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Gap or Gape ?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

In the interests of not wishing to be considered one, I looked up the definition of "Gaper" on the Internet. Believe it or not, it is somewhat confusing.

 

Some sites claim that the phrase originated in Vail around 1986 and refers to skiers who are so taken in by the sites that they stop to stare with their mouths open. The verb describing this action is to 'gape", which would make people who do it "gapers", and you would pronounce this with a soft "a", as in "ape". I believe this definition to be the correct one.

 

Most sites however, think that the term comes from the gap produced between poorly fitted goggles and helmet. This would describe a skier who isn't aware that his equipment makes him look a little silly. Some sites and even think that the gap refers to boots and pants. Either way, a person with a gap would be a "gapper" with two "p"s and would pronounce it with a hard "a" as in "bat". I believe this definition to be the incorrect one.

 

I find it ironic that the people who produce these lists in an attempt to make fun of others, are usually getting it wrong themselves. Sometimes you make yourself look like a fool by trying to do the same to other people.

post #2 of 26

Are park rats called gappers because of the gap between the top of their pants and the bottom of their hoodies or for the huge gaps they huck themselves across? 

 

I think you're right and the term pre-exists the prevalence of helmets on the slope. Gaper's gap referred to exposed forehead between goggles and hat.

post #3 of 26

The terms Greenhorn and Gringo are subject to similar criticisms.  Be it JONG, NOOB or whatever, with every activity group there will be some level of teasing and ridicule towards the new kid. It is simple human nature.

post #4 of 26

Only ever heard of Gapper.  And that definatley comes from the space between the goggles and toque.  Not sure its even really possible to get a good "gap" with a helmet thou.  "Gorby Gap" is the orginal term....at least as I have always known it, which goes back to highschool!!!! 

post #5 of 26

I thought the helmet/goggle gap was called gaper gap? 

post #6 of 26

Only by gapers who don't have a clue.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Only by gapers who don't have a clue.

Isn't that redundant?

Gaper=one who gapes and is therefore lame <-historic meaning.

Gaper gap=that goggles/helmet thing. <-derived from historic meaning of gaper.

Now, about Gapicski...
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Are park rats called gappers because of the gap between the top of their pants and the bottom of their hoodies or for the huge gaps they huck themselves across? 

 

I think you're right and the term pre-exists the prevalence of helmets on the slope. Gaper's gap referred to exposed forehead between goggles and hat.


It predates the helmet era because.... it's HAT and goggles.

Bunch of JONGS. smile.gif

Sent from a stupidphone.
post #9 of 26

Even though I've been a ski bum for decades the term gaper was foreign to me until the advent of the internet ski sites. I didn't even know how to pronounce the word until reading this thread. Of course this leads the reader to the conclusion that i therefore must be one.eek.gif

 

Or maybe its just that I'm from Canada where the ski area management can't call the paying customers "customers", its just too crass, and "client" is too stuffy so everyone is a "guest". OTOH the ski area staff just call the paying customers "Gorbs" and this includes everyone--noobs, old school, new school, experts, whoever. And if a ski resort employee visits another ski area, then he becomes a "Gorb for a Day".

post #10 of 26

If definition number 1 is true, I'm changing my opinion of the value of being a gaper.  I would think that those skiers who stop, stare, and take in the majestic beauty of most ski areas are in fact the cooler people on the slopes (the first time I stood on top of Vail, I gaped, probably openmouthed and all...no f-ing apologies for it either!).

 

However, my understanding of gaper was that it refers to those newbies/ posers who stop and stare at great skiers (or at least the faster skiers who blow buy them).  Once again giving precedent to the verb to gape.  But ill -fitting equipment makes sense, too.  Honestly, I always thought the acronym Spore was funnier...and more descriptively accurate.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

If definition number 1 is true, I'm changing my opinion of the value of being a gaper.  I would think that those skiers who stop, stare, and take in the majestic beauty of most ski areas are in fact the cooler people on the slopes (the first time I stood on top of Vail, I gaped, probably openmouthed and all...no f-ing apologies for it either!).

 

 

Gapers do it standing in the middle of the trail or right at the bottom of the lift unloading ramps.  Experienced skiers pull over to the side of the trail to take in the sights and enjoy the view.

post #12 of 26

Great, this place is trying to be TGR now. Wonderful.

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

If definition number 1 is true, I'm changing my opinion of the value of being a gaper.  I would think that those skiers who stop, stare, and take in the majestic beauty of most ski areas are in fact the cooler people on the slopes (the first time I stood on top of Vail, I gaped, probably openmouthed and all...no f-ing apologies for it either!).

 

However, my understanding of gaper was that it refers to those newbies/ posers who stop and stare at great skiers (or at least the faster skiers who blow buy them).  Once again giving precedent to the verb to gape.  But ill -fitting equipment makes sense, too.  Honestly, I always thought the acronym Spore was funnier...and more descriptively accurate.

So, please fill this gaper in. What does Spore stand for?

post #14 of 26

I never realized that gape has become associated with skiing.  In Chicago the word has been used for decades and is a derogatory term referring to people who stare mindlessly.  In Chicago it’s so common that traffic delays are referred to as gaper delays when the cars are just slowing to look at an accident on the other side of the road.  (common term on the radio traffic reports)

 

I always thought of it the same way with skiing.  For example, stopping in the middle of the trail without considering all the people who can’t get by.  Perhaps it’s a regional thing from the Midwest that caught on well with skiing.

post #15 of 26

You know you're a gaper if...

