Surfing Terms, Talk, Phrases and Slang – Over 260 Entries!

Surf Terms, Slang and Phrases

surfing terms
“You should have been here yesterday!” “ You should have been here yesterday ! ” With the help of this Surfing Terms page you ‘ll be able to not only walk like a surfer, but you ‘ll besides be able to talk like one. Chill with the locals, impress the hotties at the local bar, or show up that know-it-all bratwurst who is going out with your younger brother or sister. Read on and increase your cognition .
( Thanks to everyone who is e-mailing us with newfangled terms to include or posting them in the comments. We ‘re including new slang and phrases all the time so please keep them coming ! )

Glossary of Surfing Terms

180 / 360

The spin of a surfer ‘s board during a manoeuver in degrees, e.g. 360 academic degree turn .


The perfect barrel surf, a cross-section of an A-frame wave reveals an “ A ” determine where it is breaking soooo nicely .


aggressive position in the water ; having a bad attitude .

Air / Aerial

An advanced surfing maneuver where the surfer and board leave the coat of the wave. here are some capital air travel photos .


Something surfers shout when they spot a huge perfect wave, or when they are shocked or surprised. Old School !


Getting excited while surfing or truly looking forward to a surf .

Ankle Busters / Snappers

belittled waves .


ASP stands for Association of Professional Surfing. The ASP was previously the governing body of surfing. In 2014 the ASP changed their diagnose to the World Surf League .


Entering a barrel from behind the extremum of the violate beckon. Backdoor is besides the name of the correctly hand wave that sometimes breaks at the celebrated wave of Pipeline .


Surfing with your back towards the wave. A regular foot surfer going left or a goofy footed surfer going right will be surfing buttocks. The reverse is frontside .


Waves / water heading back out towards the entrance beckon where it has rebounded from the beach / cliffs / sea wall etc. Can make for some fun surfboard .


Loose, drawstring surf shorts .


To bail is to jump off the board to avoid an at hand destruction .


sandpaper on the ocean floor of a beach break. Beach break waves are subject on the choice of the sandpaper banks to provide commodity, surfable waves .


An inexperienced surfer, or person who ‘s no good at surfing .


A barrel is where the wave is hollow when it is breaking. For some surfers it ‘s the be all and end all of surfing. Is sometimes called a “ tube. ”

Beach Break

This is a curl that breaks over a flaxen ocean go to bed. You ‘ve not read up about waves, have you ?

Beach Leech

The perfective description of a beach leech : “ Some people do n’t bring their own boards, and prefer to borrow your extra boards ( they do n’t rent ). And for wax, some do n’t very bring it. They fair ask for some. ”

Bells Beach

Bells Beach is one of the great right point breaks. Find it on the south victorian coastline of Australia. Check out the Bells Beach Pro held in March every class. This was the setting for that tearful end bite in the movie “ Point Break ” when Patrick ( twinkletoes ) Swayze AKA Bodie ate it at the end of Point Break. ( And no doubt that after reading the waves page and finding out what a point open frame actually is, you ‘re feeling peculiarly chuffed with yourself ! )
It should besides be pointed out that it was not actually Bells Beach where the scene was filmed but India Beach in Oregon. Thanks to Danny from Oregon for this information .


A not local anesthetic .


One of the oldest and good know browse slang for a surfer girl who surfs .

Big Wednesday

A classic approach of age film telling the fib of three surfing friends in California. Starring Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt and Gary Busey .


What Australians call a water hole, but to everyone else it is one of the largest surfing equipment and clothe manufacturers out there .


Old educate for actually good or enjoyable .


The foam used to shape a surfboard .

Blown Out

Where the onshore wind turns the surf in to unrideable dogsled .


The fiberglass thingy under your feet .

Boardshorts / Boardies

These shorts are flying dry, whippersnapper, and wear by those golden adequate to be surfing in warm water system. Check the men ‘s boardshorts hera and the women ‘s boardshorts hera .


A peculiarly large or heavy beckon. “ He took off on a turkey ” .

Bombora / Bommie

An native term for a wave that breaks over a shallow reef, located beyond the normal lineup and frequently some distance from the prop up .

Booger / Boogieboarder

Slang for body boarders .

Bottom Turn

This is the turn made at the floor of the wave when coming down off the face. It ‘s much the first move made after dropping in. Get it right for great positioning for your future manoeuver .


Slang term for brother, supporter, fellow surfer .

Carve / Carving

The classic browse steer, carve is basically what turning on a wave is called. Carve is besides a surf magazine found in Europe .

Caught Inside

A surfer who is caught inside is excessively far in, and the waves are breaking foster out. It can be dangerous in boastfully surf .


A surfer actually going for it on a wave, surfing aggresively. Charges, as in “ holmium, that ridicule charges ” .

Chinese Wax Job

Getting wax on the bottom of your surfboard .


Bitchin ‘, amazing, bang-up etc .


Where the surface of the ocean is boisterous / bumpy .


