Glossary of skiing and snowboarding terms
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- aerial lift
- A class of cable-based transport for snow sports where skiers and snowboarders are carried uphill aboard , cars, cabins, or suspended from a cable in the air, as opposed to , where they remain on the ground.
- aerial skiing
- A sub-discipline of and a competitive Winter Olympic event in which participants ski off of 2–4-metre (7–13 ft) , propelling them into the air, and then attempt to perform various aerial maneuvers including multiple flips and twists before landing on a designated inclined landing hill.
- alpine skiing
- A discipline of that involves sliding down snow-covered slopes on with fixed-heel , as opposed to other types of skiing (such as ) which use skis with bindings. Alpine skiing is popular as a recreational activity and competitive sport, both at and .
- alpine touring (AT)
- through very steep, alpine terrain. Alpine touring makes use of a specialized that allows the heel to be raised when ascending steep slopes but locked down for full support when skiing downhill.
- Entertainment, nightlife, or other social activity that occurs at a after skiing finishes for the day. The culture originated in the Alps, where it remains most popular.
- Arlberg technique
- The first organized system of teaching the principles of , developed by Hannes Schneider in the 1930s.
- The way a skier bends and extends his legs by managing pressure such that the skier allows it to push their legs into their chest while maintaining good contact with the snow.
- Any area outside of the boundaries of a , or else not patrolled, , or cleared of danger. Backcountry areas are usually remote from roads and services and only accessible by long , hiking, snowmobile, or .
- backcountry skiing
- in a area, generally over ungroomed, unmarked, and unpatrolled slopes.
- backcountry snowboarding
- in a area, generally over ungroomed, unmarked, and unpatrolled slopes.
- The bottom portion of a which acts as the point of direct contact between the and the ski or snowboard and therefore transfers all movement.
- A round or star-shaped piece of plastic located at the bottom of a and used to keep the pole from pushing too deeply into the snow.
- Another name for a .
- A device that connects a to a or , holding the boot firmly so as to allow the skier or snowboarder to transfer the motion of their legs and feet to the ski or snowboard. Most bindings automatically release the boot if certain force limits are exceeded in order to minimize injury during a fall or impact.
- A type of footwear designed specifically for or to provide a way to firmly attach the skier's feet to skis or a snowboard in combination with .
- A wide mountain basin with slopes on at least three sides that is generally free of trees and other obstacles and conducive to large, swooping turns or steep, speedy dives.
- bunny slope
- A flat or nearly flat, well-groomed area, usually located near the base of a slope, reserved for beginning skiers or snowboarders and those taking .
- carve turn
- A turning technique used in in which the skier turns by tilting one or both onto their , whereupon the geometry of the ski's causes the ski to bend into an arc and naturally follow this arc shape to produce a turning motion. Performed most easily using specialized , carve turns allow skiers to retain much of their speed while turning because, unlike the and , the skis do not create drag by .
- carving ski
- A specialized type of designed specifically for efficient , typically with a wide and and a relatively narrow .
- A type of used for uphill transportation to the top of a ski slope, consisting of a series of chairs, each accommodating one to four skiers, suspended from a continuously moving cable. Skiers board the lift at the bottom of the slope and are deposited at the top, after which the empty chairs are returned to the bottom again.
- Vibration of skis or snowboards caused by traveling at high speeds. Chatter can reduce contact between the ski and the snow and therefore the ability to stay in control.
- The parallel grooves visible on a trail or slope that has been recently by a or other grooming machine.
- cross-country skiing
- A type of where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using or other forms of assistance. Cross-country skiers propel themselves either by striding forward or side-to-side in a skating motion and by using their arms to push on against the snow. Cross-country skiing is popular as a competitive sport and recreational activity but is also used as a means of transportation.
- DIN setting
- The tension-release setting which determines the amount of force required for a ski to release from the skier's boot during a fall or impact. DIN is an acronym for the German Deutsche Institut für Normung.
- downhill ski
- The lower (i.e. lower on the hill than the ) or the one that will become the lower ski during a turn.
