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Originally published in Business People-Vermont in 2003.


A glossary by Jason Levinthal

Jason Levinthal took his passion for skiing and his desire to rejuvenate the sport and built a pair of skis that would revolutionize the industry. His Burlington company, Line Skis, continues to create innovative products.

New school: Used by today's youth to describe the most current and progressive directions of music, styles, sports, etc., including skiing. The phrase old school means the opposite. Example: Doing daffys in the bumps is so old school. Or The Line team is new school. There is no exact cutoff where old school ends and new school begins. It is all relative to that person's perception, age and position in the flow of evolution.

Freestyle: Freestyle had always been used to describe aerials and mogul skiing. Today's generation uses freestyle to describe all skiing and snowboarding that involve any types of tricks.

Backcountry: Terrain that requires hiking off the trail to reach. The incentive is usually untracked powder and challenging natural terrain as well as the opportunity to build kickers for jumping into the powder.

Freeride: Freeride originally described skiing off the trails in the backcountry. Today it describes backcountry and all other types of skiing except for racing. Example: A freeride skier is one who enjoys skiing as diverse a terrain as possible, a very versatile skier who enjoys skiing everything from the park to the trees to the backcountry, groomers, etc.

Fakie: Skiing or snowboarding backwards. This includes skiing fakie, hitting a jump fakie, landing a jump fakie, etc.

Style: As in other areas of life, style describes the way skiers or snowboarders differentiate themselves from others when doing tricks. Examples might be the position of a skier's legs -- perhaps farther apart or tighter -- whether spins are smoother or more choppy; or the position of the arms during a trick. The best skiers and snowboarders in the world develop their own innovative styles, which progress the sport in  new directions for others to follow.


Terrain park: Section of a ski resort with man-made terrain for doing tricks.

Kicker: The wedge-shaped part of a man-made jump used for launching a skier or snowboarder into the air.

Takeoff: The last point on the kicker where the skier is in contact with the snow.

Tabletop: A man-made jump with a kicker for launching in the air, a flat-area table that spans between the kicker and the landing, and a down-sloping landing connected to the table.

Hip: A jump that a skier or snowboarder launches straight off the kicker, and then turns 90 degrees in air to land on the left or right side of the jump instead of the far end.

A 540: Turns in the air are designated in number of degrees. Examples: A 180 is a half turn; a 540 is one and a half turns; a 1440 is four full turns.

Gap: A spacer between the take-off and landing (Evel Knievel type jump)

Step up: A gap where the landing is higher than the take off.

Step down: A gap where the landing is lower than the take off.

Transition: The curve or radius of a kicker or half-pipe wall. The slang version is trani. Ex: The half-pipe trani is too quick, it needs to be bigger, or, The transition on the kicker is real gradual and nice and smooth, perfect for going big.

Half-pipe: Literally, the shape of a long pipe cut in half lengthwise. Half-pipes were originally created by skateboarders to duplicate surfing waves on concrete. Snowboarders and skiers use half-pipes built entirely of snow as a way to continually launch in the air and land while traveling down the hill.

Super-pipe: A very, very large half-pipe, approximately 18-foot-high walls and larger.

Quarter-pipe: One-quarter of a pipe or half of a half-pipe. Like a half-pipe, a quarter-pipe is used to take off and land jumps. Quarter-pipes, however, can usually be hit only once on the way down the hill, since they are usually not long and run perpendicular to the fall line.

Rail: Literally a hand rail like the one used to hold while walking up or down stairs. Handrails are used by skiers and snowboarders to slide on.

Kinked rail:A rail with a kink in it. Theese are always found on stairs in the streets with landings part way down. Terrain park designers put kinks in rails to raise the level of difficulty.

Fun box: A long box made of wood and covered with plastic and metal. Approximately 2 feet wide and a minimum of 8 feet long. The rider jumps onto box, then slides, spins wheelies and jumps off. Fun boxes can come in many shapes and lengths including curves and kinks.

Originally published in April 2003 Business People-Vermont

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