Downhill Skiing – Terms


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The following terms are frequently used in connection with Downhill Skiing −

  • Audio Helmet − Helmet with speakers allowing to listen music while skiing.

  • Avalanche Control − Triggering avalanches artificially, controlling explosions to create slope for skaters.

  • Bomber − Slang for a skier flying down the slope in a fashion out of control.

  • Bowl − Mountain Basin, free of trees used for swooping turns or steeps and speedy drives.

  • Carving Ski − Narrow skis made for clean and tight turns.

  • Cat Tracks − Flat paths used to move around a mountain. These are mostly used by skiers to reach different places within a resort.

  • Crust − A frozen layer covering soft snow or buried under fresh dusting of snow.

  • Death Cookies − Term for cookie sized ice chunks formed by snowmaking. A plague mostly found in resorts of New England and not seen in Western resorts.

  • Bid − mountain resorts

  • Dump − Fresh powder of the snowfall.

  • Durometer − An instrument used to measure hardness of ski boots made of plastic.

  • Edge − A sharp metal strip on skis side, used in controlling by biting into snow.

  • Fall line − The direct line down a slope.

  • FIS − French acronym for International Skiing Federation.

  • Foot bed − The part of ski boots that is removable and lies inside the boot.

  • Freestyle − A style of skiing mostly based on tricks.

  • Fun Box − A box in terrain parks for sliding across on snowboards or skis.

  • Glade − A stand of trees.

  • Gondola − A closed lift that can fit four to eight passengers; generally faster than open chair lift.

  • Grab − While in the air, holding any part of the skis or snowboard; used to maintain balance and also taken as a style in skiing.

  • Grooming − A form of trail maintenance. For spreading new snow and to smooth over icy patches, bumps and other obstacles. For this, tractors i.e. Snow-cats are used.

  • Hard pack − Hardly packed snow because of repeated grooming.

  • Heli-skiing − The best skiing for experienced and experts in skiing. Skiers are transferred using helicopters to ski off-trail through fresh tracks. Not for everyone because it is highly dangerous.

  • Huck − To launch a jump.

  • In-bounds − Ski terrain inside the ski resort boundaries.

  • Indy Grab − Grabbing toe edge of snowboard between rear hand binding.

  • Jib − Riding across a non-ice surface.

  • Kicker − A jump in the shape of a cheese-wedge, often built for trick sessions.

  • Last − Term used by a boot maker for the shape of interior of the boot.

  • Vertical Drop − The distance between base and mountain’s tallest point.



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