- downhill skiing
- See .
- dry ski slope
- The sharpened metal strip on either side of a ski or snowboard, used for gaining control by "biting" into the snow. "Holding an edge" is a key technique to maintaining a smooth, stable turn.
- extreme skiing
- A style of performed on very long, very steep slopes (often from 45 to 60+ degrees from horizontal) in remote and unmanaged mountainous terrain, where the likelihood and consequences of a fall or injury present inherently dangerous conditions for skiers.
- free heel
- A style of and sometimes skiing performed on natural, , ungroomed terrain without a set course, goals, or rules, eschewing man-made features such as jumps, rails, and and emphasizing the use of natural variation in terrain to perform tricks.
- freestyle skiing
- A competitive skiing event primarily focused on the performance of tricks and typically comprising , , , , and disciplines.
- freestyle snowboarding
- giant slalom
- glade skiing
- A type of through areas with many trees, either or on a defined woods trail. Glade skiing is inherently more difficult and dangerous than skiing in treeless areas because of the many additional natural obstacles, which may include fallen logs, stumps, , concealed root systems, or unmarked cliffs and streams.
- Snow that is carried down a slope from the top of a hill or mountain by skiers and snowboarders throughout the day. It is similar to powder but usually comes from , and therefore is not smooth like fresh snow.
- half-pipe skiing
- Snow that has been densely compacted by repeated or skiing and a lack of fresh snowfall, often found on the most popular trails and slopes within a 's boundaries.
- The act or technique of generating forward momentum on skis by spreading the tips apart widely (in a "V" shape) and striding the legs forward independently of each other, so named for the geometric pattern this motion leaves behind in the snow. The technique can be useful when climbing uphill or traversing flat ground on skis.
- indoor skiing
- A steep slope, frequently set on a high scaffolding, from which a picks up speed prior to jumping.
- Riding a snowboard or skis across a non-snow surface, such as a rail, funbox, or fallen log.
- jump turn
- An aerial maneuver, performed when moving at a relatively slow speed, during which a skier or snowboarder makes a complete turn while in the air.
- See .
- lift ticket
- An identification tag which indicates that a skier or snowboarder has paid for the use of one or more at a particular , usually attached to the ticketholder's outerwear for easy access.
- A operator.
- A route or trail that has been designed, built, and maintained specifically for .
- magic carpet
- A large round protrusion carved out of a snow surface, especially a slope, and typically occurring in "fields" of multiple moguls. Moguls are created both naturally by the repeated turns of skiers and artificially.
- mogul skiing
- A first-time skier or snowboarder.
- new school skiing
- See .
- night skiing
- or at night, an activity offered by certain for a limited time after sundown. It is usually permitted only on carefully groomed illuminated by floodlights.
- Nordic combined
- Nordic skiing
- A discipline of which involves the use of with , in which only the toe of the is fixed to the binding, allowing the heel to rise off the ski independently, as opposed to and its variants, in which the boot is fixed to the ski from toe to heel. Nordic skiing is popular as a recreational activity and competitive sport, both at and . Its many variants include , , and .
- Off a designated or trail; outside of the boundaries of a or other marked area reserved for use by skiers and snowboarders.
- outrigger ski
- parallel turn
- A marked trail, run, or pathway down a mountain slope, reserved for skiing, snowboarding, or other alpine sports and generally within the boundaries of a . Pistes are usually , marked with signage and indicated on maps, and rated by their difficulty, as opposed to areas.
- pivot turn
- at a resort where snowboards are explicitly prohibited.
- pole planting
- Fresh, dry, loosely compacted, and lightweight snow, as opposed to densely compacted or repeatedly snow such as .
- powder ski
- A type of with a very wide (generally between 105 and 130 mm), designed to "float" atop fresh by keeping the ski from sinking into the snow.
- powder surfing
- See .
- roller skiing
- running surface
- The bottom surface of a , designed to make contact with the snow.
