The ABC’s of Snow Lingo

Whether you’re tearing up the park, riding groomers or enjoying some après, you’ll most likely find yourself in a situation where you’re sitting on a chairlift and think, ‘what the hell did the guy just say to me?’

Snow language really is a language of its own, and more often than not, if you’re not well versed in it, you’ll be pretty confused by a lot of what you hear. To make things easier, we’ve decided to provide you with a Snow Lingo Dictionary–a sicktionary if you will so that you can easily converse with anyone you encounter on the mountain.

Because replying ‘totally’ will only get you so far.

1, 3, 5, 7, 9: Abbreviations for the amount of rotations a skier or rider does in the air: 180°, 360°, 540°, 720°, 900°

Aerials: Freestyle ski jumping involving flipping or spinning in the air.

All Gear, No Idea: Kitted out in the newest, steeziest gear, but yet can’t shred.

Après: Originating in the French alps, après quite literally mean ‘after’, and is the process of getting drinks after a day on the slopes.

Backcountry: Off-piste terrain not accessible by chair-lift.

Backseat Rider: A skier who leans too far back while riding, as if they are sitting down.

Blower: Dry powder.

Bluebird: A sunny day commonly encountered in spring, in which the skies are blue and cloudless.

Bombed Out: When warm temperatures and a high frequency of riders have created big holes in the landing area of a jump.

Bombing: Riding incredibly fast downhill with minimal turning.

Butter/Buttering: Presses and spins on flatground.

Buttery: 

A smooth, ‘steezy’ style.

Carving: A series of turns where skiers/boarders use their edges to carve.

Catch an Edge: When an edge digs into the snow too hard, causing you to be flung forward and into the ground.

Cased: Landing on the flat section of a jump instead of the downramp.

Chatter: When the snow is very bumpy, causing your body and board/ski to feel like teeth chattering as you ride at high speeds.

Chimping: Multiple people gathering around a camera to look at a shot after filming.

Chunda: Lumpy, heavy snow.

Corduroy: Freshly groomed runs.

Core Shot: A gouge which penetrates the base of your board or skis and requires a trip to the tuning workshop for a p-tex. Rare in Niseko’s deep powder conditions!

Corn: Fun spring snow.

Danga: A sphere-shaped snow feature.

Death Cookies: A large chunk of hard, icy snow.

Ding: A scratch or gouge in the base of the board or ski, usually caused by rocks or ‘death nuggets.’

Double Eject: When both skis eject after a stack. Quite often an indication that you should tighten your DIN settings.

Dust on Crust: 

A light cover of fresh snow on top of a hard, icy layer from the day before.

groomed run hokkaido

Dump: A large amount of snowfall, “it dumped overnight.”

Elephant Snot: Heavy, wet snow.

Entering the White Room: Coping a face shot of snow and losing all visibility.

Features: Man-made features found in a terrain park, i.e., jumps, boxes, rails.

First Chair: Waiting in line to get the first chairlift in the morning.

First Tracks: Shredding unridden terrain and creating your own “tracks.”

Freeride: A style of skiing or snowboarding that solely relies on natural mountain terrain.

Freestyle: A style of skiing or snowboarding that focuses on jumps, tricks, and aerials.

Frothing: Maximum enjoyment.

Fuyu: Japanese term for ‘winter’.

Fuyu:

Japanese term for ‘winter’.

GNAR: Everyone knows the term ‘gnarly’, but GNAR actually comes from Shane McConkey, coined the term as an acronym for ‘Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness’ (in reference to Scott and Robb Gaffney’s book Squallywood: A Guide to Squaw Valley’s Most Exposed Lines.)

Goofy: A snowboard stance where you ride with your right foot forward.

Grom: A young skier or snowboarder.

Huck: To fling yourself in the air for an aerial or rotation.

Huck and Pray: To fling yourself in the air with more hope than confidence.

Japow: Japanese powder snow.

Jerry: A clueless, inexperienced rider. Note: a ‘Jerry’ is not a beginner, Jerry’s are often much more arrogant and overconfident.

Jib: Riding a ski or snowboard across any non-snow surface, i.e., a rail, funbox, fallen log etc.