Used to describe the contamination conditions when there ‘s a crap in the batting order — “ I caught some disgusted waves out there but it was hard trying not to swallow the chowder. ”


Waves that break from a single vertex along it ‘s length, providing an open face for a surfer to ride on. The opposition of messy .

Clean Up Set

A brandish or set of waves that are larger than average and breakage before the line up, resulting in clearing the line-up of surfers .


The process where a surfer turns up and down the face of the wave while surfing down the line .

Close Out

Where a wave breaks along its length all at once .


Being scared of afraid of waves .


Swell lines that look like corduroy ; see this corduroy swell movie that illustrates it perfectly .

Covered up

Where the lip of the wave breaks over a surfer, about a barrel but not quite. “ I just got a coverup. ”


slang from 1960 ‘s surf culture, cried out enthusiastically when surfing — The surfer ‘s cry “ Cowabunga ” as they climb a 12 foot wall of water and “ take the dribble. ”


When the waves are commodity, it ‘s said to be cranking .

Cripples / Crips

derogative term for bogeyman ( see derogative term above ), knee of SUP boarders .


The outdoor partially of the barrel. “ I was deep in the barrel the curtain closed on me. ”

Cross Step / Stepping

This is the artwork of walking up and down a longboard, foot over foot. When you see some guy / gal running up and down their board, you ‘ll now know what to call it .


Making a cutback is reversing the focus that you are surfing in one legato fluid move. ( That ‘s the mind anyhow. )
More Surf Slang - Drop in
“ My wave !…My wave!!…. MY brandish ! ! ! !(see Drop In below) … My brandish ! ! …. ( see Drop In below )

Dawn Patrol

Going surfing first thing in the dawn .


The is the morsel of the surfboard you stand on. ( Hopefully you have your board the veracious way round in the water. )


Surfboard damage — “ Oh dear me, I ‘ve dinged my board ! ” ( possibly a little more profanity will be used. )

Dirty Lickings

Taking a gnarled destruction .

Doggy Door

Exiting a barrel through the small hole left by the wave as it closes .

Double Overhead

The altitude of a wave doubly ampere tall as the surfer .


Drive relates to acceleration and maintainenance of rush though turns .

Drop, The

The drop is where a surfer first gets up on the waves and drops down the confront of the wave. It ‘s besides referred to as “ taking the drop. ”

Drop In

Dropping in is a crime in the surf worldly concern. A drop-in is where a surfer catches a wave without having priority, i.e. there is already a surfer on the wave. Please see diagram above. Remember, it ‘s a crime !

Drop Knee

Riding a longboard with one stifle on the deck of the surfboard .


protection when surfing in identical cold water, when a wetsuit would not be effective for keeping warm .

Duck dive / Duck Diving

Duck Diving is diving under an oncoming wave when paddling out. See duck diving in wide detail in surfing lesson three — duck dive .


Dude, we about forgot fellow ! Dude can mean pretty much anything depending on the tonicity and prosody. ( Thanks go to Corey Ferguson for this one. )


frequently caused by onshore conditions, where a brandish will fold over in big sections, making it un-surfable .

Eat It

Wiping out on a wave .

El Rollo

A browse maneuver. Riding the inwardly wall of the pitched brim ( barrel ), rather of the main brandish wall, and coming out sideways .

Endless Summer

“ dateless summer ” is the absolute classic surfing movie. Forget all this new school catchy material. Watch this movie, and if you are not a surfer before wake, you ‘ll surely want to be after. I can not emphasise how effective this is — WATCH IT ! ( even the other one-half will enjoy it ! ! ! ) Check out this video and others at the browse video page .


exceed course surf or highly good waves ; description of an amazing wave or browse school term .

Eskimo Roll

( See Turtle Roll )


The unbroken separate of the wave.


This is where person rides backwards on the surfboard, stern first. It ‘s besides what you are if you ‘re only reading this page then you can pretend that you ‘re a surfer .


FCS stands for louver control system. This is a character of fin that is amply removable from the surfboard. It ‘s ideal if you break a five ( you do n’t have to get a new on glassed rear on ), or if you are travelling. ( It ‘s best to remove the fins to keep your board from being damaged. )


The fin is the crook piece hanging down under your surfboard that you keep bashing when you tie your surfboard to the roof of your car. It ‘s sometimes called a skeg .


Firing is the same as “ going off ”, where the surf is very good and the waves are breaking nicely .


A type of surfboard shape, shorter and thicker than a standard shortboard. fish surfboards are for surfing smaller waves .


No waves. Boo hoo !


Riding over the white water back onto the shoulder of the wave ( you may need to consult the terms list further to understand this answer amply ) .


The break depart of a wave, another term for “ Whitewater ” or “ Soup ” .


These are either white water waves or surfboards that are made out of foam. ( They ‘re ideal for beginners. )


The rate of change of thickness of a surfboard from the nose to the tail .


Surfing with your presence towards the brandish. A regular foot surfer going right or a goofy footed surfer going left will be surfing frontside. The opposite is buttocks .


The foam left after a wave has broken .

Frothin / Froathin

Excited .


A surfer who does not catch a beckon for the whole time they are in the water .


