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    Your Guide to Shredtacular Vernacular

    Photo courtesy Northstar at Tahoe Courtesy of Northstar-at-Tahoe... home to FIVE innovative parks and pipes.


    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.


    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.

    Straight Air
    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 halfpipe.

    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 as blindside).

    Alley Oop
    A spin that rotates in an uphill direction; i.e. back up the pipe. Usually spins rotate down the pipe in the direction of travel.

    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.

    Bullet Proof
    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.

    Crud 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 after time.

    Riding a board backwards.

    Flat bottom
    The space in the half-pipe between the two walls.

    Goofy Foot
    Riding with the right foot forwards.


    A big jump where you have to go off the front side and can land only on one side.

    A bend in a rail or box.

    Quarter Pipe
    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.

    Stiffy Air
    A half-pipe aerial turn where a rider straightens both legs and grabs the snowboard's edge.

    Taipan air
    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 falling.

    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 board.

    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.

    Grommet (Grom)
    Another name for a small, young snowboarding devotee.

    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.

    Terrain Feature
    Anything that is man made that can be used to ride on. i.e. rails, boxes etc.

    Snow Feature
    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 etc.

    Someone that is all styled up to ride.

    Rat Packing
    Riding in a big group of friends.

    Broken Off
    Someone that fell and hurt themselves.

    Yard Sale
    When an individual crashes and everything that could come off the person does. i.e. hat, goggles, cell phone, etc.

    A Skier.

    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: Exceptionally good. When referenced to a terrain feature or area: Crazy scary

    See More at our:

    • Terrain Park Guide

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