The A-Z of snowboarding terms (2023)

The A-Z of snowboarding terms (1)

Whether your teenage children have recently become snowboarding fanatics and you felt like you just spent your recent ski holiday with 2 foreigners who speak an incomprehensible language, or you just fancy changing snow sport next year and you don’t want to sound like a complete idiot as well as look like one, we’ve put together a list of snowboarding jargon to help you in either situation… If you were ever a skateboarder in your younger years, or have skateboarding fans around the house, then some of this terminology will sound quite familiar. If not, then read on to decipher this intriguing language…

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Let's start with...

  • Air– you get air when you do a jump and your snowboard comes off the snow – hence the term "big air" - something which happens much, much later!
  • Airdog- someone who does a lot of aerial tricks and doesn’t spend much time on the snow!
  • Backcountry– off-piste terrain.
  • Backside 180– an aerial trick when you make a 180 degree turn off the jump leading with the heel side of your board (clockwise for a regular stance and counterclockwise for goofy – see regular and goofy for definitions).
  • Bail– falling over or bailing out of a trick.
  • Betty– a female snowboarder.
  • Bone– straightening one or both legs while doing a half-pipe trick.
  • Booter– a big jump which needs lots of speed to get some air.
  • Bullet Proof– when the slopes are icy and/or are covered with hard-pack snow.
  • Bunk– bad news, like the best jump being closed.
  • C-Rail– a rail with a bend in it.
  • Cat-Track– a run which goes across to another run.
  • Crater– to have a bad fall.
  • Dailed– to be able to do a trick perfectly again and again without fail.
  • Drifter– a learner snowboarder who drifts from one side of the slope to another.
  • Drop in– to start a steep run, or drop into a half-pipe.
  • Duckfoot– the position of the bindings on the board with toes pointing outwards.
  • Fakie– riding a board backwards down the slope.
  • Fall line– the route directly down the hill.
  • Flat bottom– the bottom part in the half-pipe between the two walls.
  • Gnarly– something particularly tough but really rather good!
  • Goofy– you are “goofy” if you snowboard with the right foot going downhill first.
  • Grab– a certain part of the board you hold onto when do a certain trick
The A-Z of snowboarding terms (2)

Performing a "grab" as the kids call it (Photo: © Weisse Arena AG)

  • Hot dog– a really talented female snowboarder.
  • Jib– a rail.
  • Kink– a bend in a rail or box.
  • Mistyflip– a front flip turning 180 degrees.
  • Pew Pew– a thin layer of powder on top of packed down snow.
  • Phat– very cool.
  • Plank– a snowboard.
  • Poach– to snowboard where you’re not supposed to – a closed run for example.
  • Poptart– a difficult half-pipe aerial turn.
  • Quarter Pipe (or QP)– half a half pipe, one wall where you can get a good speed to get some air.
The A-Z of snowboarding terms (3)

A rail, or "jib" (Photo: © Weisse Arena AG)

  • Rad– short for radical – in this case meaning totally awesome.
  • Regular– you are “regular” if you snowboard with the left foot going downhill first.
  • Rip– to snowboard extremely well.
  • Rodeo– a back flip with a spin.
  • Scope– to check something out before trying it.
  • Scorpion– when you fall on your face and your board almost (or does) hit the back of your head!
  • Shred the backcountry– do some extreme snowboarding off-piste.
  • Sick– really cool.
  • S-Rail– a rail with a bend in it, so if you look from the top it looks like a S!
  • Stack– to fall really badly and hurt yourself at the same time.
  • Stick– a snowboard (but when used in the plural form, refers to skis).
  • Stiffy air– a half-pipe aerial turn where a rider straightens both legs and grabs the snowboard's edge.
  • Snow bunny– a very attractive female snowboarder.
  • Swiffer– when you pull two turns in opposite directions forming an "S" shape in the air!
  • Tailslide– to slide on a box or other surface only on the tail of the board.
  • Taipan air– a rider reaches behind the front foot in this half-pipe aerial turn and grabs the toe edge then bends the front knee to touch the board!
  • Tight– also “sweet” – meaning just brilliant!

There are loads more terms and of course each group of snowboarders have their own “in jokes “and variations of the above, but this list should hopefully give you a good basic knowledge of the snowboarding language!

The A-Z of snowboarding terms (14)

About Nikki

Being lucky enough to have parents who were crazy about skiing, my love for the mountains started when I was 4 years old on our first family ski holiday to Austrian ski resort of Obergurl. One ski holiday a year was never enough and tears rolled down my face as I looked out the back window of the car on the drive down the valley on the way home!

