Glossary: More Than 100 Historical Ski Terms

story of modern skiing

This Glossary of Historical Ski Terms is from the book "Story of Modern Skiing," by John Fry, published in 2006 by University Press of New England, 380 pages, 90 illustrations, $24.95."

The author is indebted to Seth Masia, to Doug Pfeiffer, and to the editors of the Professional Ski Instructors of America Alpine Technical Manual for their help in assembling this Glossary.  

Acclimatize, Acclimate. Adapt to a change in altitude, ideally done in stages to reduce physiological stress.

Alpine. When the A is capitalized, the word Alpine relates to the Alps. In lower case, alpine may refer to anything mountainous like the Alps, and specifically applies to downhill skiing, as contrasted with nordic (cross-country and jumping). Downhill, slalom, giant slalom and Super G are alpine competitions.

Alpine Combined. A downhill and a slalom race either held intentionally as a combined event, or the linking of two races on the calendar to produce a combined result. Result of a combined competition was once derived from mathematically computing FIS points. Today it is done by adding up the times.

Angulation. Any movement or positioning of the leg or body to roll the ski onto a higher edge angle relative to the snow. Before the introduction of higher plastic boots, ski instructors assumed that this could best be achieved by angling the torso down the hill (or toward the outside of the turn) , at the same time as the hip and knees were angled into the mountain. This was known as the comma position. The improved control provided by modern boots has rendered the comma position obsolete. Angulation can now be achieved with the lower leg and emphasized with the hip, independent of upper body position.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The knee ligament that connects the femur (thigh bone) with the tibia (shin bone) and prevents the forward movement of the tibia on the femur. The posterior cruciate ligament prevents backward movement of the tibia on the femur. ACL tears became a common ski injury after 1980, as a result of changed boot design, ski shape and binding height combined with the skier’s feet-apart stance.

Anticipation. The skier’s upper body anticipated the direction of the coming turn, acting as an anchor for the lower body to turn against. As the tension was  released (muscles relax) and the skier “let go” of the old turn, the legs realigned with the upper body and started the turn.

Arlberg. A mountainous region of western Austria encompassing the classic ski resorts of St. Anton, St. Christof, Lech, Zurs. Home of famed ski teacher Hannes Schneider, who formulated the Arlberg technique, and of Stefan Kruckenhauser, who popularized wedeln. 

Arlberg Strap. A leather strap that was wrapped around the boot and attached to the ski to prevent it from running away when the binding released.

Arlberg Technique. A series of movements taught in progression, starting with the snowplow and progressing to turns made with the skis parallel, developed by Hannes Schneider. (See Arlberg, above.)

Arete (French). Sharp mountain ridge with steep sides.

Backscratcher. While airborne, the skier’s knees are bent so as to force the ski tips to drop sharply downward. The tails of the skis may even scratch one’s back. Also called a Tip Drop.

Backside. The backside of the snowboard is the side where the rider’s heels sit. The backside of a snowboarder is the side where the rider’s back faces.

Bathtub. See Sitzmark.

Bear trap. A binding that did not allow release. It had fixed toe irons, and the heel was often lashed to the skis with a leather strap, long thong or laniere.

Bevel. Modifying the edge of a ski so that it forms something other than a perfect 90-degree angle.  The ski edge has two surfaces: the base edge contiguous to the ski's sole, and the side edge meeting the ski's sidewall. A beveled base edge is "softened" by about one degree -- in effect it's recessed relative
to the sole surface -- so the ski rolls more smoothly on and off the edge. A bevelled side edge -- sharpened to 1, 2 or 3 degrees of acute angle -- can
help a racer to hold a more aggressive line on ice.

Biathlon. A competition among rifle-bearing skiers originating in the 18th Century, which rewards skill in skiing cross-country and marksmanship. Results are computed in time. Minutes are subtracted for errant shots. Biathlon has a separate sports governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

Binding platform. In the days of carved "ridgetop" skis of hickory and ash, it was common to provide a flat, and usually slightly raised, platform at the ski's center for mounting the binding and boot. Beginning with international standards for bindings (see DIN), the binding mounting zone on the ski was defined as flat platform or plate designed to anchor the binding screws. In 1989, World Cup champion Marc Girardelli began using the Derbyflex plate, a solid aluminum plate glued to a thick sheet of neoprene rubber, inserted between the ski and the binding. The platform provided an additional inch of leverage relative to the ski's edge for more edging power, and additional boot clearance so that the ski can be pitched onto a higher edge angle.  The leveraging power from the elevated platform also leverages the power of forces coming back into the knee from the snow. To reduce knee injuries among racers, the FIS limited the total "stack height" -- the distance between the snow and the sole of the boot -- to a maximum of 55mm. A typical high-performance recreational binding today has a stack height of 45mm; the ski itself may be about 15mm thick.