- 1. An expansive flat area at the base of a ski slope or the end of a run that allows skiers to slow down.
- 2. A relatively flat section of a ski route used to link tougher trails back to a .
- Skiing straight downhill without turning, usually at high speed.
- Pain or discomfort in the lower anterior portion of the tibia (the shin) caused by prolonged pressing of the shin against the tongue of a . Shin-bang is common among both skiers and snowboarders, though the condition is generally not serious and is easily remedied.
- The inward curvature of a or , measured by the difference between the width of the ski or snowboard at the narrowest point of the and the width at the widest point of the or . The curvature of the sidecut greatly influences the ski or snowboard's turning radius: drastic sidecuts allow users to make sharper turns.
- The slipping of sideways down a slope, perpendicular to the direction in which they are pointed.
- A narrow plank of semi-rigid material attached to the sole of the foot in order to allow the wearer to glide easily over snow, used in the sport of . Skis are characteristically employed in pairs, one on each foot, and attached to specialized with that secure the toe of the boot and in some disciplines also the heel.
- ski cross
- ski flying
- ski goggles
- A type of protective eyewear worn by skiers and snowboarders, designed for cold-weather use and to protect the eyes both from snow and from the glare of sunlight.
- ski helmet
- A type of helmet worn by skiers and snowboarders, specifically designed and constructed for winter sports.
- ski jumping
- ski lift
- Any mechanism for transporting skiers and snowboarders up a slope. Lifts are typically a paid service operated by .
- ski lodge
- A building located on the grounds of a that provides amenities such as food, drink, restrooms, and storage lockers, among others, for guests and patrons.
- ski marathon
- A long-distance, usually point-to-point race on skis, often covering more than 40 kilometres (25 mi). Racers may use a variety of skiing techniques depending on the rules of the competition. Participation is usually open to the public and major events may feature thousands of racers.
- ski mountaineering
- ski orienteering
- ski patrol
- Any team or organization, often employed by a , that promotes ski safety, enforces resort policies, and provides medical, rescue, and hazard prevention services to injured or disabled skiers and snowboarders, usually within the boundaries of a particular ski area but sometimes as well. Many ski patrollers have technical-medical certifications or EMS credentials, and may be trained in wilderness medicine, avalanche rescue, and/or evacuation by , , or helicopter.
- ski pole
- A lightweight handheld pole, often made from aluminum or carbon fiber, used by for balance and propulsion, typically in pairs. Ski poles are commonly used in , , and disciplines, but seldom in other disciplines such as .
- ski resort
- A resort developed for , , and/or other winter sports, typically situated within a naturally mountainous area and providing and one or more to guests for a fee. The term may additionally include other amenities and services or even entire towns adjacent to but operated independently of the ski area.
- ski school
- An establishment or program that offers lessons in or , typically at a . Ski schools may teach a variety of disciplines and techniques to students at a wide range of skill levels, from to advanced or expert skiers.
- ski season
- The part of the year when , , or other alpine sports are viable at a particular , generally corresponding to the period between the resort's opening date and closing date, during which are operating and lift passes can be purchased or used. Because these sports depend largely on the weather, the start and duration of a ski season can vary considerably between resorts due to latitude, altitude, and other climatic factors, and even for the same resort often varies somewhat from year to year.
- ski skins
- Removable strips of fabric that attach to the underside of , designed to allow the skis to slide forward on snow but not backward. Skins are often used in and disciplines to help skiers ascend slopes.
- ski suit
- ski touring
- A type of done in the in unmarked or unpatrolled areas without the aid of or other transport, often for long distances and multiple days. Ski touring combines elements of and and embraces such sub-disciplines as and . Touring also typically requires independent navigation and route-finding skills. See also .
- ski wax
- skier's left
- The general direction or area to the left of a skier moving or facing downhill.
- skier's right
- The general direction or area to the right of a skier moving or facing downhill.
- A means of transport, a recreational activity, or a competitive winter sport in which the participant, known as a skier, glides across a snow-covered surface using attached to their feet.
