Return to Tips & Tricks

Snowboard Terms & Definitions

Snowboarders on a lesson at Chill Factor<sup>e</sup>


Aerials: Freestyle ski jumping involving flipping in the air.
Alpine Skiing: Downhill skiing as opposed to Nordic skiing or Telemark skiing.
Apres-Ski: Time spent in the bar after a day of skiing.
Artificial Snow: Man-made snow. Not as fine as real snow.


Baseplate: A very important part of your bindings. The baseplate sits at the bottom of your bindings in contact with the ski/snowboard and transfers all of your movement into the ski or board.
Biathlon: A ski race that combines cross country skiing and rifle shooting.
Binding: The thing that connects your boot to your ski or snowboard. The bindings on skis are designed to release the boot in the case of a fall. Snowboard bindings don’t auto release.
Black Run: Advanced level ski slope for good skiers and snowboarders.
Blue Run: A gentle ski slope suitable for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Button Lift: A ski lift with a round plastic disc at the end of a long pole. The disc is placed between the legs and gently pulls skiers and boarders up the slopes.


Cable Car: A large aerial lift that transports skiers and snowboarders up the slopes.
Carving: Turns where the edges of the skis or snowboard are used.
Carving Skis: Narrower skis designed for tight, clean turns.
Chair Lift: An aerial ski lift that you sit on and rest your skis or snowboard on a bar.
Crevasse: A deep and sometimes hidden crack in a glacier.
Cross-country Skiing: Cross-country skiing is done on narrow skis where the heel isn’t attached to the ski. It’s done on flat tracks and gentle hills rather than ski slopes.


DIN Settings: Deutsche Industrie Normen in German, this is the tension release setting that determines at what pressure your binding releases the boot on a fall.
Drag Lift: A lift that simply pulls you up the slope as you stand on your skis or snowboard.
Downhill Edge: The edge of the ski that is on the downhill side as your are traverseing the mountain.
Downhill Ski: The ski that is on the downhill side as you traverse the slope.


Edge: Used for control whilst turning, this is the metal strip on the edge of the ski or snowboard.
Equipment: Refers to your skis, snowboard, boots and ski-poles.


Fakie: Skiing or snowboarding backwards.
FIS: Stands for Federation Internationale de Ski, the international organization of ski sports.
Freestyle: A style of skiing or snowboarding that focuses on jumps, tricks and aerials.


Gate: A flag or pole in the snow marking a racing area.
Goggles: Worn to protect your eyes against sun, wind and glare.
Gondola: An aerial lift that is enclosed and generally faster than an open chairlift.
Grab: Grabbing hold of any part of your skis or snowboard whilst doing tricks and jumps.
Grooming: Where large piste basher machines flatten and smooth the snow on the slopes. Usually done throughout the night in most ski resorts.


Halfpipe: A U-shaped channel with smooth walls used by freestyle skiers and snowboarders for aerial tricks.
Hard Pack: Snow that has been compressed down as far as it will go, making it hard packed.
Heliskiing: Getting a lift from a helicopter to off-piste areas that are otherwise inaccessible and skiing on fresh powder.


Ice: When the snow on the slopes becomes like ice as it hasn’t snowed for a while.
Indy Grab: The most basic snowboarding grab, this is where you grab the toe edge of the snowboard with your rear hand whilst in the air.
Inside Edge: The ski that is on the inside of a turn.


Jib: Snowboard or skiing across a non-snow surface like a rail or box.


Kicker: A small, triangular shaped jump usually made of snow.


Lift Pass: A lift pass is a ticket that allows you to use the ski lifts.


Moguls: Moguls are bumps set out on a slope - usually found on black runs and used by advanced skiers.
Monoski: A type of ski with both boots attached to a single ski.
Mute Grab: Whilst in the air, grabbing the toe edge of the snowboard between the bindings with your front hand.


Nordic Combined: A skiing race which combines country skiing and a ski jump.
Nordic Skiing: See cross-country skiing.


Off-Piste: A snowy area away from the marked ski slopes. Popular with freestyles and people that enjoy powder snow.
Ollie: A jump or hop on skis or snowboard that can be done on the flat.
Outside Ski: The ski on the outside of a turn.


Packed Powder: The perfect ski conditions where new snow has been groomed or ridden over to pack it down.
Piste: The French word for “ski slope”.
Piste Basher: A tracked vehicle used for grooming ski slopes to even out the snow and prepare the slopes for skiers.
Powder: Fresh snow that hasnt been packed down. Found off-piste or just after a heavy snowfall.


Rail: A metal bar found on snow parks built to be used by freestyle skiers and snowboarders.
Red Run: Intermediate level slope.
Rope Lift: Usually found in beginner ski areas, this is a lift where you hold onto a slow moving rope and it gently pulls you up the slope.


Salopettes/Ski Pants: Warm, waterproof trousers designed for snow sports.
Schussing: Skiing straight downhill without turning.
Ski Area: The area of the mountain designated for skiing. Usually marked by flags or ropes at the edges of the slopes.
Slalom: A downhill ski race between tightly spaced gates that must be passed through with short, quick turns.
Slope: A slope is an area of snowy hill that is designated for skiing/snowboarding on.
Slush: Wet snow, snow that is melting.
Snow Canon/Snow Machine: Machines on the slope that turn water into artificial snow.
Snow Park: An area built especially for freestyle skiers and snowboarders, filled with jumps, rails, boxes etc.
Snowplough: A beginners skiing technique where the skis are held in a ‘V’ formation with the tips almost touching. It allows for slowing down and turning.


T-Bar: There are two types of T-bar lifts - singles and doubles. Each are a T bar suspended from a moving line. With a single T-Bar lift, the bar goes between our legs and pulls you up the slopes. The double is shared with a friend and one half of the T goes behind your bottom.
Telemark Skiing: Telemark skiing is a combination of downhill and cross-country skiing. The skis have detached heels, but are still wide enough to handle going fast and making sharp turns.
Tips: The front end of the skis.
Travelator/Magic Carpet: A conveyor-belt like lift where you stand on the lift and it carries you to the top of the slope. Usually found on beginner slopes and children’s areas.
Traverse: Skiing across a slope in a zigzag pattern rather than straight down.


Uphill Edge: The edge of the ski that is on the uphill side when traversing the slope.
Uphill Ski: The ski that is on the uphill side as your traverse the slope.


Wax: Used on the underside of skis and snowboards to help them glide smoothly over the snow.
White Out: When visibility drops to almost nothing; caused by heavy snowfall, fog, or a combination of the two.

Related Articles

Group of snowboarders on a lesson at Chill Factor<sup>e</sup>

Snowboarding for Beginners: Tips & Tricks

Read Article

Chill Factor<sup>e</sup> snowsports instructor high fiving a snowboarder at indoor ski slope

Did you know? 7 interesting facts about snowsports

Read Article

Child skiing with ski poles outdoors surrounded by snowy mountains

Why hobbies are important for your children

Read Article

How much does a ski lift pass cost?

Read Article

How long does it take to learn to snowboard?

Read Article

Sign up to our newsletter now

Sign up to our regular newsletter to get the latest news and updates from Chill Factore:

By signing up, you consent to receive marketing communications in line with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at anytime.