Saturday, August 21, 2010

Surfer Slang

Amped  —   Overdoing it; excited; stoked.

Anglin'  —   Turning left and/or right on a wave.

Ankle Busters  —   Small waves.

Avalanche  —   An outer reef surf spot on Oahu, Hawaii; the white water pouring down the face of a wave.

Awesome  —   Great; fantastic (also see "Off the Richter," "Off the Wall," "Outrageous").

Back Down  —   To decide not to take off on a wave.

Baggys/Baggies  —   Oversized, loose fitting boxer-type swim trunks worn for show or comfort by surfers.

Bail out  —   To get away from, jump off, or dive off the surfboard just before a potential wipe out.

Banzai  —   A gung-ho type of yell given by surfers as they shoot the curl (also see "Cowabunga").

Banzai Pipeline  —   A surf spot on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, between Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach; also called Pipeline (also see "Pipeline").

Barrel  —   The breaking motion of a perfect wave; a hollow channel formed inside a good wave when it breaks and curls over.

Beach Bunny  —  A girl who goes to the beach to watch surfing.

Beached  —  Totally stuffed from eating.

Beaver tail  —  A wet suit that features a snap-on crotch, the shape of which resembles a beaver's tail.

Big Gun  —  A 9-foot or longer surfboard especially designed for large waves.

Big Surf  —  Extremely large waves (also see "Bombora," "Heavies").

Bitchin  —  (also "Bitchen") Very good; tops; excellent (also see "Boss," "Excellent," "Primo," "Rad").

Blown Out  —  Winds blowing so hard as to chop up the surf and render it unridable.

Body Surfing  —  Riding the waves without a surfboard.

Bogus  —  False; lame; ridiculous; unbelievable.

Bombora  —  An Australian word that refers to a big wave that breaks outside the normal surf line.

Bone Yard  —  The area where the waves break.

Boogie Board  —  A soft, flexible foam bodyboard invented in the 1970s (unlike a surfboard, a boogie board is ridden lying down).

Boss  —  Outstanding; the best (also see "Bitchin," "Excellent," "Primo," "Rad").

Breaker  —  Any wave that breaks on the way to the beach.

Breakwater  —  A line of large boulders, cement, and/or steel extending out into the water and designed to reduce shoreline erosion.

Bro  —  (also "Bra") Short for "brother" (also see "Dude").

Bummer  —  Too bad; a total drag.

Bunny  —  (see "Beach Bunny")

Carve  —  To make a radical turn (also see "Hot-Dogging," "Shred").

Catch a Wave  —   To ride a breaking wave.

Climbing  —   To carve an S-shaped path on a wave, making a radical Dropping.

Cheater Five  —   Five toes on the nose - keep your weight back on the board to maintain trim and speed, squat down and extend one foot forward

Coffin  —   Riding a surfboard while lying stiffly on one's back with arms crossed.

Cowabunga  —   (also "Kowabunga") A yell of excitement by a surfer (also see "Banzai").

Crest  —   The top portion of a wave.

Cruncher  —   A big, hard-breaking wave that folds over and is almost impossible to ride.

Curl  —   The portion of the wave that is spilling over and breaking.

Cut Back  —   To turn toward the breaking part of the wave.

Cut out  —   To pull out of the wave, like kicking out.

Ding  —   A hole, crack, dent, or scratch on the surface of a surfboard.

Doggers  —   Multicolored swimming trunks.

Dork  —   Someone behaving inappropriately (also see "Geek," "Kook").

Double Spinner  —   Two consecutive 360-degree body spins on a surfboard.

Drop Knee  —   One foot on the bodyboard, with the other hanging off the back. Difficult and fun.

Dude  —   A male surfing enthusiast (women are referred to as "dudettes").

Dweeb  —   A geek; someone who acts or looks like a simpleton.

Eat It  —   To fall off of a surfboard (also see "Wipe Out").

El Rollo  —   Lying prone on a surfboard and holding on to the sides while rolling 360-degrees during a ride.

Excellent  —   Great; fantastic; exceptional (also see "Bitchin," "Boss," "Primo," "Rad").

