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Decoding the Snowboard Scene: Park Rat Slang Explained

Published on 06/22/2023 · 9 min readIf you've hung out much around terrain parks, you'll know that there's a whole different language that comes with being in the park. Use this as your dictionary!
By Snowboarding Expert Gaelen Mast

Snowboarder: Rob Roethler. Photo by Cam Zavell

Getting into freestyle in the terrain park can be quite an overwhelming experience. There’s metal in the ground, people are flying through the air, there’s seemingly a free-for-fall for who goes next, and foreign-sounding terms are being thrown around left and right.

Terrain park lingo is confusing. That’s the simplest way to put it. Many of the terms you will probably never hear outside the park, and it can feel like learning a new language when you first get into the park scene. This is why, after the past six years of primarily riding park, I've compiled a list of the most common terrain park lingo you will undoubtedly encounter.

This is by no means a master list, and you’ll surely learn more terminology as you spend more time in the terrain park. But this list will be enough to get you started, so you don’t feel like a complete outsider when you first get into park riding. Enjoy!

Common Terrain Park Lingo (Alphabetical):

Air: The act of getting your skis or snowboard into the air by any means.

  • “They caught some nice air off the jump in the park.”

Backside spin/Back: When a snowboard rotates clockwise in the air.

  • “That was such a sick back 1 you just did!”

Banger: When someone does an especially difficult and/or impressive trick on their skis or snowboard.

  • “That last trick in his Instagram video was a banger!”

Boned out: When a rider straightens out their front leg in midair for extra style.

  • “They boned out that air so much!”

Bonk: When a rider or skier intentionally bashes the nose or tail of their snowboard or skis off of an object; a type of trick.

  • “The snowboarder bonked the top of the tree stump with their tail.”

Boost/Boosted: When a rider or skier gets an impressive amount of air.

  • “They boosted that jump so far!”

Brick: An especially cold day with firm or hard snow.

  • “Yo, conditions are brick today.”

Butter/Buttering: Any combo of presses and spins, typically without leaving the ground.

  • “Let’s go ride that long, mellow groomer over there! It’s great for buttering!”

Buttery: A snowboarder or skier with smooth style.

  • “The way they hit those rails was so buttery!”

Chatter: When a snowboard or skis vibrate, particularly at the tips, from high speed.

  • “My board was chattering so much as I went into that jump!”

Clean: When a rider or skier performs the entirety of a trick smoothly.

  • “Yooo, that air off the jump was so clean!”

Cork/Corked: When a rider or skier performs a spin in the air off-axis, or partially inverted.

  • “Yooo, that air they just did was so corked out!”

Deep: When a rider or skier lands much further than necessary past the knuckle of a jump.

  • “They hit that jump with so much speed and landed super deep!”

Duck footed: When both bindings are facing outwards; a common stance for park riders.

  • “Their bindings are duck footed so they can ride in the park better.”

Frontside spin/Front: When a snowboarder rotates counter-clockwise in the air.

  • “You’ve totally got a front 1 off that jump!”

Features: Any sort of obstacles meant to do tricks on, such as jumps, boxes, or rails.

  • “The new features in the terrain park are so much fun!”

Gaper: Someone who pretends to be better at skiing or snowboarding than they are.

  • “That guy claims he can do a backflip, but he definitely can’t. What a gaper!”

Gnarly: When a skier or rider is skillful and performs difficult tricks.

  • “Did you see that last trick they did!? That guy is so gnarly!”

Grab: When a person grabs their skis or snowboard while in the air.

  • “Throw a grab in there next time you hit the jump!”

Greased: When a rail or box slides particularly well.

  • “That rail is so nice today! It’s super greased.”

Grom: A young skier or snowboarder.

  • “The groms are out and shredding today!”

Hoon: When a person is riding or skiing aggressively and fully committing to their tricks.

  • “The instructor told his client they had to hoon if they wanted to hit the jump correctly.”

Invert/Inverted: When a rider or a skier performs a trick in which they are upside down.

  • “They got inverted when they threw that flip off the jump!”

Jerry: Someone who lacks the necessary skills and/or self-awareness to navigate the terrain park but attempts to do so anyhow.

  • “That guy sitting on the rails over there is such a jerry!”

Jibbing: The act of riding your snowboard or skis on something other than snow.

  • “That picnic table looks super fun for jibbing!”

Kicker: A jump in the park.

  • “The new kicker in the park is so much fun!”

Kicky: When a jump sends you higher into the air than expected.

  • “Careful, that new jump is super kicky!”

Knuckle: The curved area of a roller where the flat meets a downhill; the place you want to land beyond to “clear” the jump.

  • “Make sure you take enough speed off that jump to clear the knuckle!”

Line: When a snowboarder or skier performs multiple tricks on multiple features in a row.

  • Okay, so for my line, I’m going to hit that first jump and then hit the rail right after it.”

Lip: The very top of a jump or ramp, where a person begins to pop their skis or snowboard.

  • “Make sure you don’t pop until you reach the lip on that jump!”