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What is some snowboarding lingo? ›

Boned: A straightened leg during a jump. Bonk: Hitting a nonsnow object with the snowboard. Boost: Catching air off a jump. Bumps: Moguls or snow mounds. Burger Flip: A halfpipe trick in which the rider goes into the backside wall riding fakie, rotates 180° in the air, and then reenters the pipe doing a McTwist.

What do cool snowboarders say? ›

Steez—This simply means “style.” Crunchy—This translates to “cool.” Knarley—Interchangeable with awesome, sick, rad, etc. Hittin'—This entails going off anything where you could potentially perform a trick (a jump, rail, etc.)

What do you call a girl snowboarder? ›

Betty – a female snowboarder. Bone – straightening one or both legs while doing a half-pipe trick. Booter – a big jump which needs lots of speed to get some air.

What do snowboarders call snowboarding? ›

It's Just a Board

We understand it is a snowboard and you are going snowboarding. But if you are learning the lingo, it's a board and you are going boarding.

What do snowboarders call fresh snow? ›

Freshies – This is the word you want to hear while on ski holiday. You want to be getting freshies in the morning, or all day long. It's another term for fresh powder snow.

What do you call a boy snowboarder? ›

Bro: Bro is what a male snowboarder calls another male snowboarder. It is short for brother. Bulletproof: Bulletproof is a term used to describe when the slopes are covered in snow or are icy.

What is slang for heavy snow? ›

Mashed Potatoes:

Another slang name for snow. This refers to wet and heavy snow that can be quite difficult to ski on.

What does jibby mean in snowboarding? ›

Jibbing is jumping, riding, or sliding on top of objects. Snowboarders often jib on boxes or rails, whether they're competing in slopestyle events or just having some fun.

What do you call a beginner snowboarder? ›

Grommet (Grom) – Refers to a small, young snowboarder. H. Haakon Flip – An inverted switch 720 invented by Terje Haakonsen.

What is a kook snowboarding? ›

It basically means “someone who pretends to be someone whose not” and/or “someone who tries to fit in but with exaggeration” (courtesy of the urban dictionary). We're here to help people understand the definition of a kook and how to lower the chances of looking like one.

What is the snowboarding term for falling? ›

Bail: In snowboarding, the term bail has two common uses. First, bail can refer to a fall or falling while snowboarding, as in “He took a hard bail” or “She just bailed off that jump” (note that bail can be used as either a noun or a verb).

What is a goofy snowboarder? ›

A goofy stance is when a snowboarder rides with their right foot forward. This is the opposite of a regular stance, where a snowboarder rides with their left foot forward. Three-time men's snowboard slopestyle bronze medalist Mark McMorris is a regular-footed rider, while 2022 gold medalist Max Parrot is goofy footed.

Is a snowboarder called a rider? ›

I'm a snowboarder. I ride my snowboard and am therefore also a rider.

What is slang word for snow? ›

Several weather words (and a sprinkling of snowboarder slang) can help you out.
Other Words for Different Types of Snow.
Weather TermMeaning
sleetsnow and rain mixed together
slushwatery snow that has started to melt
smudslang for melting snow with mud mixed in
sniceslang for snow and ice
24 more rows

What is bumpy snow called? ›

Moguls: Mounds of snow, also known as bumps.

What is slang for avalanche? ›

Avy: Short for avalanche. Often heard in reference to “Avy Dogs“.

What is the hardest move in snowboarding? ›

The "triple cork," as it is called, is a move so difficult that it once landed White in the hospital.

What are 5 terms related to skiing? ›

A big list of skiing terms and phrases
  • Air - The act of jumping with skis or snowboard on. ...
  • Alpine skiing - This is probably what you are in the mountains for, skiing downhill with the toe and heel of your boot fixed to the ski.
  • Après ski - At the end of your ski day it's time for a few drinks.
Aug 15, 2018

What does Wu Tang mean in snowboarding? ›

Wu-Tang: This refers to the steep terrain features in snowboard cross. Similar to a quarter-pipe, the Wu-Tang curves up steeply and racers must jump and roll forwards at the same time.

What is love of snow called? ›

Chionophile. Snow and cold weather lovers fall under this phile. Chion is from the Greek word khiōn, which means snow.