Joust: To send it off a danga.

Kicker: A jump designed to kick you into the air, normally shaped like a sideways triangle as opposed to a ‘U’ shaped quarter pipe.

Kicky: When a ‘kicker’ sends a rider higher than expected.

Knuckle: The curved area where the flat section of a jump meets the down-ramp.

Konayuki:

‘Powder snow’ in Japanese

Liftie: A lift-operator.

Line: The order in which a rider is going to hit features, (“Check this line, I’m going to 50-50 this rail, back 180 the kicker and then do a huge method on the last jump”).

Looker Left/Skiers Right: Used to differentiate whether a skier is looking up or downhill.

Low Tide: Minimal amounts of snow.

Mata Yama De: “See you again on the mountain” in Japanese.

Mushroom Pillow: Large pillows of snow (often shaped like mushrooms) that cover rock mounds.

Moguls: Also known as a snowboarder’s worst nightmare, Moguls are a series of bumps on a groom slope, either created by groomers or when skiers push snow into mounds as they do sharp turns.

N.F.P.D: No Friends on Powder Days.

Park Rat: A rider who almost exclusively sticks to park laps and wears clothes 10 times too big for them.

A Podmore: A teenage skier.

Pow: Powder.

Puking: Heavy, consistent snowfall.

Punters Gap/Gaper Gap: Also called a Jerry Gap, the Punters Gap refers to a large gap between your helmet and goggles. A very non-steezy look.

Ragdoll: An out of control stack or crash that normally involves the rider being flung viciously down the hill with multiple rolls and rotations.

Regular: A stance where you ride with your left foot forward.

Rowdy: Energetic, excitable, and wild.

Saikou: Awesome/Great/Sick in Japanese

Samui: Japanese term for ‘cold’.

Schussing: Skiing as fast as possible straight downhill.

Scorpion:

A gnarly stack in which a rider face-plants and their legs fling over to be parallel with the back of their head–like a scorpion tail. A funny one to witness, a painful one to experience.

Send It: Going balls to the wall and riding without fear of falling.

Shaka: Originating from surfing culture, the ‘shaka’ or ‘hang loose’ hand gesture features your thumb and pinkie finger extended and your three middle fingers against your palm, as if forming a fist. Commonly used to spread good vibes, admiration, and stoke.

Shred the Gnar: Shredding to the maximum.

Shredder: A rider who is extremely skilled, confident, and fast.

Side-hit: Features on the side of a run such as hips or naturally made jumps.

Sick: Impressive.

Sketchy: A rough landing after a trick, or an unsafe feature.

Slam: A hard fall.

Snaked: Getting cut off by another rider.

Snow-bunny: A female shredder, quite often a park rat.

Speed-check: A quick turn to help riders reduce speed.

Spicy: A sketchy line.

Spot the Ski Bogan: A rough around the edges Australian tourist, commonly a couple of chu-hais down in second hand gear. If you spot a mullet, you’ve most likely spotted a ski bogan.

Stoked: Enthusiastic and happy.

Steeze: Style with ease.

Stomped: Landing a trick.

Suberi Ikou: “Let’s go shred” in Japanese.

Tracked Out: When a high frequency of riders have ridden one particular area, causing the terrain to get bumpy with build up snow.

Traverse: Riding across the slope or in a zig-zag fashion to get from one area to another.

Taco: Falling over a rail in such a way that one’s body resembles a taco shell.

Tweaked: Adding extra emphasis to how your skis or board is pushed when doing a trick.

White Out: When the snow is being blown in all directions, creating low visibility conditions where you can only see white.

Wipe Out: A crash.

Wind-hold: When lifts are closed due to high winds on the mountain.

Winding the Windows Down: Spinning your arms will doing a jump.

Yardsale:

Crashing hard and losing all of your belongings.

deep powder snow japan

Yabai: Japanese term for ‘sick’.

Yeww: A phrase commonly used to show encouragement and respect for someone else’s trick, providing maximum stoke.

Yuki: Japanese word for snow

Now that you’re clued up on all the hip snow lingo, put it to good practise by booking a trip to Japan! Learn about our latest deals on ski and board rentals, lessons, guiding and more below.​​

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