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
Pre-release [Pree Ree-leeuhs] noun: When skis release from one’s foot before or during a trick, turn, or drop. Can be applied to any form of skiing or unfortunate post-après boudoir activity.
Suzy Chapstick [Soo-zee Chahp-stihk] noun: As the face of ballet skiing in the seventies, Suzy Chaffee was the ski-bunny pinup of the hot dog era. Once she signed on with Ford Models and found herself a big-time lip balm endorsement deal, the sobriquet “Suzy Chapstick” was born. Onscreen stardom came with a cameo in the critically acclaimed film Ski Lift to Death, and sauced-up suitors like Ted Kennedy soon followed. In addition to “serving” under a senator, Suzy served under four presidents as a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.
Texas Tuck [Tehx-uhs Tuhk] noun: At the height of World Cup skiing’s popularity, the Cold War spilled out onto the slopes as Eastern Bloc skiers tried to avenge the USSR’s loss to the American hockey team at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Many speculated that the East German women’s World Cup downhill team included a few male competitors. The unique procedure used by these “he/shes” to maintain a gender-neutral form in their speed suits was coined the “Texas Tuck” by Alberto Tomba.
Iron Cross [I-ruhn Krohs] noun: An award given to the member of the F.I.S. (Fédération International de Ski) that imposes the most hardships upon the sport of snowboarding.
Touring Ski [Toor-ihng Skee] noun: Touring skis are a holdover from the sport’s counterculture roots. In the mid 1960s, “high” country hippies who couldn’t afford to follow the Grateful Dead on tour would opt to ski from show to show, miracle-ing tickets in exchange for weed cookies and free hot waxes.
Acroski [Akk-roh-skee] noun: From the late 1960s until the mid 1990s, the unfortunate spectators of ski ballet competitions (later re-named “acroskiing”) were treated to choreographed ski-dance routines combining flips, rolls, pole pivots, and pirouettes performed to music. Ironically enough, the root origin of “acro” means “height,” which was not incorporated in this highly suspect recreation, begging the question, “Why the fuck did they rename it acroskiing?”
Skins [Skihnnz] noun: Essential to ski touring and mountaineering, “skins” were originally made out of actual seal skin, hence the name. Because of the seal’s slanted fur (or “nap”), it allowed the traverser to climb up a hill without sliding back down. Though most modern-day skins are composed of mohair, nylon, or plastic, skiers must still feel a stinging pang of guilt every time one of those innocent, doe-eyed, doughy rascals gets clubbed into a cuddly, coagulated pile of brain matter. This is why we should all boycott the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Go to olympicshame2010.com for the shocking truth. Seriously.
Stem Christie [Stehm Krihss-tee] noun: The Stem Christie is a beginner’s turning technique named after Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway, where parallel turns were called “Kristianiasving.” When executing the maneuver, a skier starts with parallel skis, then “stems” (slows down) the outer ski, and finishes by sliding the inner ski back into a parallel position.
Super G [Soo-puhrr Geee] noun: An abbreviation for Super Giant Slalom skiing, Super G is a “speed” discipline (along with Downhill), whereas Slalom and Giant Slalom are “technical” disciplines. It involves skiing between widely-spaced gates like the Giant Slalom, but with fewer turns over a longer course while achieving higher speeds, as in Downhill. To maximize aerodynamics, participants wear skintight spandex speed suits that break wind, yet really hold in the stink.
This content was originally published in SNOWBOARDER’s October 2009 issue.