Nollie: A snowboard trick to get into the air by first lifting the back leg and springing off the front leg, and then leveling out both legs in the air and landing evenly.

  • “You’ve got your ollies down. Now, try a nollie!

Ollie: A snowboard trick to get into the air by first lifting the front leg and springing off the back leg, and then leveling out both legs in the air and landing evenly.

  • “Make sure you have your ollies down before you try to hop on any rails!”

Press/Nose press: When a person lifts the nose or tail of their snowboard or skis off the ground and holds it in this position while riding, particularly on a rail or box.

  • “Did you see that? They just tail pressed across the whole box!”

Pretzel/Pretz: A trick in which a skier or rider spins one way onto a box or rail and then spins in the opposite direction off of the feature (270° rotation or more off of the feature).

  • “Yeah, so I’m thinking of doing a boardslide pretz out on that flat bar in the park!”

Rut/Rutted out: When the snow of the run-up or landing of a feature has a rut in it from excessive use throughout the day.

  • “The landing to that rail is so rutted out.”

Rocketed: When a person does not level out their snowboard or skis in midair, and the nose remains higher than the rest of the board/skis.

  • “Make sure you don’t rocket your air if you want to land right!”

Send it: When someone commits fully, especially to a scary trick.

  • “The only way you’re going to hit that jump is if you just send it!”

Side hitting: When a person rides off the side of a lip without actually hitting the feature it was intended for; a great way to make enemies.

  • “That team of ski racers just side hit that lip and totally destroyed it!”

Sideways: When a person slides their board or skis sideways on a rail or box.

  • “That rail is super fun! You can totally get sideways on it!”

Sketch/Sketchy: 1. When a trick is not landed well, where the rider doesn’t perform it smoothly and possibly almost falls. 2. When a feature appears unsafe.

  • “The way they hit that rail was so sketch!” “That jump is so sketchy right now!”

Snake: When** **someone cuts you off.

  • “That little kid just snaked me as I was about to hit the jump!”

Speed check: A quick turn to quickly reduce speed while riding or skiing.

  • “They did a quick speed check when coming into the jump, so they didn’t hit it too fast.”

Spin: When a person rotates in the air.

  • “Yooo, next time you hit that jump, try to throw a spin on it!”

Step-up: A type of jump where the landing zone is above the takeoff.

  • “Make sure you take a ton of speed into that jump. It’s a step-up!”

Steez/Steezy: Admiration; when someone makes a trick look particularly easy and/or smooth.

  • “That snowboarder is just so steezy on their board!”

Sticky: A rail or a box that doesn’t slide well and slows you down.

  • “Make sure you take a lot of speed into that rail. It’s pretty sticky today.”

Stoked: Intense excitement and/or happiness.

  • “I am so stoked to hit the park tomorrow!”

Stomp: When someone lands a trick particularly well.

  • “That guy just stomped that jump!”

Table-top: A type of jump that has a flat surface connecting the takeoff and landing.

  • “The new table-top jump is super fun! Just make sure you clear the table!”

Taco: When a person falls over a rail in such a way that their body folds over it like a taco shell.

  • “Ohhh, I just taco'd on that rail so hard!”

Tube: A feature in the park that resembles a circular rail but is significantly wider.

  • “Yooo, that new down tube in the terrain park is great!”

Tweaked: The act of pushing the board forward or backwards while in the air, typically down for extra style points.

  • “I just tweaked out that air so much!”

1, 3, 5, 7, 9: Abbreviations for the amount of rotations a skier or rider does in the air: 180°, 360°, 540°, 720°, 900°.

  • “I just did the best front 3 of my life off that jump!”

50-50: When a snowboarder rides straight across a box or rail.

  • “If you’re just starting out, try a 50-50 across that box.”

Now that you’re familiar with the lingo you’ll most commonly hear park rats use, you’re all ready to head into the terrain park, or are you? Being able to talk like a park rat is one thing, being able to ride like one is another. Having the skills to ride freestyle is something you’ll have to learn on your own time, but let’s not forget that having the right equipment is also essential. Luckily for you, you can connect with a Snowboard Expert on Curated! Let us know what you’re looking for (“Hi I want to get wicked good at park”) and get personalized gear recommendations in minutes, all for free! It’s that easy to get your hands on the right ski or snowboard gear and live out your park rat dreams!

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Gaelen Mast, Snowboarding Expert
Gaelen Mast
Snowboarding Expert
FYI: I'm not a salesman or a robot! I've been snowboarding for 11 years and work at a snowboard shop in Colorado. Send me a message if you want me to pick out some gear for you!.Consider me a resource on your snowboard gear hunt for any and all questions!
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Written by:
Gaelen Mast, Snowboarding Expert
Gaelen Mast
Snowboarding Expert
FYI: I'm not a salesman or a robot! I've been snowboarding for 11 years and work at a snowboard shop in Colorado. Send me a message if you want me to pick out some gear for you!.Consider me a resource on your snowboard gear hunt for any and all questions!
175 Reviews
7593 Customers helped

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