List of surfing terms

From Academic Kids

This page describes terms, jargon and slang related to surfing and surf culture.

See also: List of surfing areas

Contents: Top - 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

Aerial

A trick where the board takes off from the lip of a wave and after travelling lands back on the face of the wave and continuing.

Ankle Slop

Waves too small to ride.

B

Backhand

Surfing while facing away from the wave (also, backside).

Barrel

The inside of a hollow wave (also, Tube).

Beach break

Waves breaking on the beach.

Blown Out

Surf condition in which either onshore (most prominent) or offshore winds have eliminated the ridable sections of waves, reducing them to chop or mush.

Body Surfing

Surfing a wave using only the body or minimal equipment such as fins (flippers) and/or a hand surfing device.

Boogie board

A short, soft foam board used for bodyboarding. Also known as a body board or a sponge or (in Australia) esky lid.

Bottom

1. The lowest section of the face of an unbroken wave.
2. The lower surface of a surfboard.

Bottom turn

A turn at the bottom of the wave face.

C

Channel

1. Design feature on underside of a surfboard.
2. A trench between sand banks or reefs. Often associated with a strong current.

Choppy

Surf condition in which the waves are inconsistent, broken, or generally irregular (see, Blown Out).

Clean

Smooth waves, usually good surfing conditions.

Close out

An undesirable situation in which a wave does not break uniformly along its length. Instead one or more sections of the wave break ahead of the section the surfer is riding.

Clubbie

Term used to describe a member of a Surf lifesaving club.

Cutback

Turning on the face of the wave to head back to the white water.

D

Deck

The upper surface of a surfboard.

Delammed

Slang for delaminated. A condition of surfboard fiberglass, usually on the deck, where the fiberglass has deteriorated and seperated from the foam core, thus creating an unfavorable surface for standing.

Ding

Damage, usually a hole or dent, to the surfboard.

Double Overhead

A wave twice as tall as its rider.

Drop in

Taking off on a wave that is already being ridden by another surfer. Contrary to good etiquette.

Duck dive

A method for getting through a broken or large wave without being washed towards the shore. Basically, pushing the surfboard and one's body under the wave.

Dude

A fellow surfer; friend; companion.

Dumped

"Getting dumped" is being pushed underwater by a wave, usually unexpectedly, with reasonable amounts of violence and lack of control on the part of the surfer. Waves that are likely to do this are referred to as "dumpers", and usually contain large amounts of sand.

E

Endless Summer

A 1966 documentary film which follows surfers around the world as they look for a perfect surfing spot. It was written, directed and narrated by Bruce Brown. A sequel, The Endless Summer 2, was released in 1994.

Eskimo roll

A method for getting through a broken or large wave without being washed towards the shore. Basically, rolling the board over so the water rushes over the underside (which is facing upwards). Also known as a turtle roll.

F

Face

Unbroken, forward-facing portion of the wave.

Floater

Frontside or backside maneuver that involves "floating" over the broken part of a wave and re-entering the more ridable crest.

Forehand

Surfing while facing toward the wave (also, frontside. See backhand/backside).

G

Gnarly

Treacherous, large, or dangerous (said of waves).

Goofy-footed

A surfer who places their right leg forward while surfing.

Goat Boat

A mildly derogatory term used to describe a surfski used in the surf.

Grommet

Young surfer (Australia).

H

Hang five

A nose riding trick in which the toes of one foot are curled around the nose of the surfboard.

Hang ten

An advanced nose riding trick in which the toes of both feet are curled around nose of the surfboard.

I

J

K

Kick out

A controlled exit from the wave by riding up and over the top of the wave.

Kook

Any person who is in the line-up and unconciously causing trouble or problems for their fellow surfers. A kook is usually a beginning surfer and surfers use kook similar to how netizens use newbie.

L

Leash

A cord used to prevent the board being washed away from the surfer. Surfboard leashes are usually attached to the ankle, whereas bodyboard leashes are usually attached to the wrist.

M

N

Natural footed

A surfer who places their left leg forward while surfing.

Nose

The front of the board.

Nose ride

A maneuver in which the surfer walks to the front of the surfboard and rides on the nose. It is usually only possible on a surfboard of 8' or longer.


O


Overhead

A wave taller than the person riding it.

P

Pearl

When the nose of the board digs into the water, generally causing the surfer to tip-off forward.

Pipeline

Pipeline is a world famous surf spot on the North Shore of Oahu so known because it lays downs tubed waves like pipe being laid down.

Pocket

The section of a wave just ahead of the broken section, where the face is at its steepest.

Q

Quimby

A novice, and often annoying, surfer.

R

Rip current

A channel of water, or a current, heading out to sea. Often simply known as a rip.

Rail

The edge or sides of the board.

Re-entry

Turning on the lip of the wave to come back down into the face of the wave.

S

Set

A group of waves.

Shortie

A wetsuit with short legs and short, or no, arms. Sometimes known as a spring suit.

Shrop

To surf hard in the worst conditions. To surf at one's best when the surf is particularly bad.

Stall

A method to slow the surfboard to allow a wave to catch or overtake it. Performed by stepping to the tail of the surfboard or simply leaning back and resting one's weight on one's trailing foot.

Surf

Collective term for the breaking and near-breaking waves at a beach, in which surfing takes place.

Surfing

Not a sport. But a lifestyle

T

Tail

The rear of the board.

Take off

To catch a wave and begin the ride.

360

Pronounced "three-sixty". A trick involving turning the board through a full circle on the face of the wave.

Tombstoning

The condition of a surfboard connected to a submurged surfer after a wipeout. A surfboard that appears to be bobbing up and down on the surface of the ocean due to the submurged anchoring point, e.g., the unseen surfer, is tombstoning.

Tube

The inside of a hollow wave.

Tubed

The act of surfing inside the curl of a breaking wave.

U

V

W

White water

A frothy, broken wave.

Wipe out

Terminating a ride, ungracefully.

X

Y

Z

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