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Ski & Snowboarding Slang: Beginners Tips

For the beginner skier or snowboarder it can seem that you are wandering into a foreign country. The traditions, 'language' and even modes of transportation are all unfamiliar! Take heart, whilst the rudiments are tricky, once learned they are never forgotten. And it is the same with the slang terms and jargon heard commonly on the slope. Here are a few terms to start you off…… Expect many 'butt plants' to occur, falling on your bottom is one of least painful, though potentially most embarrassing type of fall you will suffer on your skiing experience! 'Christies' (skidded turns on corresponding edges) and 'gorilla turns' (forcing the turn using your whole body) are performed on the 'piste' or packed snow, one type of which is 'corduroy', fine tracks left by a sno-cat flattening out the tracks from previous skiers. A 'BAFL' Big Air Flat Landing is undesirable, being a fall, which involves the body flying through the air, then landing flat, a circumstance which can cause compression fractures in the vertebrae. 'Bono' too, is not fun. It means skiing at full speed into an obstacle, especially a tree, unintentionally of course. 'Catching air', especially 'big air' is not for the beginner - initially concentrate on keeping both feet firmly in the 'planks' or 'sticks' on the ground - although take note that 'plank' can refer more to old skis/ boards. 'Bumps' or 'moguls' (lumps in the snow caused by previous skiers turning in one particular spot) and 'chocolate chips', rocks peeping through thinner layers of snow, can cause falls or 'biffs', which tend to be quick contacts with the snow, easily recovered from. A 'face plant' - is exactly what it sounds like, falling in such a fashion that your face plants itself into the snow - is preferable to going 'rag doll' - rolling down the slope in a loose uncoordinated fall, often while unconscious. With practise you can become an 'air dog', a skier or boarder who loves to jump or catch air, although when first building those skills you may 'bail' or change your mind at the last minute! Having survived the slopes, head out with your 'crew' (the group you are skiing or boarding with, be they family or friends) and check out the 'après-ski' scene, literally after-ski - a fun night out of socialising and relaxing, before retiring, ready to do it all again on the morrow!