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Surfing Glossary
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A surfing move where the surfer and his or her board spins 360 degrees on the face of the wave.
A surfing move where a surfer and his or her board launch from the wave face and are airborne above the wave.
Anytime a surfer and his or her board leave the face of the wave and get airborne.
A Hawaiian word used in place of hello and goodbye. (Pronounced uh-LOW-hah)
When a surfer rides a wave with his or her back to the wave.
A breaking wave that breaks from the top to the bottom leaving a "barrel like" hollow space.
Beach Break
A type of wave or a place where the wave breaks over a sandbar close to the beach.
Blown Out
When the wind is blowing strong and makes what should be good waves choppy and torn up.
The lowest point of a wave a surfer can ride on.
Bottom Turn
A turn made at the bottom of a wave after riding down the face. The bottom turn is a powerful move that allows a surfer to establish speed and direction.
A Hawaiian word that means brother or pal.
When the wind is light and adds a light chop t the water surface.
A surfing move in which a surfer moves up and down the face of a wave
Caught Inside
When a surfer gets caught on the shore side of a breaking wave.
A deep spot at a surfing location where the waves normally don't break. This is where you paddle out to catch a wave.
When the wind is blowing strong and adds many bumps and small waves on the water surface. Excessive chop can inhibit wave riding.
Wave conditions in which the wind is affecting the ocean surface only slightly.
Clean Up Wave
Wave conditions in which the wind is affecting the ocean surface only slightly.
Close Out
Waves that break all at once along a large section of the wave. Close outs are unrideable for a few seconds.
Cross Stepping
The art of walking the length of a longboard while maintaining balance and trim.
The top part of a breaking wave.
Cut Back
A surfing move in which a surfer turns 180 degrees back towards the breaking part of a wave or the direction he or she just came.
A small area of damage on your surfboard that exposes the foam core and must be fixed before your board absorbs water.
Down the Line
When a surfer rides a wave parallel to shore and stays ahead of the breaking part of a wave.
The initial downward slide on the face of wave after standing up.
Drop In
When a surfer catches a wave in front of another surfer that is closest to the breaking part of the wave. A very disrespectful thing to do to another surfer.
Duck Dive
The art of pushing a board under water and following your board under a breaking wave. Usually not possible with a longboard.
The non-breaking front part of the wave that a surfer rides on.
When a surfer rides his board along the top of a breaking wave.
When a surfer rides facing the wave.
When a surfer rides facing the wave.
Going Turtle
A move used on longboards in which the board is rolled upside down and the surfer clings to the underside underwater while the breaking wave washes over the bottom of the board.
Goofy Foot
Surfers who ride with their right foot in front.
Short for grommet. A younger surfer.
A name given to younger surfers.
A type of board used for big-wave riding.
Hang 10
Riding a longboard on the nose with all 10 toes hanging over the nose.
Hang 5
Riding a longboard on the nose with one foot hanging over the nose.
Hang Loose
A surfer term that means to relax and enjoy the ride. It can be used to refer to surfing style or life in general.
A Hawaiian word that is used to describe a non-Hawaiian or white foreigner. Not necessarily derogatory.
A Hawaiian term for a beginner or non-surfer.
A hard breaking wave in which the curl of the wave touches only the bottom of the wave leaving space in between. Used to describe a barreling wave.
Impact Zone
The place where a wave breaks.
The area between the shore and where most of the waves are breaking. Not ideal for catching waves because of the proximity to shore.
A Hawaiian term for priest or wise man knowledgeable about many things. It is used by surfers to refer to a highly skilled surfer and waterman. (Pronounced kuh-HOO-nah)
A Hawaiian word used for children.
A beginner or weekend warrior that lacks common courtesy and respect for fellow surfers.
A term used to describe an advancing set of waves that can be seen quite clearly.
The top part of the wave face just before it starts to break.
Surfers who frequent a certain spot on a regular basis.
A Hawaiian word for "Thank you." (Pronounced muh-HAH-low)
Slow and sloppy waves that have little power.
Nose Dive
When the weight of the surfer is too far forward and the nose of the board becomes submerged and the surfer wipes out.
When the wind is blowing out to sea producing the best wave conditions.
A surfing move that involves abruptly turning the surfboard on the top of the breaking part of the wave and returning to the wave face.
When the wind is blowing toward the shore. Usually onshore winds make wave conditions worse than neutral or offshore winds.
The area out beyond the point where most of the waves are breaking.
When a surfer fails to make the drop down the face and is usually thrown from the top of the wave to the bottom.
The central point on a wave that is about to break in both directions.
When the nose of a surfboard dives underwater during a ride. Usually caused by the surfers weight being too far forward.
The bottom point directly in front of the peak of a wave. In a barreling wave, the pit is the steepest and most critical part of the barrel.
The steepest part of wave that is under the lip. The best place to be.
Point Break
A place where waves form and break continuously around a point of land.
The flowing movement that is made by a surfer when they go from lying on their board into a standing position.
A personal collection of surfboards that will work in almost any conditions.
Reef Break
A place where waves form and break over a reef or rocks.
When a surfer performs high-level maneuvers and surfed a wave to near perfection.
When a wave is broken into several different areas of clean wave face separated by white water.
A group of waves caused by a swell that comes ashore at regular intervals. Usually each wave of a set will gradually build in size and then diminish in size.
A hand signal where you stick out the thumb and pinky and fold the other three fingers in. The meaning varies from Cool! to Hang Loose!
Shore Break
Waves that form and break very close to the beach.
The end section of a breaking wave.
The sloppy parts of a wave after it has broken.
Someone who bodyboards rather than surfs.
When a surfboard slows down or stops moving forward. Usually caused by a surfer’s bodyweight being too far back on the board.
Another name for a surfboard.
The thin strip of wood that runs down the middle of a surfboard and reinforces the foam core.
Waves generated by the energy from ocean storms. Swells can travel for thousands of miles.
A surfing move in which the surfer lets his or her fins lose grip on the wave face and the board slides. Often executed during a cutback.
Take Off
The point at which a surfer catches a wave and begins to ride a wave.
Toes on the Nose
Riding a longboard on the nose with all the toes hanging over the nose.
The art of keeping a surfboard at the correct angle to the wave face to generate maximum thrust through the water.
A breaking wave that breaks from the top to the bottom leaving a hollow space.
Riding a wave in the hollow pocket so that the wave is breaking over your head. The greatest surfing reward.
Victory At Sea
When the waves are big and the wind is blowing very strong making the waves and ocean extremely choppy and not surfer friendly.
A Hawaiian word for a girl.
White Water
The white foamy part of a wave after it has broken.
Falling off your board.
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