Ski Slang for the Slopes

Ski Slang for the Slopes

We are all familiar with terms such as “surfs up”, yet how many know what “slaying a pow pow” means? In specific circles, there is a slew of slang sayings that are applied in everyday conversation. Opposite of a surfers beachy language you will find a snowy skiers style of speech. When you think of skiing, you imagine a full snow suit paired with the Skis and poles that take you down the hillside. Unless you have been around the mountain a few times, you may not expect skiers to have their own set of slangy terms.

If you are planning to spend some time in the snow, learning the basics will keep you up to speed. You will recognize key words that are important to know before you slide away. Ski Slang is used to describe anything from Skiing conditions to the Skiers themselves. Here is a quick tour of terms you might hear while hitting the slopes.

Pow Pow

Hearing this term lets you know the snow is ideal for Skiing. Shortened from the word “powder”, you will hear it animatedly used by Skiers. Powder is freshly fallen snow that has not been used by Skiers.

Blue, Black or Red Runs

Safety comes first in the Skiing community. The Runs are slopes while the colors code the level of the Skier. Blue is the simplest of the three and also has been called a bunny hill. Red is for an intermediate skill set while black is the hardest Runs of the area. The Red or black is not for beginners and should only be attempted after training and practice.

Bombing, Crevasse and Crud

Beware when you hear these terms strolling around the slopes. Bombing is someone not regulating their speed creating a danger for others. Crevasse represents a split or crack that may cause falls and tumbles. When crud is present, the snow has formed into clumpy and icy surfaces which is hazardous for even the pros.

Flat Lights and Face Shots

When a Skier falls on their face, they face planted. A face shot is when the snow sprays up and hits you in the face. Take precaution if Skiers are saying there is a flat light out. When the lighting is dim or shadowed, it makes it hard to see any turns or terrains up ahead.

Planker, Ripper or Spore

If someone calls you a planker, don’t get upset. It is a general term for a skier that is not meant to offend. Being called a Ripper is even better as it denotes you are very good at Skiing. If the word Spore is used and they are figuring you do not know what it means, it might be time to pack up and move to another slope. Stupid People On Rental Equipment is never a nice thing to say, however it does happen from time to time.

Knowing the language of Ski land will help you be more of a planker and less of a spore. Skiing safely is the ultimate goal at the end of the day. Understanding the code of the snow will keep you on the right track from the lift to a fireside cup of hot chocolate.