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

You know you're a gaper if...

http://www.epicski.com/t/67600/you-might-just-be-a-gaper

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post


It predates the helmet era because.... it's HAT and goggles.
Bunch of JONGS. smile.gif
Sent from a stupidphone.

 

You make an excellent point here, because exactly when did it become "cool" to wear safety equipment at all?

 

Almost every sport I played or learned growing up I did without the aid of extra safety gear. Mainly because it didn't even exist back then. I rode a bike without a helmet, I skateboarded without knee pads, I sparred in karate with just a mouth piece, my Mom's car didn't have seat belts, and I skied in a woolly hat.

 

I know we save a lot of unnecessary injuries with modern safety gear, but there is a strong element of nerd to it as well. When I started skiing the only people who wore helmets were downhill racers. I feel a little "gaperish" wearing one now, like I don't really ski well enough to have the right to wear one. I hate sparring wrapped up in foam gloves/shoes/hats/shinguards/chestprotectors too.

 

It's the element of danger that adds to allure of action sports like skiing, I wear one because I expect my kids to, but I do feel like a gaper, even though I don't have a gap.

 

I might be a Jong, but I don't know what a Jong is, maybe that makes me one?

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post

I know we save a lot of unnecessary injuries with modern safety gear, but there is a strong element of nerd to it as well. 

 

No. That attitude went away a long time ago, thank god.  It's okay to be smart these days.

post #19 of 26
Quote:

So, please fill this gaper in. What does Spore stand for?

 

stupid people on rental equipment

 

 

Jer has said it best...  Gaper goes beyond newb or somebody that isn't good...

 

It's a stubborn, willful ignorance of mountain/ski culture.  A touristy-driven ego-centrism.  

 

That's not to disparage tourists.  Nor does it prop up locals; there is an equal and opposite PITA, hardcore version of gaper.

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

 

No. That attitude went away a long time ago, thank god.  It's okay to be smart these days.

 

I agree.

 

I remember all those sports growing up where the only kids wearing safety gear were the ones whose mothers made them do it. It's a very old fashioned attitude that still lingers with me. Ironic now that I'm one of those parents who over protects his kids.

 

I'm glad this kind of gear is now mainstream, but I still feel a little nerdy on the inside.

 

BW.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

You know you're a gaper if...

You look up the meaning of gaper on the internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Even though I've been a ski bum for decades the term gaper was foreign to me until the advent of the internet ski sites. I didn't even know how to pronounce the word until reading this thread. Of course this leads the reader to the conclusion that i therefore must be one.eek.gif

 

Or maybe its just that I'm from Canada where the ski area management can't call the paying customers "customers", its just too crass, and "client" is too stuffy so everyone is a "guest". OTOH the ski area staff just call the paying customers "Gorbs" and this includes everyone--noobs, old school, new school, experts, whoever. And if a ski resort employee visits another ski area, then he becomes a "Gorb for a Day".

Same thing at Squaw--when my son patrolled there the question was "What do you call someone who goes under a closed rope, sets off a slide,  has to be rescued, and gives you a lot of lip? Answer--"guest". At least they can wear beards now. 

post #22 of 26

If you think ski helmets are nerdy, you just might be a gapper. wink.gif

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

If you think ski helmets are nerdy, you just might be a gapper. wink.gif

 

I think you might be right. You have to wear it with confidence to get away with it.

 

I am a little upset that wearing my backpack on the groomers also makes me a Gaper. It doesn't matter that it holds my snacks, water, keys, spare lenses, extra layer, liner gloves, keys, phone, wallet, sunscreen, trail map. Apparently if I'm not in the back country with a technical pack, shovel, probe and beacon, I'm just not worthy.

 

And I do stop at the top of the mountain to take in the views. At least I'm warm in my onsey and you can't see my mouth hanging open because of the woolly balaclava.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post

I am a little upset that wearing my backpack on the groomers also makes me a Gaper. It doesn't matter that it holds my snacks, water, keys, spare lenses, extra layer, liner gloves, keys, phone, wallet, sunscreen, trail map. Apparently if I'm not in the back country with a technical pack, shovel, probe and beacon, I'm just not worthy.

 

That's what pockets are for!  Actually I don't carry extra layers; I can plan my clothing pretty well based on forecast at this point, but the other stuff divides up between my pants and jacket pockets.  

 

I honestly couldn't care less how wearing a backpack appears, but I've always wondered if they're not cumbersome when moving quickly through the trees or when riding the lift.  Doesn't the pack get in the way a bit?

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

 

That's what pockets are for!  Actually I don't carry extra layers; I can plan my clothing pretty well based on forecast at this point, but the other stuff divides up between my pants and jacket pockets.  

 

I honestly couldn't care less how wearing a backpack appears, but I've always wondered if they're not cumbersome when moving quickly through the trees or when riding the lift.  Doesn't the pack get in the way a bit?

 

I probably could get away with my pockets if it wasn't for all the stuff my kids start giving me to carry. We get huge temperature swings in Arizona as the day progresses, usually have to take layers off and need a place to put them. I also like to stay away from the lodges and on the runs all day, so I like to keep what I need on me, even lunch. Guess that happens when you don't get to ski every weekend.

 

As far as the lift goes, I have a very small pack and just flip it over my head on the lift, it's out of the way and I can get in it easily. One of the rides at Sunrise is nineteen minutes long, so it's a good time to drink, snack and text. Some guys have huge packs and have to sit sideways on the chair taking up two spots, mainly snowboarders for some reason. Hate that.

 

Long live the Nightrider.

 

BW.

post #26 of 26

I always wondered what the heck is in those big packs at the resort.  Some people look ready to spend a night out in the woods.  

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