The Ultimate Guide to Skier Slang

Lynn Barlow |
Deep days ahead for winter 20/21! PC Snowbrains

As we head into what is likely to be another epic winter, thanks to La Niña, we’ve compiled a list of common skier slang. Wondering about the difference between blower and boilerplate? Curious why that guy with the twin tips in the lift line keeps yelling about steeze? Read on.

Blower: adjective

Refers to ultra-light powdery snow. See also: cold smoke

Boilerplate: adjective

Very firm, icy, marginal conditions. Not ideal conditions for sending that tricky line you’ve been eyeing all season. See also: Bulletproof, slide-for-life

skier slang
Some days are deep enough to make a snorkel mandatory. We recommend leaving the diving mask at home. PC SerrNovik via iStock

Faceshots: noun, verb

When the powder snow is deep enough that it hits you in the face while you’re shredding. Bring your snorkel. In a sentence: “I got so many face shots today!”

skier slang
The gaper gap is a clear symptom of gaperhood. PC Newschoolers.com

Gaper: noun

Usually identifiable by a distinctive and eponymous gap between the user’s helmet and goggles, the quintessential gaper doesn’t know what they don’t know. They usually are rocking rental gear, and may or may not have their jeans tucked into their ski boots. While gapers are oblivious to ski culture, it’s important to remember that everyone was once a beginner, even you. See also: Jerry

Gnar: noun

Stands for Gaffney’s Numeric Assessment of Radness, Gnar is a game and also a lifestyle. 

Heelside hero: noun

A snowboarder who only seems capable of descending on their heelside. Usually seen doing the “falling leaf” down a black diamond while clutching a selfie-stick, the heelside hero seems oblivious of the effect of their riding style on the snowpack. See also: gaper.

skier slang
Mashed potatoes: not just for dinner. PC Betty Crocker

Mashed potatoes: noun

Heavy, wet, thigh-burning snow conditions. See also: Cascade concrete.

Radness claim: action

Yelling, “I’m the best skier on the mountain!” before dropping into that sick line. Related: Gnar

Single: noun

If you hear this in the lift line, rest assured that the speaker is (most likely) not talking about their relationship status. Rather, a single rider will often announce that they’re alone in hopes of finding a seat on the lift without waiting through the entire lift line. See also: No friends on a powder day.

skier slang
This rider demonstrates steeze. PC Dom Daher via Redbull

Steeze: noun. Steezy: adjective

Style and ease. In a sentence: “Bro, that was a steezy backflip!” This piece of skier slang has since found its way into other outdoor sports, including whitewater kayaking.

Stomp: verb

To land a jump with steeze. Antonym: tomahawk.

skier slang
Tomahawking: not steezy. PC: SnowBrains

Tomahawk: verb

To tumble head-over-heels down hill. Usually an effect of crashing at high speeds on something steep. 

Wheel wish: noun, verb

When the chairlift stops and the attachment point of the would-be-wisher’s chair stops on a lift tower’s wheel, it is permissible to make a wheel wish. Standard non-disclosure wish rules apply. See also: pray for snow. 

Let us know if we missed anything in the comments!


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