What is hardened snow called? ›

With sleet (ice pellets), the snowflake almost completely melts before refreezing thus sleet has a hard ice appearance. Soft hail grows in the same way snow pellets can grow and that is ice crystals and supercooled water accreting on the surface.

What are names for fresh snow? ›

flurries – lightly falling snow. freshies – freshly fallen snow. glop – wet snow that sticks to the bottom of skis or skins. graupel – styrofoam-like balls that fall from the sky, often pooling in depressions.

Why is it called 50 50 on a snowboard? ›

A frontside 50/50 is where the feature faces your chest and you jump onto it from the side and land even weight between both feet, on top and parallel with the feature.

What is a bluebird snowboarding? ›

Bluebird is a distinctly American term for “a period of time characterized by sunny, cloudless weather, typically after a night of snowfall,” the term seems to be most popularly used in skiing, but there are examples of its usage in the hunting world as well.

What does squirrelly mean in snowboarding? ›

This is a more advanced phrase, the type you'll use once you are deep, deep, deep in the snowboard culture. Squirrelly is an adjective that means loose, shaky, or unbalanced. The feeling of squirrellyness might leave a shredder nervous or frightened of pain and injury.

What is a level 7 snowboarder? ›

Advanced Level 7: You are now a very confident snowboarder who can tackle almost any terrain on and off groomer (piste). You might be starting to do backcountry excursions too, if that interests you. You are comfortable riding and turning at speed.

What is a Level 3 snowboarder? ›

Snowboard Ability LEvels

Level 3: You are able to slide left and right in control on both edges or complete an independent heel and toe turn on green terrain.

What does Jerry mean in snowboarding? ›

Within the ski industry a “Jerry,” otherwise known as a “Gaper,” a “Joey,” a “Gorb,” etc. is someone [a skier or snowboarder] doing a boneheaded move. My personal definition of a Jerry is: An individual who exhibits a true lack of understanding for their sport, or for life in general.

What is a melon in snowboarding? ›

A Melon grab is where the front hand grabs the heel edge between the feet. The board is kept flat. This grab is often a lot easier than trying to grab the toe edge. It will also help create a more balanced posture in the air due to its compact nature and acts as a key component towards dialling Method grabs.

What does Steez mean in snowboarding? ›

Definition: A combination of the words 'style' and 'ease' used to describe effortless elegance on the slopes. Most commonly attached to freestyle skiers and backcountry powder hounds. “Candide's double backflip over that cable car was so steezy, man” “No doubt. He's the steeze king.”

What is a 900 snowboarding trick? ›

900 Air: An aerial manoeuvre in which the snowboarder rotates 900 degrees — two-and-a-half spins. Air to Fakie: Any trick in the halfpipe in which a rider approaches the wall riding forward, no rotation is made, and the rider lands backwards.

What is the easiest snowboard trick? ›

One of the first basic tricks you'll learn on a snowboard is an ollie, a move where you use the pop of the tail to spring off the ground and get air.

What are the levels of snowboarding? ›

Ski and Snowboard Levels of Ability
  • Level 1 (Beginner to Gliding Wedge)
  • Level 2 (Wedge Turns)
  • Level 3(Wedge Christie)
  • Level 4 (Advanced Wedge Christie)
  • Level 5 (Open Parallel)
  • Level 6 (Dynamic Parallel)

What is a bumpy ski slope called? ›

Moguls are bumps that are found on ski slopes at downhill areas, where that area of the slope hasn't been flattened. Moguls can be constructed by hand, but are typically formed naturally as skiers carve turns down a slope. During sharp turns, skis will carve snow out and push some away each time.

What does Gnar mean in slang? ›

To snarl or growl.

How do you talk while snowboarding? ›

You can always use walkie talkies to communicate while skiing or snowboarding. These devices typically come with two-way radios that let you interact with your companions in real time. You will need to attach the first walkie talkie to your person, jacket or helmet to keep your hands free while you ride.

What are snow hills called? ›

mogul. noun. a pile of snow like a very small hill that you jump over when you are skiing.

What is a Coulthard? ›

English (Cumbria and Durham) and Scottish: occupational name for someone who looked after asses or working horses Middle English colthirde 'keeper of colts' (from Old English colt 'ass young horse' + hierde 'herdsman'). In Scotland often pronounced Cowtart. Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022.

What is a tomahawk in snowboarding? ›

Tomahawk – The start to a tomahawk is when the nose of the board (or tail if riding switch) catches in the snow and sends the rider into an uncontrollable cartwheel downhill. Little known fact, the longer the nose, the harsher the tommy.


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