First Timer’s Guide: 8 Ski Terms and Lingo

Is it your first time skiing? Have you come across ski terms you don’t understand? Here’s a quick rundown that’s useful for first timers. I came across the last term often while researching for my FIRST ski trip.

p.s. You can always drop by another post if you want to know what to wear for the ski slopes. :)

Now, learn some lingo and ski away!

Ski Terms and Lingo -

White Out: When visibility drops to almost nothing caused by heavy snowfall, fog, or both. We experienced this when we went up to higher grounds and totally freaked out! But the ski instructor, on the other hand, was excited. For her, this meant fresh tracks that’s smoother and nicer to ski on. With snow falling, the slope would not be seeing any ice and slush. 

Herringbone [her-ing-bohn]: The herringbone is a method to go up a slope. The skier sets the skis in a V-shape, with the heels together, and pushes upwards in this formation, using poles for support. The steps leaves a herringbone or chevron pattern in the snow. This is one of the basics we learned at the beginning of our ski lesson. 

Piste [peest]: A piste is a track or trail for skiing. It can also refer to a track made by a wild animal. The word is borrowed from French and ultimately can be traced back to the Latin pinsere meaning “to pound, crush.”

Backcountry: Known as off-piste. It’s away from the crowd and pisted motorways. This place is for experts only because it’s skiing and snowboarding at your own risk. However, it’s some of the best places to ski for the experts.

Hot-dog: Adventurous skiers and snowboarders hot-dog down the mountain. This means to perform unusual or intricate maneuvers in a sport, especially in a showy or boastful manner.

Yard sale: If someone fell spectacularly mid-slope, leaving your skis, poles, etc scattered in a trail of destruction behind you, then congratulations, you’ve hosted one. In skiing, this term refers to the site of such a crash.

Tuck: The tuck is a method used to maximize speed on the slopes. The skier goes into a crouched position and holds the poles close to the chest, extending them back under the arms and parallel to the ground. This lowers the center of gravity and thus boosting aerodynamic efficiency.

Après-ski [ah-prey-skee]: Yays! The time to rest after a day of skiing. Some people go for good food, drinks or a a cup of hot cocoa, dancing, live music, or swapping stories from the slopes with fellow skiers. For us, we went to soak in a hot onsen to relax our muscles! That’s one superb thing about skiing in Japan.

References from:

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