A Quick Guide to Modern Snowboard Slang

Snowboarding is an ever-changing and evolving activity, and with it, the terms we use. The Internet has made it easier for new phrases to become ingrained in the snowboard community, but if you’re not paying constant attention, you can find yourself reading the comment section of a snowboard site in utter confusion. Never fear, Yobeat is here to explain some of the latest tricks, trends and phrases you may encounter this season, so you’ll never feel dumb again. Ok, we can’t actually promise you won’t feel dumb, but at least you’ll know what people are talking about.

Zeach: A move popularized in the early 2000s by Zach Leach. It’s any sort of off angle tailslide/press maneuver. In more recent times this technical move has been performed by groms, gapers and girls worldwide.

MJ (Michael Jackson):
Jump onto the box, stand up on your toe edge and slide away, now that’s a thriller. Just about everyone except Scott Stevens looks like a fool doing these. Variations of the MJ can be seen with spinning combos, on the heels, and the ever illusive boardslide MJ aka the Herman.

Swivel: The act of changing the direction of your snowboard on a rail or box without leaving the surface, usually some variation of 50-50 swivel 50-50.

Courtesy: Tranny Finders

Noodle Whip: Ollie up and down into a tight tranny (usually along side a rail, box or tree) getting your board as vertical as possible. The act causes your legs and board to whip up and around like a wet noodle.

Chunder: Boulders of snow and ice left behind from snow cats grooming. In warm conditions they are incredibly fun. However, in the cold they are deadly.

Photo: Darcy Bacha/Windells

Bag Jump: Add one part jump and one part giant bag of air and you have a bag jump. Scared to try your first backflip? Bag jump. Want to learn double corks? Bag jump.

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GoPro: A small indestructible camera that can be used by anyone and everyone to show the world you and your buddies’ sick day riding. Also know as the “StayPro” among old dudes.

Pretzel: Long before the name was taken by skiers, the “pretzel” originated from trying to spin fs out of a fs boardslide, thus causing your body to twist into a pretzel as you battled the physics of momentum and was first accomplished by JP Walker. Now the pretzel is used to define any sort of rotate in rotate out in the opposite direction, frontside180 in cab 180 out, tailslide backside 270 out and the very popular as of late backside 180 in switch backside 180 or 360 out.

Bring back
: Similar to the pretzel, but spawned from a 270 in. Louif Paradis is probably the king of this move with his flawless bs and hardway bs 270 in bring backs. Mike Ravelson has a decent one here for you.

Re-direct: Gap into a wall either off a jump, rail or anything really. As long as this wall forces you to “re-direct” the direction you were previously going.

Close out
: When the end of a rail comes to a 90 degree angle. The close out shows you are either good enough to not early out, or dumb enough to want to try and break your legs, arms, face, or teeth.

First!: The word used by the lucky soul who happened to find a new video, article, or post on a website. Instead of using the opportunity to set the tone of the comments he or she simply states “First!” so as to claim their internet power.

For more useful words and phrases, check out our list of 39 words for snow and a quick guide to ski area marketing speak.

27 replies
  1. cmongetitright
    cmongetitright says:


  2. todd loves reach arounds
    todd loves reach arounds says:

    pretzel= rollerblade term coined by rollerblader turned snowboarder colin langolis i believe

    SORRY SAMSON says:

    sorry pal but the reason people dont like swivels is because they are WACK! rollerblader move that is very very ugly. Just do yourself a favor and stop doing them, and let torstein and eiki and the rest of europe continue to look stupid doing them

  4. jerm
    jerm says:

    the swivel is bad because it doesnt take skill or planning to do. you can hop on a rail, fuck up, then start twisting your feet around and spinning and call it a trick. i pray for the day when swivels reach the level of pushing mongo.

  5. Fonzie
    Fonzie says:

    That swivel in the video looked controlled to me. As in, requiring some skill. I dig ’em in moderation though, so whatever. Thanks for explaining what zeach meant though, I didn’t start coming across that term until recently. This confirmed what I thought it meant. Some wack shit.

    One question – what’s it called when someone hucks a spin on to box, doesn’t hold an angle (perpendicular or collinear with the box) and spins slowly but uncontrollably and then fakie or regular out’s depending on their angle? Is that a zeach as well? It looks horrible… me and my buddies call it the “spin-a-roonie.”

  6. jerm
    jerm says:

    ^that example of a swivel was used because it was the best example of how horrid swivels are. the move youre questioning about is known as the “what the fuck are you doing-stop that now”.

  7. yo
    yo says:

    lets be real i cant stand swivels and like doin “noodle whips” because theyre fun but popping off an entrance and onto the side of the box probably takes less skill and its not just gapers that swiveled all those dudes at bear like bshaw did them at one point too and now they all do noodle whips

  8. wellactually
    wellactually says:

    in all honesty snowboarding is closer to rollerblading than skateboarding.. so swivels or not we’re all gay really

  9. joey
    joey says:

    Ha I love all the pompous bros on here acting like their style of snowboarding is the only. Get a life you sniveling little punks. Theres more to life than making fun of someones steez. I guess not in your sad, isolated, snowbro world.

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