Face  —   The unbroken wall, surface, or nearly vertical front of a wave.

Fer Sure  —   The surfer pronunciation of "for sure," meaning absolutely, correct, or definitely.

Geek  —   Someone behaving inappropriately (also see "Kook," "Dork").

Glasshouse  —   (see "Green Room")

Glassy  —   A smooth water surface condition caused by absence of local winds.

Gnarlatious  —   Anything that's really great or awesome.

Gnarly  —   Treacherous; large and dangerous. Also bitchin

Goofy-Foot  —   Riding a surfboard with the right foot forward (left foot forward is the more common stance).

Green Room  —   The space inside of a tube.

Gremlin  —   A young hodad; a beginning surfer (also see "Grommet").

Gremmy/Gremmie  —   (See "Hodad")

Grommet  —   A young hodad; a beginning surfer (also see "Gremlin").

Ground Swell  —   Large waves generated by distant storms.

Gun  —   A large surfboard designed for very big waves (see "Big Gun").

Hairy  —   (see "Gnarly")

Hang Five/Ten  —   To place five (or ten) toes over the nose of the surfboard (also see "Toes on the Nose").

Head Dip  —   Touching the water with your head while surfing.

Headstand  —   Standing on one's head while riding a wave.

Heavies  —   Very big waves usually higher than 12 feet.

Hit the Surf  —   To go surfing.

Honker  —   A really big wave (also see "Heavies," "Bombora").

Hot-Dogging  —   Fancy surfing done by a skilled surfer.

Hodad  —   A non-surfer, usually someone who just hangs around the beach.

Honeys  —   Female surfers or girlfriends of surfers.

Huarache Sandals  —   Leather sandals worn by surfers with a sole made from tire treads.

Jetty  —   (see "Breakwater")

Kahuna  —   The Hawaiian god of sun, sand, and surf.

Kamikaze  —   Riding the board at the nose with arms held straight out to each side.

Kick Out  —   To push down on the tail of a surfboard to lift and turn the nose over the top of the wave.

Knots  —   Callouses, or calcium deposits, just below the knee and on the tops of the foot caused by kneeling on the surfboard.

Kook  —   (also "Kuk") A surfing beginner; someone who gets in the way or into trouble because of ignorance or inexperience (also see "Dork," "Geek").

Kowabunga  —   (see "Cowabunga")

Kuk  —   (see "Kook")

Leash  —   A cord attaching the surfer's ankle to the surfboard.

Locked In  —   Firmly set in the curling portion of the wave with water holding down the tail of the board.

Log  —   Slang for pre-foam board made of wood.

Longboard  —   A surfboard eight to ten feet long.

Max Out  —   To be over the limit.

Meatball  —   The yellow flag with the black circle indicating "No Surfing".

Mondo  —   Something huge; of epic proportions.

Nailed  —   To get badly wiped out.

Neptune Cocktail  —   The large bellyful of seawater that one ingested during a particularly gnarly wipeout. Usually happened concurrently with the Sand Facial.

Nose  —   The bow or front end of a surfboard.

Off the Richter  —   Used to describe something that's very good, excellent, or "off the scale" (also see "Awesome," "Off the Wall," "Outrageous").

Off the Wall  —   Incredible, excellent (also see "Awesome," "Off the Richter," "Outrageous").

Outrageous  —   Incredible, excellent (also see "Awesome," "Off the Richter," "Off the Wall").

Outside Break  —   The area farthest from shore where the waves are breaking.

Over the Falls  —   To wipe out, or to get dragged over as the wave breaks.

Pearl  —   Driving the nose of a surfboard under water to stop or slow down the ride. The term is borrowed from "pearl diving."

Pendleton  —   A brightly colored plaid wool or flannel shirt worn by some surfers.

Pipeline  —   A surf spot on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, between Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach; also called Banzai Pipeline. Originally named by surfing filmmaker Bruce Brown (also see "Banzai Pipeline").

Point Break  —   A type of surf break where waves wrap around a promontory of land and curl as they break. A classic example of a point break is located at Rincon, California, just south of the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line.