- A hybrid sport that attempts to combine the of with the riding feel of using a special piece of equipment called a skwal, which is similar to a or in that both feet are attached to the same board; unlike a snowboard or monoski, however, on a skwal the feet are positioned one in front of the other, in line with the direction of forward movement.
- A sub-discipline of and and a competitive Winter Olympic event which involves skiing or snowboarding between marked poles or gates. In ordinary slalom events, the poles or gates are spaced more closely than those in , , and events, necessitating quicker and shorter turns.
- snow cannon
- A round-edged board of semi-rigid material used in the sport of , placed beneath and usually attached to the soles of both feet to allow the wearer to glide easily on snow. Snowboards are much wider than (typically between 6 and 12 inches (15 and 30 cm)) to accommodate both feet on the same board, and are differentiated from in that the rider stands with feet more or less transverse to the longitude of the board, perpendicular to the direction of travel.
- snowboard cross
- snowboard racing
- A recreational activity or competitive winter sport in which the participant, known as a snowboarder or rider, descends a snow-covered slope while standing on a attached to their feet.
- A closed-cab, truck-sized vehicle propelled by a continuous track that is designed to move on snow. Snowcats are employed for a wide variety of purposes from personal use to industrial applications; they are often used for trails and for transporting skiers to slopes in a discipline known as "snowcat skiing".
- See .
- Multiple layers of accumulated snowfall that persist where the climate is cold enough to prevent melting for extended periods during the year.
- snowplough turn
- A type of compact , conceived of as a hybrid of a snowboard and a skateboard, intended primarily to allow riders to perform skateboard-style tricks on the snow.
- speed skiing
- The technique of angling the of one away from the other ski, into a "V" position, while keeping the generally close together. Stemming is a fundamental movement in many techniques of turning and control.
- stem christie
- A basic turning technique used in , initiated by one ski outward at an angle to the direction of movement, which forces a change in direction opposite to the stemmed ski, and then bringing the other ski parallel to the angled ski for the duration of the turn.
- super giant slalom
- surface lift
- A class of cable-based transport for snow sports where skiers and snowboarders remain on the ground as they are pulled uphill, as opposed to , where they are suspended in the air.
- A specification used in manufacturing skis defined as the resistance of an unweighted to being turned. Lighter skis tend to have a lower swingweight than heavy skis.
- The back end of a or , situated behind the skier or snowboarder.
- Telemark skiing
- terrain park
- A trick in which the rider grabs the of the snowboard between the rear binding and the with his or her rear hand. It is a combination of an indy grab and a tail grab.
- The front end of a or , situated in front of the skier or snowboarder.
- toe edge
- The long edge of a toward which the rider's toes are pointed.
- tracked out
- The condition of a slope of once-fresh snow that has been ridden over repeatedly, discernible by the numerous visible tracks left by previous skiers or snowboarders.
- tree well
- uphill ski
- The upper (i.e. higher on the hill than the ) or the one that will become the upper ski during a turn.
- vertical drop
- The difference in elevation between the base of a ski slope or mountain and its highest point. At , this often refers to the highest point served by a rather than the geographical summit of a mountain.
- virgin snow
- The narrowest width of a as viewed from above, usually the area beneath where the is positioned.
- XC skiing
- See .
- yard sale
- A fall or crash in which the skier's or snowboarder's gear – , , hat, gloves, etc. – end up scattered across the slope.
- Flower, Raymond (1976). The History of Skiing and Other Winter Sports. Toronto: Methuen Inc. pp. 132–141. ISBN 0-458-92780-5.
- Scharff, Robert (1974). Ski Magazine's Encyclopedia of Skiing. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0060139188.
- Huntford, Roland (2009). Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing. A&C Black. p. 436. ISBN 9781441134011. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- Pfeiffer, Doug (January 1969). "Instruction Corner—Back to Basics: Edge Control". Skiing. Chicago: Ziff-Davis. 20 (4): 94. ISSN 0037-6264. Retrieved 2016-11-06.