Okay, so we’re always being blamed for making fun of skiers, right? Well, in all fairness, we figured it was time to give our two-planking counterparts credit where credit’s due. Sure, skiers have played the part of the Pied Piper’s snakes for the past few years, but snowboarding wouldn’t be as big a sport as it is without the help of skiing. With this month’s installment of Sicktionary, we thought it would be a nice gesture to offer up some common jargon that you’d hear in the liftline from “those other guys.” So sit back, relax, and read up—you’ll probably learn a thing or two. On second thought, probably not…
––Pat Bridges & T. Bird
Zero Spin [Zee-roh Spihn] noun: The Zero Spin is not to be confused with the D-Spin, invented by skier Mike Douglas, who’s not to be confused with actor Michael Douglas, who’s not to be confused with his wife Catherine Zeta Jones, who’s not to be confused with Tommy Lee Jones, who’s not to be confused with musician John Lee Hooker, who’s not to be confused with the television show T.J. Hooker, that’s not to be confused with freestyle skier T.J. Schiller, who’s definitely not to be confused with the dude that invented the Zero Spin.
Rear Entry [Reer Ehn-tree] noun: The ski industry’s attempt at using irony in product names. By calling ski boots “rear entry,” manufacturers were admitting that everything about ski boots, from putting them on to walking in them across parking lots, was literally a pain in the ass.
Spread Eagle [Sprehd Ee-guhl] noun: An aerial maneuver where the aerialist extends their lower extremities to their limit while soaring above the slopes. Named for Englishman Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards’ notable leaping style during the 1988 Calgary Olympic 90-meter ski-jumping event.
Telemark [Tehl-uh-mahrk] noun: Skis that allow one’s heels to lift off of the topsheet during turn initiation. The entire idea of efficiency was thrown out the window with its inception, yet somehow this new-fangled variation to traditional skiing has spawned hordes of hacky-sacking summit-seekers that coo, “Free your heels and free your mind, bro.” Whatever—it’s still just cross-country skiing. Get over yourselves.
Monoski [Maah-noh-skee] noun: A revolutionary Polish ski construction which utilizes 50% less edge, core, tip, and tail materials than conventional methods.
Spatula [Spah-choo-luh] noun: What began as a barstool tangent by the late, great Shane McConkey turned into the ski that launched the reverse-camber revolution in snowboarding. By taking the concepts of surfing and waterskiing and translating them to snow, the Volant Spatula may have been designed for tackling the pow on two planks, but its pedigree can be found under the feet of anyone rocking a rocker.
DIN [Dihn] noun: The amount of energy used by the electromagnets in a ski binding. The higher the DIN setting, the more energy is released from the batteries, in turn requiring more torque to cause the binding to disengage.
Daffy [Dahf-ee] noun: To spray an adaptive skier with snow, causing them to fall over.
Pole Plant [Pohl Plaahnt] noun: A designated tree below a ski lift at which pranksters throw their chairmates’ freshly-stolen ski poles while screaming, “Pole plant!”
Powder Cord [Pow-duhr Cohrd] noun: A combination of two tones consisting of a root and its fifth that is often found in rock music. What? Powder cord? Oh. Who cares about those?
Basket [Bahs-keht] noun: That drink coaster-looking thingy at the end of a ski pole.
This content was originally published in SNOWBOARDER’s September 2009 issue.