Poser  —   A surfer "wanna-be"; someone who only dresses the part.

Pounder  —   A hard-breaking wave.

Prone  —   Ride with your belly on the board. The most common and easiest way to ride a bodyboard.

Prone Out  —   Pulling out of a wave by dropping to your belly causing the nose to go under water and the tail to turn around.

Primo  —   The best (also see "Bitchin," "Boss," "Excellent," "Rad").

Pull Out  —   To steer a surfboard over or through the back of a wave to end a ride.


Quasimoto  —   Riding forward in a hunched-over position; riding a wave on the nose of a surfboard in a crouched position with one arm forward and one arm back, named by surfer Mickey Muöoz.

Rad/Radical  —   Very good; tops; excellent (also see "Bitchin," "Boss," "Primo," "Excellent").

Rails  —   The rounded edges of the surfboard.

Re-Entry  —   Attacking the lip, usually going vertically and then turning nose down and re-entering the wave.

Ripping  —   Executing drastic and radical moves on the wave. Having it your way with a wave.

Sand Facial  —   The result of wiping out and being dragged along the bottom, face first.

Sano  —   Abbreviated form of San Onofre; also means a very clean, nicely contoured wave condition.

Selling Buicks  —   The process of reversing the ingestion of the dreaded Neptune Cocktail. After selling Buicks, it was generally assumed that ones day at the beach was pretty much over.

Set  —   A group of waves.

Shape  —   The configuration, or form, of a wave.

Shoot the Curl  —   Riding a surfboard through, or in and out of, the hollow part of the wave formed as it crests over.

Shoot the Pier  —   Riding a surfboard in between the pilings of a beachside pier.

Shoot the Tube  —   (see "Shoot the curl")

Shore Break  —   Waves break very close to the beach.

Shred  —   To surf aggressively (also see "Hot-Dogging).

Sidewalk Surfing  —   Skateboarding.

Skeg  —   The fin at the tail end of a surfboard.

Soup  —   The foamy part of the broken wave; the white water.

Spin Out  —   The result of a surfboard's skeg and tail end losing contact with the wave face and the surfer wipes out.

Spinner  —   A surfer making a complete 360-degree turn in an upright position while the surfboard keeps going straight (also called a "360").

Sponger  —   Somebody that bodyboards.

Stick  —   Surfboard.

Surfs Up  —   Waves are breaking and surfable.

Stoked  —   Happy; excited; contented.

Stringer  —   The wood strip running down the center of the board; sometimes used for design.

Surf Bunny  —   A surfer's girlfriend; a female surfer (also see "Beach Bunny").

Surfari  —   A surfing trip; a hunt for good surf.

Swells  —   Unbroken waves moving in groups of similar height and frequency.

Tail  —   The stern or rear end of a surfboard.

Tail Slide  —   Part of a larger maneuver in which the surfer purposely makes his/her fins lose their grip and the board slides.

Takeoff  —   The start of a ride.

Taking Gas  —   To wipe out.

Tandem  —   Two people riding on a surfboard at the same time, usually a man and woman.

360  —   (See "Spinner")

Toes on the Nose  —   Riding a surfboard with the toes hanging over the front end (also see "Hang Five/Ten")

Tube  —   The hollow portion of a wave formed when the crest spills over and makes a tunnel or hollow space in front of the face of the wave. (The Green Room)

Tubed  —   Riding inside the "tube".

Val  —   Person from the San Fernando Valley, as referred to by persons living in the L.A.-area beach cities.

Walking the Board  —   Walking back and forth on the surfboard to maintain control.

Walking the Nose  —   Moving forward on the board toward the front or nose.

Wax  —   Substance applied to the top, or deck, of surfboards for traction.

WedgeThe  —  A famous, but dangerous, body surfing spot located at the tip of the Balboa peninsula in Newport Beach, California.

Wet Suit  —   A neoprene rubber suit used by surfers to keep warm.

Wipe Out  —   To fall off or be knocked off your board (also see "Eat It").

Woodie  —   A station wagon, made in the '40s and '50s, with wood paneling on the sides.

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