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Ski Slang

by Forrest Shinners on Nov. 26, 2014, 10:37 a.m.
Blog Post Ski Slang

A Guide To At Least Sound Like a Ripper


Attention all flatlanders and weekend warriors: ski season is just around the bend, so gear up, catch a lift, and get ready to shred some gnar. Thanks to Kit Lender, you've already got the goods to walk the mountain walk, but are you ready to talk the mountain talk? If not, no worries, brah - below are some of our favorite slang terms to brush you up on your ski-speak before you hit the pow.

Joey – In addition to baby kangaroos, and that guy from "Friends", a Joey is an unstylish, ill-advised novice who stands out (albeit unintentionally) as being a little clueless. You can spot Joeys by their inability to ride a ski lift, break at high speeds, or dress in proper, non-denim made, apparel. See also: Punter if you are in Western Canada, or Gaper if in the Rockies.

Gaper Gap or Joey Gap – The noticeable fleshy space between your goggles and hat or helmet where your forehead is awkwardly exposed. Wearing a helmet is good, but looking like a snow sports amateur is not so good. You can mend the gap by wearing a headband, hat, or bandana under your helmet, or pulling your goggles up higher.
Gaper Gap

Ski Bunny – A female skier who, regardless of ability, dresses well, looks good, and can turn some heads.

Shredder – A snowboarder. Additional names to signify a snowboarder vs. a skier include one planker, knuckle dragger, and rider.

Ripper – An accomplished and impressive skier/snowboarder. The skier/snowboarder you think you are (but aren’t) after a couple beers at the lodge.

Ski Bum – Someone who lives to ski and prefers to avoid things that aren’t skiing. If employed, the Ski Bum most likely works at a ski resort, primarily for the employee lift discounts.
Ski Bum

Jibber – Someone who skis rails, boxes, and any other non-snow feature around the mountain. Often heard yelling, "Did you see that?!" upon landing.

Liftie – Chairlift operator.

Aprés Ski – Literally means "after ski" in French, but really refers to the nightly social festivities that can take more out of you than the slopes.

Brain Bucket – Helmet. The pros wear 'em and so should you.

Yard Sale – When you wipe out and your goggles, gloves, skis, and hat end up spread out all over the run. If you encounter another skier’s yard sale, courteously pick up their detached items, ski over to them and ask, "how much you want for this?"Yard Sale

Piste – The marked and groomed ski run down a mountain. French for "trail", "track".

Death Cookies – Icy chunks of snow that cover the piste like gravel.

Bulletproof – Compacted, icy snow that’s figuratively hard enough to ricochet bullets. Or maybe even literally hard enough - we don’t know, we’ve never tested. (Please don’t test).

Corduroy – Freshly groomed machine-packed snow with a ribbed texture that resembles corduroy.

Champagne Powder – Extra light and dry, fresh snow. Perfect for off-piste skiing.

Free Rider – Off-piste skier (who probably prefers champagne powder).

Milk Run – First ski of the day.


So now that you’ve got a few new slang terms under your ski belt, all that’s left is for you to get your Kit, and get yourself up the mountain.

Have a safe and stylish season!