Blindside. In snowboarding, when the rider approaches or lands “blind” to the direction of travel.

Boarder Cross. Snowboarders race through turns and obstacles and jumps in heats of 4-6 riders, starting simultaneously.  The term derives from a similar format used in motorcycling – motocross.

Bonk. In snowboarding, to hit a non-snow object hard.  

Boilerplate. A glazed covering of solid ice on a trail, usually produced after rain or after wet snow freezes.

Boogying. To ski the bumps all out -- a 1970s hot dog skiing term.

Canting.  The process of making adjustments – primarily to bindings and boots – in order to improve the alignments of feet, knees, hips and upper body. The alignment is typically done mechanically by a footbed in the boot, and/or by adjusting the boot’s cuff.

Carving. Turning the skis by causing them to travel on edge with minimal lateral slipping or skidding. The tail of the ski is on a forward moving path that follows the tip of the ski. A pure carved turn, whether on skis or on a snowboard, is defined by its leaving a clean, elliptical track on the snow.

Camber. The arch built into a ski from tip to tail. Camber was created to generate even pressure on the snow along the length of the ski. A “stiff” ski resists being de-cambered or pressed flat.

Catwalk. Narrow road often built to enable wheeled machines to ascend the mountain in summer and snowcats in winter. Catwalks double as ski trails in winter, characterized by long traverses that link to another trail, a lift or to another section of the resort.

Center Line. A conceptual model created by the Professional Ski Instructors of America “for selecting appropriate movement patterns under a variety of circumstances.”

Chattering. The ski’s edges grip on ice but rebound, vibrating and chattering -- as opposed to carving or skidding smoothly.

Christie. A contraction of the word Christiania, describing a turn made with the skis parallel (a parallel christie), as distinct from a turn made with the skis partially in a stem or vee configuration (known as a stem Christie), or a turn made wholly with the skis stemmed (known as a stem turn, snowplow or wedge turn). In post-20th Century ski schools, the term christie may denote a skidded parallell turn, as opposed to a carved turn. 

Cirque. A bowl-like shape, typically at the head of a valley, created by a former glacier.

Concave Running Surface. A frequent defect for many years in the manufacture and curing of fiberglass and plastic skis produced in molds. The concave ski’s bottom resists turning. The defect is corrected by flat-filing or machine-grinding the skis to bring the edges down to the level of the running surface.

Convex. The opposite condition of concave. A convex base feels unstable to the skier, doesn’t track accurately, and sideslips on ice. In the factory, when a new ski receives its final grind before the resin is fully cured, it can be delivered to a ski shop concave in the shovel and tail, and convex in the middle.

Corn snow. Pellet-sized particles formed from repetitive thawing, refreezing, and recrystallizing of the snow. Corn snow has a texture that facilitates turning and causes skiers to feel as if they’re skiing on ball bearings.

Cornice. Overhang of snow and ice typically found on a high ridge. Dangerous  skiing to the skier who stands for long on one, and extreme skiing to those who jump off one.

Counter rotation. Simultaneously twisting the upper body in one direction (usually opposite to the direction of travel), and the lower body in another direction.

Cross-Country Relay. See Team Event.

Crossover. Swinging one ski around the other so that the feet point in opposite directions, then extricating the standing ski to re-align itself to the other.

Crud, Breakable Crust. A condition in which the snow surface has frozen into hard crust over soft snow underneath. Crud often refers to settling snow that has been cut up by skiers. When the skier’s weight is sufficient to break through the crust, but unpredictably, the resulting condition is difficult to ski.

Daffy. An early freestyle stunt, the daffy was a mid-air split – the skier extended one leg forward, the other rearward. If airborne long enough, the skier could sky-walk – that is switch legs fore and aft two or three times. The term daffy, according to freestyle pioneer Doug Pfeiffer, originated in the idea of the stunt  being daft, or slightly crazy.

