I was riding in Durango with my buddy Kevin (Lanke- yeah, we have way too many
Kevins out there), and we were riding that totally effortless ride, on a soft groomed
run, (you know, I don't think skiers or boarders ever get it so easy- they always
have to maintain leg-tension, and sometimes, we don't) and I called it a Burl Ives
moment. For those of you who don't get it, back in the old animated puppet xmas specials,
Burl Ives was the voice of the snowman narrator, and he moved around by eerily gliding
over the snow.
Then Kevin said "Norelco", and we both got a laugh out of that. I was just a
kid when I saw the old electric razor adds, I guess it was every xmas, when Santa
would ride around on a giant electric razor. Smooth and effortless.
I was thinking about that, and it occurred to me that I ought to share our local
slang. We do need our own language, the snowboarders have one (and we are cooler
than they are).
FLINTSTONING: Heel braking, like the characters in the Flintstones. It was a cartoon
about cavemen. Yeah- they had cars, and they were made of rock and wood, and they
stopped them with their feet. No, they didn't have shoes. Yes, I was born in the
SUBMARINING: This is what we call it when your skis, especially your front ski, disappear
beneath the snow, but you keep going. It always reminds me of that shot you see in
every submarine movie, from the conning tower, when the submarine dives and the deck
disappears beneath the waves.
SPEEDER CHASE: A group of bikes zipping through the woods. Everybody saw the third
Star Wars movie, right?
HOVERING: Riding a ski-bike with your foot-skis held about an inch off the snow.
This is done when you want to keep your speed up, but are worried about a kick-out,
if it's bumpy or icy, and you'd like to recover quickly.
ONE-THREE-ONE: The distinctive tracks left by skibikers with footskis. Useful for
finding buddies when there aren't too many skibikers around.
IT BURNS!: The distinctive cry of a rider who A: wears a full face helmet B: just
did a face-plant and C: is desperately trying to claw the trapped snow out of his
helmet. With thick gloves that can't quite...
NORELCO, NORELCOING: Oh, come on, you didn't forget that one already?
FROGGING: To move a ski-bike across a flat by sitting in the seat, and pushing with
the inside edges of both footskis. Looks kind of like a frog jumping. Can harm male
anatomy if done wrong.
SKATING: To move a ski-bike across a flat by standing, holding the handlebars and
using the footskis like ice-skates.
SPEEDBUMPS: Any snowborder or group of snowboarders who, for reasons unknown, decide
to sit down in the middle of a run.
GANG: A group of ski-bikers. No groups or bunches. No pods, schools or flocks.
EATING NEEDLES: A tree run through tight trees with low branches.
SCRAPIN' BARS: Working through really tight trees.
BIKER: When someone yells at me from a ski-lift, or approaches me on a run, I'm almost
universally addressed as "Biker". Nobody ever seems to call me rider or ski-biker.
SCRAPE IT OFF: To shed speed by wiggling your ass, while keeping the front ski pointed
where you want it to go. This makes the rear ski go diagonal, from side to side,
providing braking without changing direction. I'm not sure how well this works on
KNEE-TO-CHIN: Aggressive turns and moguling on a low footski bike. When you do it,
you'll know it. We came up with this while riding 60's vintage bikes, which are really,
ACCESS: Do we get to play on this mountain?
MACHINE: Any ski-bike
TWO DOLLARS: Something skiers yell at us from the lifts. If you don't get it, get
BETTER OFF DEAD on netflicks. Really.
THAT'S SICK!: Something snowboarders tell us in lift lines.
FULL SPEED!: Something ski-bikers often have to yell at over cautious lifties who
like to slow the lifts down for us.
SPIEL, SPIELING: (pronounced "speeling") To stop and answer questions on the slope.
Note- this is never a waste of time, though it may feel like one. Do it a lot.
Some of these terms are Los Angeles/So. Cal, some of these terms I've heard elsewhere.
Add to this list, so we can be just as incomprehensible as the boarders.