While talking about injuries is somewhat taboo in season, we are in the middle of summer and the staff felt like reflecting on the wince-inducing ways to fall and get broke off while riding. So you are not mislabeling your missteps as the season starts up in a few months, here is a quick reference guide for some of the different types of biffs within the sport. We are not experts, but we have had most of these happen to us… just consider it research.
Scorpion – A classic. Probably the most viral type of wipeout in snowboarding. A scorpion is when the toeside edge of the board catches and causes a violently quick fall to your stomach which forms a chain reaction of feet bending over the head in the shape of a scorpion rearing to attack. The beauty of the scorpion is it can happen to any ability level rider at any time. Whether it is a small scorpion in the middle of a perfect groomer or a large scorp in the landing of a 70+ foot kicker, it normally leaves quite the sting.
Catching an Edge – Catching can result in a scorpion or many other body contortions, but the simple act of having your feet ripped out from under you after dipping a heel or toe edge into the snow while sliding is a pretty painful act in itself. Common side-effects include sore wrists, spines, knees, necks, faces, and basically every other body part.
Twister – The twister is like a snowboard giving the rider a cup check. Upon compressing or bending too low, the riders genitalia meets the high back for a collision of colossal pain. Although the act can be rather lack luster to the viewer, the reaction is worth the upload. Like twister and most things in life, if you put your crotch where your feet are supposed to go, you are going to be out of the game.
Tomahawk – The start to a tomahawk is when the nose of the board (or tail if riding switch) catches in the snow and sends the rider into an uncontrollable cartwheel downhill. Little known fact, the longer the nose, the harsher the tommy. Kind of like being in a washing machine, rocks, pennies, and anything that is not water becomes a high risk situation while tumbling around. Also called the rag doll, a common side-effect to tomahawking is the yard sale, which is the act of hats, goggles, gloves and possibly clothes flying off in every direction. Whether it is a P.O.V. or dad cam, tomahawks
Whiplash – A whiplash can happen anywhere, anytime. From snapping your head back while watching a homie land an insane trick, to fake laughing at the opposite sex’s joke too hard at the bar, the whiplash is a serious injury, and also an easy excuse to back out of anything strapped in.
Scorpahawk – Combine a tomahawk with a scorpion in the middle of the tumble and there is a new enemy to think about every time you strap in on a powder day.
Suitcase – Kissing shins is not as fun as kissing another person. Also called a reverse scorpion, the suitcase is when the body bends farther forward than humanly thought possible. Probably not as bad for fitness gurus and yogis that can put their foot behind their heads, but we cannot, and it does not feel therapeutic.
Taco/back taco – The taco is an undeniable fact to anyone that rides rails. It is when your body folds at the mid-section on a feature like a hot tortilla ready to eat. Front or back, it kills. The taco nightmare has left us all awake in the middle of the night gasping for air and a new set of ribs. Jacob Krugmire had a chain link fence taco for the ages in Strange Brew’s [Away From Keyboard].
Decking – Normally referring to the pipe, but can also be used in table-top and kicker situations, decking is when you land on the deck of a jump or quarterpipe as opposed to the landing. Usually resulting in a crumpled pile of outerwear, decking is like listening to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” as you take off, only to realize that it is a United flight and being promptly tossed back onto the tarmac. Refer to Shaun White’s board-flexing fall in the 2014 Winter Olympics for one of the more high profile examples.
Casing/Knuckling – Similar to decking, but more commonly referencing the act of coming up short on a jump. Salt, slush, and speed checks can all be in play for reasons to come up short, or in our online editors case, just simply wimping out.
Kneetoface – Kneetoface is pretty self explanatory. We combine the words so you can say it fast and not think about it for too long. The knee to face can leave as minimal of a crime scene as a bloody nose and a black eye, or as gnarly as creating a new mouth as your teeth rip through skin where your lips used to be.
Cliffed Out – Not a type of fall to upload to social media. Riding blindly off a cliff due to not knowing what lies over the edge or down the run. Extremely dangerous. Not a laughing matter. Riders of all abilities can lose where they are on the mountain and cliffing out can happen both in and out of bounds. But in the case of Brighton last season, @alpal_ filmed a cliff DROP that was insane and no reported injury, the best of both worlds.
Closeout – Different from the surfing term referring to the crashing of a wave, a closeout within snowboarding is when a rail creates an ‘L’ shape and the rider must clear the perpendicular section to land safely. Getting closed out on a closeout is the act of clipping that perpendicular rail, which normally results in a front flip of disastrous proportions.
Stinger – New to us as a term, but definitely felt throughout the staff… the stinger is making its way around as any type of fall that causes pain to your butthole. Whether it is spreading your cheeks on a slide or butt checking so hard that you can’t tell what is going on down there, a stinger can lead to quite the stinker of a situation.
Fattie-to-Flattie – The act deserves the utmost respect, but can also lead to time in physical therapy. Just ask Kyle Mack (0:40 in above video). A Fattie-to-Flattie consists of going huge and overshooting the landing, or just popping off a feature and trying to stomp it in the flat zone. Sending it to flat can happen on any feature, and can end with beers or tears, it is up to you.
Ice, Bag, or Turf Burn- With the rise of air bags as practice landings and dry slopes for out of season riding, you can upload crashes year round! The feared ice burn category has grown to include two other textures for ripping skin from the body and leaving an oozing scab to look at for a month. On one hand, it looks badass, on the other, the protective goo secreted from your skin attracts bees so you might add injury to injury with a nice bee sting. You think we are making this up? We have seen it happen with our own eyes.
Shinner – More common in the skateboarding world, but still a danger on snow. Taking a rail or box edge to the shins will leave you wishing your wore taller boots. Bonus points on the social clip if the snow pants are lifted up to show blood.
Fall off a chairlift- A few examples from around the country every year make it onto local news Youtube channels and rack up view counts. It is pretty hard to ride out of this situation looking cool, mostly on account of ski patrol assisting you down the hill. Once again, the level of laughing matter depends on severity.
This is just a select group here, so feel free to hit us up on Instagram and Facebook with more terms and iconic bails for us to cover!