The Cool Factor: Snowboard Slang You Need to Know

We are knee-deep in snow this time of year at Big Bear Lake. Whether you are a beginner or a pro at snowboarding, it’s never too late to become cool by learning the latest lingo and snowboard slang. Read up on our snowboard slang glossary to keep you cool this winter.

snowboard slang
Read up on our snowboard slang glossary to keep you cool this winter at Big Bear Lake.

It’s Just a Board

We understand it is a snowboard and you are going snowboarding. But if you are learning the lingo, it’s a board and you are going boarding. Got it? Good. Let’s continue. Need a board? Our friends at Get Boards in Big Bear Lake can hook you up and have all the apparel and accessories you need for your boarding trip. Big Bear Frontier guests receive exclusive discounted lift tickets, plus quality ski and snowboard rentals.


In snowboard slang, shred is a term used “to do snowboarding to your fullest potential on difficult or challenging terrain.” Gnarly, right? If you do not know what that means, see below.


Gnarly, or gnar, is an old-school slang term still used today for riding the terrain on your board. “Shredding the gnar” is a popular term you will hear on the slopes.


A newer slang variation, radgnar is a contraction of gnarly and radical that will impress board friends and make old surfing dudes cringe.

Rail Parks

Rail parks are snowboarding parks with rail options to ride. So if you are going to “ride the rails,” you are heading to a rail park.


Lifties are people whom operate ski lifts. We do not recommend calling them lifties to their faces though or you may not get a ride to the top.


If you do not know powder is snow, you have a lot to learn here.


Pow is the slang term for fresh powder, or fresh snow. If someone is looking to “shred some pow,” they are anxious to go boarding in the fresh fallen snow. Don’t worry. You will get the hang of this.


No, do not wear corduroy pants to the rail park for fear of being laughed at. In this instance, corduroy is referenced to describe fresh snow that has thin lines in it on the ground, just like the lines in corduroy pants. Call it cords for short and your board slang is greatly improving.

snowboard slang big bear
Enjoy the Big Bear Lake boarding season this winter on the slopes.


You might dump your significant other, but in board lingo, dumping refers to a heavy, thick snowfall that makes for excellent boarding conditions.


If you are traversing the slope on your board, you are boarding across the slope from one side to the other without heading straight down the slope.


Carving involves cutting into the snow so well with the edges of your board that the board does not slide sideways.

Jib, Jibbing and Jibbers

To jib is to ride a board across another surface like a rail or a fallen log. The art of jibbing is utilizing this freestyle method. If you enjoy jibbing, you are referred to as a jibber.


No one is bailing you out of anywhere in the board world. On the slopes, a bail means you fell on your board, wiped out or bit it. Big time.


If you enjoy backcountry boarding, you like to head off the beaten path and secluded places on the slopes to do your own thing.


A kicker is another word for jump. Boarders kick in the air to perform a trick before landing back on the snow. When you are kicking, you are also “getting air” or getting some “serious air time.”


White-out from a bottle will fix your board lingo errors but in boarding slang, a white-out is not good. This means a snow storm has created little visibility and it is time to head inside.

Waist Deep

If you are waist deep, you have enough thick snow to ride. This means the snow is plentiful and ready to ride.


Grooming is the term used by someone operating machinery to flatten or compact the snow to make it ideal for board riding conditions.

2 Planks

Boards have respect for their fellow skiers. Sort of. If you hear the term 2 planks being tossed about, it’s a boarder referring to a nearby skier standing on, well, his two planks.


Skiers have the same cheeky respect for snowboarders. If you hear a skier referring to a tray, they are referring to a snowboard or the person on the board.


Freestyle is a style of boarding that involves landing tricks. Freestyle tricks can be performed on snow, rails, jumps and other board park features.

Park Rat

A park rat is a snowboarder who feels at home performing freestyle tricks in a freestyle park and leaves the slopes behind for the thrill of the freestyle scene.


The day is over and it’s time to head back. Tell your fellow boarders it is time for après, a French term used by boarders and skiers to describe social activities and entertaining following a day on the slopes. Translation: Après means it’s time to hit the bar with friends.

Tackle the Big Bear Snowboard Scene

Congratulations. You have graduated if you have gotten this far. Now it is time to handle the Big Bear snow season in stride and hit the slopes. Read up on your board lingo once more while you check out the web cams for the slopes and dream of shredding the rail park. See what we did there?

Book Your Big Bear Vacation Stay Today

What are you waiting for? Schedule your Big Bear trip today at Big Bear Frontier. We have warm cabins and luxury hotel rooms ready for you so you can stay awhile and enjoy the snowboard scene. Make your reservations today!

One Reply to “The Cool Factor: Snowboard Slang You Need to Know”

  1. Thanks for the instructions of how to speak snowboarding. I’m 64 so probably not going to be shredding the gnar. But I’m stoked while watching the sport. I’m a retired railroad man and have been riding the rails for 38 years haha thanks.

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