Damping. Quality in a ski which prevents it from vibrating excessively, a problem with early metal skis. Skis insufficiently damped are unstable, and may chatter on ice. An over-damp ski, on the other hand, feels heavy and sluggish, doesn’t glide easily on wet snow especially, and tends not to rise to the surface in heavy powder. 

Deep-crotch Christie. While traversing at a comfortable speed the skier suddenly assumes a low crouch position. Taking advantage of this unweighting movement, he turns the skis toward the fall line while keeping the weight on the inside-of-the-turn ski and letting the outside one drift off as if about to do a gymnast’s split. Once the desired new direction is obtained, a normal skiing posture is resumed. Obsolete.

DIN Setting. Every binding has an adjustable release setting which determines the torque required to release the skier in a fall. Beginning in 1979, bindings used a standard scale to measure release values. The standard, DIN, stands for Deutsche Industrie Normen -- German Industrial Standards. The number,  usually visible in a tiny panel on the toepiece, theoretically represents the torque in decanewtons per degree to release the binding toe. The higher the number, the greater the force required to release. An expert recreational skier might set his binding at 8; a beginner, depending on weight and strength, much lower, say 3. The setting of the binding’s heel piece is proportional to the toe setting at a ratio determined by the manufacturer.

Down-unweighting. A lightening of the pressure of the skis on the snow made by a sudden dropping of the skier’s body. (See up-unweighting.)

Fakie. In snowboarding, to ride backwards without facing the direction of travel; also Switch.

Fall Line. Line down the hill that gravity would direct a rolling or falling object. The steepest or shortest line. A sequence of ski turns is typically made by a skier crossing back and forth across the fall line.  

FIS. Federation Internationale de Ski, the International Ski Federation, made up of almost a hundred national ski federations around the world, headquartered at Oberhofen/Thunersee, Switzerland.

Flying Sitzmark. In deep snow, with a modicum of speed, the skier launched  airborne from between both poles, kicked the skis forward and vertical, typically  in an X-configuration, and landed with his rear end first in the deep stuff, leaving a giant sitzmark in the snow.

Four-way Skier. One who competed in downhill, slalom, cross-country and jumping. The four-way champion was often called Skimeister. (See Skimeister.)

Frontside. The frontside of the snowboard is the side where the rider’s toes sit.

Grab. To hold the edge of the snowboard with one or both hands while airborne.

Halfpipe. A vertical U-shaped structure sculpted from snow. Snowboarders and skiers use the opposing walls of the halfpipe to get air and perform tricks as they travel downhill. At ski areas, specially designed grooming machines are used to make halfpipes.

Jib. In snowboarding, to ride on something other than snow --- e.g. rails, trees, garbage cans, logs.

Garland. A teaching exercise used to develop skill in unweighting and edging the skis. The skis are alternately slipped downhill and traversed, without the skier making a turn.

Gate event. Refers to a slalom or giant slalom race. A gate or technical skier specializes in slalom and giant slalom, in contrast to the speed competitions of downhill and Super G.

Gelandesprung. A powerful jump off a bump or a built-up jump, executed by the skier using both poles and often spreading his legs in mid-air.

Geschmozell, Geschmozzle. A downhill competition, in which all the racers started at the same time. The practice was abandoned for most of the 20th Century, but was revived with the popularity early in the 21st Century of skier-cross and boarder-cross races.

Goofy, Goofy-Footed. In snowboarding, riding with the right foot in front instead of the left foot, which is the normal stance

Graduated Length Method (GLM). A system of teaching in which the pupil progressed from shorter to longer skis.

Hairpin. In slalom, two gates set vertically down the hill and close together.

Heel side. The edge of the snowboard under the rider’s heels.

Herringbone. A technique for climbing the hill by putting the skis on edge in a vee-configuration, with the tips fanned outward. The skier walks up the hill on alternating feet while edging to avoid slipping backwards. The pattern left in the snow resembles the skeleton of a fish.

High Back Boot. See Jet Sticks.

Huck. In snowboarding, freeskiing and a variety of other sports, to fling the body into the air -- that is, to launch a jump. A huckfest is a big-air contest, formal or informal. 

Inside ski. In a turn, the skis describe an arc or partial circumference of a circle. The inside ski is the one closer to the circle’s center. At the start of the turn it is the downhill ski; at the weight transfer it becomes the unweighted ski, and at the turn’s conclusion, it has become the uphill ski.

