Freestyle Skiing/snowboarding is one of the fastest growing extreme sports on the planet and with its recent induction to the Olympics the media focus is the highest it has ever been.
Whether participating or spectating you will often here words and phrases that are unique to the world of freestyle. In our last blog we talked about learning to Snowboard in one of the afternoons where your children are off in our Childcare. But if you are going to walk the walk, you have to talk the talk!
Tranny or Transition as it used to be known, is the curved part of a kicker or landing. ‘Hitting the tranny’ correctly makes for a smooth take-off or landing and if done right can make the rider look effortless no matter how high or far he has travelled.
This is a trick that a rider would do in a box or rail. Aiming his/hers weight on either the nose or tail creates a ‘press’. This also narrows the centre of balance making is an intermediate level and above trick.
A cab is where a rider performs a trick whilst in switch.
Switch is the name given to a rider riding backwards, or in their un-natural stance.
A grab is where the rider grabs his/her board/skis. There are many different grabs that a rider can perform on most apparatus in the park that cover a very wide skill range. Some grabs such as a ‘mute’ or ‘method’ a novice freestyle rider can perform whereas grabs such as a ‘truck driver’ or ‘octograb’ require a highly skilled rider to execute them correctly. Combining grabs with other tricks such as flips or spins is what makes a rider original and unique to other riders. It’s what allows expression to be displayed in a rider’s style.
Spins are usually referred to by the degrees in the rotation that is executed. For example one complete spin would be a 360 degree rotation and so is referred to as a 360, two spins a ‘720’, two and a half spins a ‘900’ and so on. The biggest spin landed in competition is a 1620!
Front Flips and Backflips are somewhat of a holy grail for an intermediate freestyler. Although scary at first they are relatively easy but look very impressive in the park!
The clue is in the name again! Imagine a drain pipe cut in half horizontally so you are left with a long ‘U’ shape. Now make this out of snow around 20 foot high and 40 foot wide and you got yourself a half pipe! Its original roots belong to the skate and BMX world but is very much at home in the snow sports world now as well, especially as it was the first event to be included in the Olympics in 1998.
Much like the name suggests this is a man-made ‘box’ like feature found in most parks usually made from metal and comes in a range of different shapes. Its purpose is for the rider to slide along the top of the ‘box’ performing different kinds of slides. A rider can then combine these slides with a trick onto the ‘box’ and a trick off the ‘box’. This type of apparatus is a favourite for beginners because it doesn’t require much balance and is a great place to start learning different combinations if you are intermediate level and above. ‘Boxes’ can range in size, angle and elevation to make them more difficult and challenging.
Similar to the ‘Box’, this piece of apparatus is for a rider to ‘slide’ along. However this is more of an advanced piece of equipment because of its shape. Like the name suggests it is based on a handrail you would find in your local town and is spherical in shape. This makes it much harder and technical to perform tricks on as it requires the rider to have good balance and be very precise with his/her entry angle.
This is the name given to the take-off of a jump. It is the part which will shoot or kick the rider into the air where he/she can then perform tricks.
This is an expert level piece of equipment found in some parks. It is a large man-made wall, usually made of tough plastic and at a 100 degree bank, where a rider can slide/grind. This opens up a new range of tricks on and off the wall ride as it is un-natural to stop your rotation at an angle other than upright and takes a lot of practice to get right.
Gaper - The name given to a tourist or complete novice who has no interest in the park but decides to ski through it anyway
Park Rat - A person who is in the park every minute of every day, even on powder days. Usually found wearing a triple XL hoody
Yard Sale - When a rider crashes so hard his goggles, skis, hat, gloves and just about everything else fly off and looks like someone’s having a yard sale
Steeze - A word made up by combining 2 other words, style and ease. Steeze is when a rider performs a trick with lots of style and made it look easy. The word ‘Steeze’ has recently evolved and can be used to refer to a person’s look and/or appearance.
So there we are! Now not only can you look like you can snowboard, you can sound like you do too!