Surfing Terms...
Learn the surf language



There are many surfing terms, actually there is a whole surf language.

Pick up the most common used terms here so you can speak the surf lingo with the locals.

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_A____

All-time
Excellent, fantastic, best ever.

Air
When a surfer jumps out of the air with their board while surfing.

Aerial
A surf move done while doing an air like spinning around also known as a 360.

ASP
This stands for the Association of Surfing Professionals. They look after the professional surfers and competitions. Their site is www.aspworldtour.com


_B____

Backdoor
When you enter a barrel or tube from behind and ride through it.

Barrel
A barrel can also be called a tube and the green room. It's when the wave turns into a cylinder and you surf through it.

Bottom Turn
A turn you make when you get to the base/bottom of the wave.


_C____

Carve
This is when you turn on a wave.

Close Out
When a wave collapses all in one go right along the length.


_D____

Dawn Patrol
When you surf at sunrise.

Dropping In
Catching someone else's wave. Not cool. Ride your own wave without disturbing others.

Duck Dive
The art of diving under an oncoming wave while you paddle out.

Dumping
A wave folding over in large sections so you can't surf it.


_E____

Epic
Having an excellent surf with great waves.


_F____

Face
The front part of a wave.

Firing
When your flying through the waves and everything is going great.

Fish
A board that has a wide nose, swallow tail and twin fins - basically a shorter, thicker board compared to others on the market. They have a cut-out in the tail so it looks like a fish with an open mouth.

Foamies
Small foamy waves near the shore. Good for beginners to learn how to surf on.


_G____

Glassy Waves
When a wave is clean and smooth caused by little to no wind.

Gnarly
Excellent, really great

Goofy Footer
Someone who surfs with their right foot forward like Occy.

Green Room
When you are surfing inside a barrel or tube.

Grommet or Grom
A young kid surfing, usually pre-teen to young teen.


_H____

Hang Ten
Riding your board with your toes hanging over the nose of the board. Not for beginners.

Hang Eleven
A nude male surfer! Blacks Beach in San Diego is a nudest beach and has great surf that is mainly suited to advanced surfers not really for beginners. If you want to Hang Eleven do it there!

Heavy
When surf conditions are dangerous. A heavy wave and a favourite of surf pros would be Teahupoo in Tahiti.


_I____

Impact Zone
The area where the waves break.

In the Soup
When a surfer is in the white foam area of the wave after it has broken.


_J____

Jeffrey's Bay or J Bay
J Bay is in Sth Africa and has excellent surf. This area hosts the annual Billabong Pro ASP World Tour and is a favourite of pro surfers.


_K____

Kook
A person who is new to surfing.


_L____

Leash
The leg rope that connects a surfer to their board. Invented by Pat O'Neill in 1971.

Lip
The tip of a wave that is breaking.


_M____

Malibu/Mals/Mini-Mals
Much loved surfboards made during the 1950’s around the Los Angeles area which have been re-invention along the way. Still very much used today.

Mushy
Poor quality waves with no power.


_N____

Noodle Arms
Having sore tired arms from surfing all day.


_O____

Offshore
This is when the wind blows off the land into the ocean raising waves creating excellent surf conditions.

Onshore
This is when the wind is blowing from the ocean onto the land and causing flat waves. Offshore good, onshore bad!


_P____

Pipeline
The classic Hawaiian wave with loads of barrels which can be quite dangerous.

Point break
A point of land with waves that break in one direction along it, either right or left.

Pumping
A beach that has great waves. To find this out you need to check the surf reports.


_Q____

Quad Fin
A surfboard that has 4 fins also known as a Twinzer.


_R____

Rail
The sides of your surfboard.

Reef Break
Waves breaking over rocks or coral.

Rip/Ripping
When you surf incredibly well.

Rip/Riptide
A strong current that takes you out to sea. Can be very dangerous. To get out of it you need to swim sideways.


_S____

Shaper
Someone who shapes a blank surfboard during manufacture. Very important people. The better then shaper the better the board.

Swallow tail
Surf boards that have a little "v" cut into them on the ends of them or their tail so it looks like an open fish mouth.

Stick
A surfboard

Stocked
Exited, extremely happy usually used countless times in a surfers speech when they win!

Swell
Real waves.


_S____

Tube
The hollow part of a wave that you surf through. Also known as a barrel, keg, or pit.


_T____

Tail
The end of a surfboard.

Take off
When you catch a wave and then stand up.

Thruster
A surfboard that has 3 fins. It was invented by Australian Simon Anderson in 1980.

Tow-ins
When a surfer gets towed into a waves that is too big to paddle into.

Twin fin
A surfboard that has 2 fins. Four times world champion Mark Richards was famous for his surfing on twin fins.


_U____

Unreal
Excellent, incredibly good.


_V____

Vertical
To turn straight up the wave.


_W____

Wall
The wave you are going to surf along.

Wax
Surf Wax is made from paraffin, colours and other additives and is put on your board to help you grip to it and not fall off while surfing because it does get slippery once you get your board in the water. Wax is the only thing that will help you stick to your board!

Wedging
Getting up into a tube, usually over a reef or shallow water.

Wipeout
When you fall off your board while surfing.


_X____

Xtrak
A leading manufacturers of surfboard traction pads.


_Y____

Yallingup
A surf spot in Western Australia.

Yo
The way a surfers gets the attention of their friends or another person!

You should have been here yesterday
When your friends make you jealous that they went surfing yesterday and had an excellent surf and you missed it!


_Z____

Zippers
Fast long waves.

Zoo
A crowded surf lineup.


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If you know a surfing term I haven't included here please let me know by

contacting me.


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