Don't know a half-pipe from a half-smoke? Here's an introductory glossary of terms used in radical snowboarding and skiing, and increasingly liable to be heard on Eastern slopes:

Catching air: When a skier or boarder speeding or jumping off a cliff, rock, hit, jump or other feature attains enough height to draw oohs and aahhs from onlookers and, often, to scare himself mightily.

Fakie: Snowboarding backward (a k a switchstance).

Free riding: Snowboarding on all types of terrain for fun (i.e., no contests, half-pipes, etc.).

Free style: Any skiing or boarding involving tricks and maneuvers; mostly associated with half-pipes.

Half-pipe: A snow structure comprising opposing radial transition walls of the same height and size. Boarders and skiers ride back and forth between the walls performing tricks and catching air.

Hit: A man-made or natural feature, on a slope, that snowboarders use for jumping.

Launch: Term used to describe either a jump used by skiers to catch air or the act of catching air (as in "Nice launch!").

Quarter-pipe: A half-pipe (see above) with only one wall.

Skier cross/boarder cross: Competitions in which numerous (often five) skiers or boarders take to a course at the same time, navigating well-spaced gates and catching air off jumps, ridges and other features.

Spine: A feature shaped like a miniature ridge running down the fall line of a slope so that boarders may ride up onto the spine, slide their boards along the top and ride or jump off.

Tabletop: A feature shaped like a table with ramps on the uphill and downhill sides; snowboarders may either use the front ramp to jump over the whole feature or take it slower and glide across the top before descending the downhill ramp.

Terrain park: An area on a mountain specifically crafted to appeal to snowboarders, with fairly gentle grading and numerous features that riders use to catch air or perform tricks.

Yard sale: The aftermath of a dramatic wipeout that leaves the victim's equipment and clothing scattered over a slope.