Now that ski season is in full swing, why not brush up on your ski knowledge? Here is an alphabetical list of terms, fun facts and other random tidbits about skiing.


A – Alpine skiing:
Also referred to as downhill skiing. This is what most people think of when they picture skiing—cruising and carving down the slopes.  

B – Bernard of Montjoux:
The patron saint of skiers, mountaineers and the Alps. He was canonized as a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1923. He built a monastery and a hospice for travelers in the Swiss Alps now known as the Great St. Bernard Pass. And yes, the dogs are also named after him.

C – Chamonix, France:
The home of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. There were only sixteen events, which included various cross-country skiing events and ski jumping.

D – DIN setting:
Settings on the ski bindings that allow for release if the skier has a bad crash. DIN stands for “Deutsches Institut für Normung” (“German Institute for Standardization”).  

E – Egypt:
Believe it or not, you can actually ski in Egypt. Ski Egypt, one of the few ski parks in all of Africa, is an indoor park attached to Mall of Egypt and features ski slopes where you can take ski lessons, go snow tubing, bobsledding and much more.

F – Fischer:
Named after Josef Fischer who started producing skis in 1924, Fischer is an Austrian sporting goods company that produces both Alpine and cross-country skis and gear.

G – Goggles:
A necessary part of your ski gear, goggles will not only keep your eyes protected during unexpected crashes, but they will also keep your vision safe from the bright sun. Be sure you pick out a lens color that will work with the conditions you are most likely to experience.

H – Hardpack:
Snow that is pressed down as tightly as it can be to create a smoother surface that is great for skiing at high speeds.

I – Ivan Origone:
An Italian speed skier who broke the ski speed world record at Vars in 2016 by skiing at 254.958 km/h (158.424 mph).

J – Jib:
Skiing across a surface that is not covered in snow, such as on a box or rail at the park.

K – K2:
A popular American ski company founded in 1962, K2 paved the way in producing fiberglass skis that were lighter than the traditional wood and metal skis that were popular at the time.

L – Lindsey Vonn:
An Alpine ski racer from Saint Paul, Minnesota who won gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

M – Mammoth Mountain:
A lava dome mountain in California that is popular for skiing and can accumulate up to 400 inches of snow per year.

N – Norway:
The country where skiing originated!

O – Off-Piste:
A snowy area away from the groomed slopes.

P – Pizza:
Slang term for “snowplow” which is a beginner’s technique for slowing down by bringing the tips of the skis together and apply pressure to the inner edges of the skis.

Q – Quebec:
Yeah…it’s hard to find something that starts with a Q. There are many ski resorts in Quebec, though, that offer stunning scenery and numerous slopes and trails perfect for exploring on your skis.

R – Rossignol:
Established in 1907, Rossignol is one of the original ski brands. They produce both alpine and cross-country skis as well as snowboards and clothing for both men and women.

(Check out this list of the top ten ski brands)

S – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
The author of the famous Sherlock Holmes books, but more importantly for this blog, the man who popularized skiing in Switzerland.

T – Tips:
The front end of the skis. Many companies work to make this part of the ski lighter (e.g. Rossignol’s Air Tip technology) so that they are easier to maneuver.

U – U.S. Ski & Snowboard:
Formerly known as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), this organization is headquartered in Park City, Utah and coordinates ski and snowboard programs and Olympic training.

V – Vertical drop:
The vertical distance from the top the bottom of the slope.

W – Wax:
Don’t even think about hitting the slopes before putting a fresh coat of wax on your skis. Wax helps skis to glide faster and turn more easily.

X – XC skiing:
Also written as “cross-country skiing.” Instead of cruising down a slope, skiers use thinner skis to travel down trails using a kick-and-glide motion. There are different styles of XC skis including skate, classic, backcountry and more.

Y – Yard sale:
When a skier crashes and in the process, loses his or her gear around the slope.

Z – Zermatt:
A city in Swiss Alps that is a popular European skiing destination.

Ready for your next trip? Pack with the help of our ski trip checklist!


As always, don’t forget to check out our ski shop with both men’swomen’s and kids’ skis along with ski clothing, accessories and other gear so that you’re set for your next trip to the slopes or the trails this season.

2021-07-29T22:02:17+00:00November 27th, 2018|

About the Author:

My name is Emily, and I live in Saint Paul, MN. I’ve loved being in, on, or near the water for as long as I can remember, whether it’s swimming, tubing, water skiing or even just hiking along the shore. I love paddleboarding because of how versatile and easy it is to learn. One of my goals in life is to paddleboard around as many Minnesota lakes as I can. I love canoeing and kayaking as well. Last summer, I got to kayak a glacier water lake in Alaska, which was super fun. Speaking of Alaska, I enjoy traveling whenever I get the opportunity and am pretty good at fitting a lot of clothes in a small suitcase. I’m an English graduate, so if you need me, I’m probably drinking my fourth cup of coffee and fixing whatever grammar mistakes I can find.

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