Ski Speak: 10 Winter Terms For Beginners

The countdown is on. We don’t know about you, but we’re ready for the first signs of snowfall, keeping an eye on the calendar and hoping winter comes a little early this year (and hangs around longer). Before joining us on the slopes however, take some time to lock down the local snow speak in preparation for your well-deserved New Zealand ski holiday. Not only will you appear to know precisely what you’re talking about, you’ll find any lessons or weather feedback easier to understand with a little research in your back-pocket.

Sit back, settle in and memorise these 10 terms you’ll hear on the slopes this year!

1. “Après-Ski”

You’ve dusted another day and a cold one calls, along with great music and better company. Welcome to the Kiwi Apres Ski culture, one of drinking, laughing and eating, not always in that order.

2. “Bomber”

A bomber is an out-of-control skier, struggling not to fall as they descend – these folks are usually certain they have this ski thing in the bag on their first, second or third day. New Zealand ski lessons? What ski lessons? They don’t need lessons, until they do!

3. “Carving”

A clean sequence of assured turns, varying from tight and difficult to swooping S patterns. Piste skiers are ever-chasing carving perfection, executing each slice with the edge of their skis or snowboard.

4. “Dump”

Look, we know what you’re thinking and no, dump does not refer to any bathroom activities. On the mountain, you may or may not hear people talking about fresh dumps or their love for them – a dump is basically an awesome fall of fresh powder.

5. “Liftie”

Your new best friend. Lift operators always have their eyes open and their ears attuned to the goings on of the mountain, slopes and general area. Hankering for the inside scoop? Sidle up to these guys and a make a new ski contact.

6. “Magic Carpet”

First time on the slopes? You’ll become well-acquainted with the magic carpet, a grounded conveyor belt that transports beginner skiers and snowboarders to the top of learner slopes, making their first few days easy as muscles adjust.

7. “Pow”

You love pow. You don’t know it yet, but you’ll soon celebrate the arrival of this dry, light and powdery snow, as more is rarely a bad thing.

8. “Snowplough”

One of the first techniques a beginner learns, the snowplough is a simple move (it will get easier with practice) that brings the front tips of your skis close, ensuring the tails are apart and pressuring inside ski edges. It’s a lot easier than it sounds, don’t worry.

9. “Traverse”

Zig-zagging across the slopes to reduce descent speed on a particularly steep run. Going straight isn’t always the best option.

10. “White Out”

Argh! Sometimes the snow just doesn’t want to cooperate with any plans, dumping so much pow in one hit that visibility drops to near zero. We call this a white out. It can also be caused by fog or a combination of snow, fog and compounded conditions. Keep your eye on the daily weather forecast and don’t be afraid to approach the locals – they understand New Zealand ski conditions better than anybody, even your mate who may have visited a few times.

Make this winter one to remember for all the right reasons. Check out our exclusive specials and contact book your New Zealand ski package with Ski Express today.