IOC. International Olympic Committee is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC recognizes the FIS as the official governing body for the sports of skiing and snowboarding.

ISHA. International Skiing History Association publishes a bimonthly journal, Skiing History (formerly Skiing Heritage), and operates the most extensive website about the sport’s history. Office and subscription services at the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, Mich.

Jet Sticks, Jet Stix. Beginning around 1966, the French introduced an aggressive style of slalom skiing called avalement, which depended in part on storing energy in the stiff tail of the ski, then releasing it for acceleration. To aid in loading the tail, racers began experimenting with ways to build up the back
of their leather and plastic boots, using tongue depressors, aluminum plate, fiberglass, duct tape -- anything that fell to hand.  By 1969, most boot manufacturers responded by offering plastic "spoilers" to build up the back of the boot.  An aftermarket option was Jet Stix, a set of spoilers with a buckle strap which could be attached to any pair of classic ankle-height boots.

Kicker, Kicker Jump. Steeply built jump designed to hurtle the freestyle aerialist vertically into the air, making possible flips and various inverted aerial stunts. By contrast, the lip of a classic nordic jump is designed to maximize the jumper’s horizontal distance.

Klister. An extremely sticky or tacky wax enabling cross country skis to grip and glide on warm, wet or frozen granular spring snow. 

Kofix. One of the early brand names for a polyethylene laminate bonded on to the ski’s base to form its running surface.

Langlauf. German word for cross-country skiing.

Laniere. Shorter version of the long thong (see below).

Long Thong. A leather strap used by racers and good skiers until the 1960s to hold the foot securely on the ski and to strengthen the leather boot’s lateral support of the ankle. As long as six feet and wrapped around the boot, the long thong attached to steel rings on the sides of the ski, or it was threaded through a mortise drilled through the wooden ski under the foot.

Lift Line. A line of skiers waiting to get on a lift. Long lift lines are synonymous with waiting a long time in the lift line. The term lift line also refers to the cut through the trees where the lift ascends the mountain.

Massif. A mass or group of summits.

Mid-entry Boot. A design usually incorporating an overlap lower shell to provide accurate shell fit, and a hinged upper cuff that opens wide for easy entry and exit. Mid-entry boots were aimed at intermediate skiers who wanted a more precise fit than was available with rear-entry boots, but who didn't want to wrestle with the stiff flaps of an overlap racing boot. (See also overlap boot, and rear-entry boot.)

Mogul. A bump formed as a result of skiers repeatedly turning in the same place.

Moraine. A ridge formed of boulders, rocks and gravel pushed downhill or aside by a glacier and left behind after the glacier's retreat. A terminal moraine appears at the end of the glacier; lateral moraines at its sides.

NSAA, National Ski Areas Association. A trade association of more than 400 mostly U.S. ski areas, headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.

NSPS, National Ski Patrol System. Association of ski patrolmen and women, headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.

Nordic Combined. The result of competitors racing cross-country and jumping. Distance and style in the jumping event and times in the cross-country event, were converted into points. Beginning in 1968 in Norwegian meets, and then in the mid 1980s in international meets, the finish order in the jumping event established the starting order in the cross-country race. The first man crossing the finish line in the cross-country race wins the Combined.

Off-piste. Terrain that is not on a prepared slope. See piste.

Outside ski. (See inside ski.)

Overlap boot.  A plastic boot into which the foot is inserted as it would be into a conventional work boot or old-fashioned leather ski boot -- that is, through the top of the cuff.  Overlap boots typically consist of a lower shell with overlapping flaps over the instep, which are closed tightly around the foot with over-center buckles. A hinged upper cuff with overlapping flaps in front of the lower shin closes tightly around the ankle and lower leg with over-center buckles and velcro straps for maximum control of a high-performance ski. The stiff plastic flaps can be difficult to flex for entry and exit.

Piste. French word for trail or track or groomed slope.

Platterpull, Poma lift. A stick with a round, flat disk is attached at its other end to a moving steel cable. To ride uphill, the skier inserts the stick between his or her legs, with the flat disk placed behind his or her derriere. The other end of the stick mechanically grabs the moving cable and the rider is pulled along the snow uphill. The platterpull is often called a Poma lift, after the name of its inventor Pomagalski.

Polish Donut. In freestyle, a variant of the Worm Turn. Skier, usually while traversing, suddenly sat down to the side of the skis, raised them sufficiently to clear the snow, and spun around in a full circle before continuing.

