Your Guide to Shredtacular Vernacular
Courtesy of Northstar-at-Tahoe... home to FIVE innovative parks and pipes.
THE PHYSICAL HALFPIPE:
The section of a halfpipe that slopes up from the flat bottom, propelling the rider into the air. The 2002 Olympic halfpipe had 15' high walls.
The section of a halfpipe where it "transitions" from the flat bottom to the vertical wall. Transitions are measured as the radius of a large imaginary circle.
The upper edge of the halfpipe where the wall ends.
The fat area on either side of the halfpipe where people hike back u the piope or stand and watch.
TERMS DESCRIBING MANEUVERS:
Dropping or Dropping In
To start a run inside the halfpipe, you first "drop in."
Each time a rider goes into the air and performs a trick, it is called a hit.
When a rider goes into the air and pivots 180 degrees to re-enter the pipe, but does not spin around and around while in the air.
A trick whereby a rider goes into the air and grabs the snowboard. Each grab has a different name that depends on where and with which hand the snowboard is grabbed. Some common grab names are: method, lien, stalefish, melancholy, indy, mute, tail, nose, etc.
Spin or Rotation
When a rider goes into the air and spins 360 or more degrees before coming back down into the pipe.
3, 5, 7, 9, 1080
Spins are measured in degrees, but sometimes these are shortened to just the first digit. Hence, a 360 degree spin will sometimes be called a "three", likewise with a "five" (540), "seven" (720) and "nine (900). The 1080 (pronounced ten-eighty) is such a big trick, it is referred to in full.
Cab or Switch or Fakie
All riders prefer to have a specific foot in front, like being right- or left- handed. When the opposite foot is in front from the rider's natural preference, it is called switch, fakie or Cab; e.g., a Cab 900 is a trick where a rider spins 900
degrees while in the air and takes off
with the unnatural foot in the lead.
Frontside Wall and Backside Wall
Describes which way a rider is facing
when going up the wall of a halfpipe.
A frontside wall could be either side of
the pipe, it just means that the rider is
going up it on their frontside (or toeside)
edge with their back facing down the
pipe. A backside wall means a rider
is going up it on their backside (or
heelside) edge, chest facing down the
Frontside Spin and Backside Spin
Refers to the direction of a spin, relative
to the rider. A frontside spin is when a
rider turns their chest into the spin first;
a backside spin is when a rider turns
their back into the spin first (also known
A spin that rotates in an uphill direction;
i.e. back up the pipe. Usually spins
rotate down the pipe in the direction
An adjective to describe spins that
are off-axis, as in a corkscrew; e.g. a
corked 720 is a 720 degree spin where
the rider's body is sideways in the air as
opposed to a level spin. Now, what is a
corked Cab 720? Gotcha.
Any time the rider's head is below their
feet while performing a trick.
One of the most common inverted tricks
in the halfpipe, a McTwist is basically
an inverted 540 or a backflip with a
twist. Other inverted tricks are: cripplers,
Kasseroles, and Haakonflips.
Sketch or Sketchy
Being slightly off balance or out of control,
but not necessarily falling down.
Judges will dock points for sketchy
tricks or sketchy landings.
Bone / Poking / Tweaking
When a snowboarder straightens one or
both legs during a half-pipe trick.
When the conditions are icy and hard.
A big jump where you need lots of
speed and you get launch into the air.
A rail with a bend to it.
This is a type of snow with uneven
surface and lumps of soft powder-like
snow and slippery patches.
To be able to do a trick perfectly time
Riding a board backwards.
The space in the half-pipe between the
Riding with the right foot forwards.
A big jump where you have to go off
the front side and can land only on one
A bend in a rail or box.
Half a half pipe, one wall where you can
get a good speed to get into the air.
Backflip with a spin.
A rail with a bend to it, so if you look
from the top it looks like an S.
A half-pipe aerial turn where a rider
straightens both legs and grabs the
A rider reaches behind the front foot in
this half-pipe aerial turn and grabs the
toe edge then bends the front knee to
touch the board.
A term used to describe crashing or
A term used to describe something that
is not good.
The act of hitting a no-snow object with
the snowboard (e.g., a tail bonk could
be hitting a chair-lift with the tail of your
A term used to describe catching air off
a jump. For example, "He boosted ten
feet out of the pipe."
Used interchangeably with the verb
"to do" only with more emphasis. For
example, "He busted a..."
When a snowcat freshly grooms a trail,
leaves a finely ridged surface. Corduroy
is typically good.
A term used to describe a crash or fall.
For example, "He fell off the lift and
cratered into a snow bank."
A term used to describe riding badly
and out of control.
Another name for a small, young snowboarding
One who throws him/herself wildly
through the air.
A term used to describe a crash or fall.
The only way to eat an egg if you're a
true snowboarder. Or in other words, to take something that is not yours.
Roast Beef Air
After launching off the halfpipe, the rear
hand reaches between the legs and
grabs the board.
Rolling Down the Windows
A phrase used to describe when someone
is caught off balance, and they
wave their arms.
Anything that is man made that can be
used to ride on. i.e. rails, boxes etc.
Anything that is made to enhance your
resort experience, often referred to
as un-gulations within the snow. i.e.
Jumps, hips, rollers, banks, Halfpipes
Someone that is all styled up to ride.
Riding in a big group of friends.
Someone that fell and hurt themselves.
When an individual crashes and everything
that could come off the person
does. i.e. hat, goggles, cell phone, etc.
Anything that can be used to either
bonk or slide. i.e. rails, boxes, logs,
trees, houses, handrails, lift towers, etc.
Sick / Dope
Something which inspires awe.
When referenced to a snowboarder:
When referenced to a terrain feature or
area: Crazy scary
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