moguls and are sometimes tricky to negotiate but catch them right and they make great kickers.
OK, all set? Latest fashion ski gear in the holdall – don’t take a suitcase, they’re nerdy and impractical. Make sure you’ve got your best togs for the après-ski, spend your time on the plane getting up to speed with the lingo and on the slopes dude: Have a blast!
All too much? read our First Time Skier
and Ski Lessons - Learn the Lingo blog