Pre-jump. A technique for reducing the tendency to become airborne when confronting a bump or terrain irregularity. The skier jumps before reaching the bump or drop-off, skims over its top and lands on the downhill side.

PSIA, Professional Ski Instructors of America. National association of certified ski instructors, headquartered in Lakewood, Colo.

Rappel. Descending a mountain on a rope using braking devices. In English, it translates as "to slow" or "brake." German: abseil. Frequently misspelled as "repel."

Rear-entry boot. A plastic boot into which the foot was inserted through a "door" or flap at the back. The main shell was seamless, and the rear flap was  secured with over-center buckles or ratcheting straps. The advantage of the rear-entry boot was that it was easy and quick to get in and out of. The disadvantage was that the shell didn't close accurately around the foot. Aggressive skiers and magazine testers found the rear-entry boot inadequate for performance skiing, and it went from the most widely sold boot in the 1980s to one that is almost unavailable in shops.

Reuel (Royal) or Flying Christie. Moving in a traverse, the skier picks up the lower ski and angles it downhill toward the fall line. The turn is done with the weight entirely on the inside or uphill ski, the opposite of what is considered “normal” skiing. For greater spectator effect, the last ski to leave the snow is raised into various positions such as a T-position or back-scratcher. Named for the freestyle pioneer Fritz Reuel (pron. royal).

Schuss, Schussing. To ski without making turns or checking speed. From the German word meaning gun shot, rush, rapid movement.

SIA. SnowSports Industries America, formerly Ski Industries America, a trade association of equipment and clothing manufacturers and distributors, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

Shaped Skis. Skis with an emphatic or exaggerated sidecut. Over a period of several years since the 1990s, “shaped” skis have come to be the norm and represent the bulk of current ski sales. Future technological advances could change this in unforeseeable ways.

Sidecut. The linear curved side shape of a ski that facilitates its turning when the ski is on edge. Sidecut, or side camber, causes a ski, viewed from the top or bottom, to resemble a wasp shape. It is wider toward the tip or shovel of the ski, narrow at the waist, and flares again at the tail.

Short Swing. A series of short, tight turns executed down the fall line. Called wedeln in German and godille in French.

Shred. In snowboarding, to tear up the terrain.

Sitzmark. A term used to describe the depression in the snow left by a fallen skier. 

Skier Cross. A giant slalom type sprint with bumps and mounded curves, in which a half-dozen competitors start simultaneously (see Geschmozzel), and the winner crosses the finish line first. Top finishers from each heat move on to the next round.  The event is patterned after motocross racing.

Skier-day, Skier-visit. One skier or snowboarder participating one day at a ski area. The skier-day is the most common measure used by ski areas to measure the volume of their business.

Skijoring. A skier holding a rope is pulled along the snow by a horse, snowmobile or four-wheel vehicle. Popular activity in the 1930s.

Ski Flying. Ski jumping on a jumping hill rated greater than 120 meters. On March 20, 2005, Finnish ski flyer Matti Hautamaki jumped 235.5 meters, a distance of 772.7 feet.

Skimeister. German word meaning an all-round proficient skier in both alpine and nordic. A skimeister was the winner of a four-way competition involving slalom, downhill, cross country and jumping. (See Four-way). The term Snowmeister was used in 1995 to describe the winner of a competition involving skiing and snowboarding.

Serac. A tower of ice, found among glaciers, and often spectacular in appearance.

Scree. Rocky debris on mountainsides.

Sick. Expression for something radically good.

Slab. Layer of compacted or frozen snow that creates the potential snow lying on top of it to avalanche.

Slow Dog Noodle. Skier rode up a steep side of a mogul to dissipate speed while assuming an exaggerated sitting back position. At the crest of the mogul and while still crouching, with skis now balanced directly on the crest, the skier swiveled the skis. The slower the motion, the more perfect the execution.
Snowplow, Wedge. Going straight down the hill or making slow turns with the skis in a vee configuration -- tips pointed in, tails fanned out.

Steepness, Pitch. The gradient of a slope’s steepness can be determined by two measures – degrees or percent. Percentage – the figure commonly used by ski areas -- is determined by dividing the vertical height of the slope by its horizontal distance. For a hill that drops 20 vertical feet and projects out by 100 feet, the division yields .20 and the hill is said to have a 20% gradient, equal to a steepness of 11 degrees. A hill with a 60-foot drop and projecting out 100 feet has a 60% grade and a 31-degree steepness. A 100% slope is 45 degrees steep, dropping one foot for every horizontal foot. Beyond that steepness, snow has difficulty holding and only the most extreme skiing is performed. About 70 percent of the terrain at ski areas falls between 15% and 40% of grade, according to the ski area design consultant, the late Jim Branch.

Stem, Stemming. Technique for slowing speed. (See snowplow, Christie.)

Super-Diagonal. A 1940s rubber strap that attached to hooks on the ski’s sidewall and that stretched around the ankle to hold the boot heel firmly in place.

Switch. In snowboarding, to ride with the tail of the board in front.

Team event. The oldest team event in skiing is the cross country relay race involving four competitors, with men racing a 10-kilometer leg and women 5 kilometers. In the Olympics and FIS World Championships, all members of the first, second and third-place relay teams win medals. Beginning in 1982, team competitions were introduced in jumping and Nordic Combined.

Technical racer. See Gate event.

Telepherique. French word for an aerial tramway and cable car. Most telepheriques are jigbacks, in which two large cabins are suspended from cables; as one goes up, the other comes down. 

Telemark turn. The outside ski of the turn is advanced forward and is stemmed, with the knee bent, causing the skis to change direction. Requires use of bindings that allow the skier’s heel to be raised. 

Three Sixty. An airborne skier doing a complete 360-degree rotation.

Tip Drop. See Backscratcher.  

Tip Roll. The skier traversed the slope, and with both poles held close together he suddenly jabbed them into the snow on the uphill side of the ski tips. Skier then vaulted with stiff arms, pivoting on the ski tips, and swung the skis in a 180-degree arc so they landed pointing in a direction opposite to the original direction of travel. In a 360-degree Tip Roll, the skis were whirled around in the air so as to land in the original direction of travel.

Top-entry boot. See overlap boot.

Torsion. The resistance of a ski to being twisted along its length. Skis with high torsional resistance (or torsional stiffness) set an edge into the snow more quickly, especially at the tip and tail. Skis with softer torsion set an edge into the snow less emphatically, and can feel more forgiving. 

Track!  A verbal shout or warning by a descending skier to a person below. “Track left” indicates that the overcoming skier intends to pass the person on his or her left; “Track Right,” on the right. The skier above is responsible for avoiding the skier below.

Tracking. Ability of a ski to hold a line in straight running.

Transition. A change in ski terrain, as in going from a flat area to a steep pitch, or going from steep to flat.

Turntable. A binding heelpiece which holds down the heel while allowing the boot to swivel when the toepiece rotates.

Twin tip. Skis turned up at both ends. A snowboard’s nose and tail are shaped identically, so the board rides equally well in both directions.

Unweighting. Taking varying amounts of weight off of the skis to manipulate and control pressure. There are four types of ‘unweighting’: (1) Up-unweighting, produced at the end of the turn with a rapid upward extension of the body. (2) Down-unweighting, produced by a rapid downward flexion of the body. (3) Terrain-unweighting, produced by using the terrain to help unweight the skis. (4) Rebound-unweighting, produced by the energetic force of the skis ‘decambering’ at the end of a turn. Up-unweighting was the classic technique employed for years to get weight off the skis so that they could be twisted or pivoted in the direction of the turn. It allows a flattened ski to be steered more readily.  

Uphill ski. (See inside ski.)

Vertical drop. The difference in elevation between the top of ski run and the bottom; the difference in elevation between the summit of a ski resort and its base; or between the top of a specific lift and its base. A resort typically advertises its vertical as the elevation change from the top of its highest lift to the base of its lowest.

Wedge turn. (See Snowplow, Christie).

Windmilling. Flailing-about of a ski after the binding releases. At one time, skiers wore “safety straps” so that when a ski released it wouldn’t take off downhill at high speed and become a potential source of injury to other skiers. The trouble was that the windmilling ski attached by the safety strap could seriously injure and cut the falling skier. With the invention of the safety brake  -- a double prong that snaps downward and prevents the released ski from sliding – the safety strap was no longer needed and the danger of windmilling was eliminated.

Worm Turn. At a slow moderate speed, skier headed straight down the fall line, lay back on the skis, rolled over like a log, then stood up to continue downhill.


(c)2006 John Fry, all rights reserved, not for reproduction.