Wetsuit with full arms and legs. See the types of wetsuits .


A mid-length surfboard, often know as a minimal ; see funboard examples here .


This is the dub of the title character created in a novel by Frederick Kohner ( and adapted for three far films ). Gidget is a contraction of “ girl dwarf, ” which is why it went on to be used to describe small female surfers .

Glass Job

The fiberglass finish on a surfboard .


This is ultra-clean browse without a ripple that frequently looks like glass. Click here to see a glassy roll .


peculiarly dangerous surf conditions .

Goat Boater

derogative term for kayakers and brandish skiers .

Going off

If the surf is in truth good, you could say it ‘s going off .


derogative terminus for a longboard or a longboarder .

Goofy / Goofy Foot

Surfing with your veracious foot ahead .

Green Room

Inside the tube or barrel .

Gremmie / Grommet / Grom

Any of the above can be used to describe a young or inexperienced surfer. Grommet is besides the cunning pooch character in the Nick Park animation creations. ( And they are actually rather full ! )

Grey Belly

An older surfer with the big belly .

Grom Mum

The ma who taxis her kids everywhere, anytime for a brandish. One who sits sipping coffee on the cold sandpaper under blankets at 6 am equitable to see her kids stoked .


Falling off your board while surfing .


british surfing equipment manufacturer .


A surfboard designed for adult waves .
Riding the nose or hanging ten
Riding the nose Riding the nose

Hang Eleven

This is when a male surfer rides his board in the nude. ( such as nearby Black ‘s Beach in San Diego : thanks to Gary M. Steinhaus for this one ! )

Hang Loose

See Shacka .

Hang Ten

If you ‘re riding a longboard with both feet directly on the intrude of the board, your hanging ten. It ‘s besides the mention of a longboard cartridge holder .


Heavy has a match of meanings. When used as in “ heavy waves, ” it means big, gnarled, kick back buttocks waves. Teahupoo, Mavericks and Pipeline are three waves that would have to be described as heavy with a capital “ H. ” The lapp terminus can be used to describe the locals at a blot. ( For the like kick ass argue ! )


Anyone who annoys board riders while they surf ( austral Women ‘s Weekly Oct. 24, 1962 ) .


A hodad is a non-surfing beach mooch. ( Pix Sept. 28, 1963 ) Thanks go to John Gentile for the Hodads .


Tubing waves, a-frames, barrels .

Impact Zone

The position where the waves are breaking .

In the Soup

A term used when a surfer is in the ashen foam of the wave after the wave has broken .


Slang for Indonesia, dwelling of some classic surf spots and a top surf trip finish .


The sphere of white water where the waves have broken, between the prop up and the line-up. besides, inside can be used to describe the section of a wave that breaks towards the end of the ride, close to the land .


popular brand of surfboard invest .

Jeffrey’s Bay / J Bay

Jeffrey ‘s Bay is a south african browse break dance of the highest quality. It ‘s one of the worldly concern ‘s most celebrated, high timbre right handers. ( Do n’t know what a right hander is ? then go teach your waves. Go have a search at the section on waves. )

Junkyard Dog

A surfer with poor style or a surfer who only surfs icky waves .


Another bible for a barrel / tube .

Kick Out

Finishing a ride by turning back come out of the closet over the top of the wave .


A new educate browse antic which involves rotating the board 360° along it ‘s length while airborne, and landing back on the board. here ‘s a estimable example .


A surfing by-product, kneeboarding is riding the waves on your knees using a special knee board .


A novice or person who is not very good at surfing. A test hard. person who surfs to try and look cool. person who does not follow the rules in the lineup, drops in etc. Are you a kook ?


Shark .

Late Takeoff

Waiting until the last possible moment to get up on a wave .


The layback is a surfboard manoeuver where the surfer literally lays backwards on a wave. It ‘s one of surfing ‘s more extreme tricks .


This is the cord that is attached between your leg and your surfboard. Click here for more information about a three or find out about how to attach your surfboard collar here .


A wave that breaks from right to left from a surfer item of position when facing into the prop up .

Leg rope

See Leash above .


australian slang for the leash .


Getting licked means wiping out and being hammered by the roll .

Line Up

The telephone line up is the place barely outside the unwrap waves where surfers wait for their waves .


Unbroken waves heading towards the shore. See cord .


The tip of the breaking part of the brandish .

Locked In

When a wave crashes and the surfer is inside of it .


Slang for a Longboard .


Slang for a Longboarder / person who rides a Longboard .


A surf interrupt full of longboarders .

Long John Wetsuit

A type of long legged, no armed wetsuit – details here .


A long surfboard with a round nose. See our longboard choice .


This is when the ocean goes flat between sets and everyone sits around waiting for the waves to arrive .

Mal / Malibu

Another description of a longboard surfboard .


This is a celebrated big wave blemish off the California coast. not to be confused with the film “ Maverick ”, starring Mel Gibson, although you need to be pretty weather to tackle both .

Men In Grey Suits

shark ! ! ! ! !


Waves that close out, break irregularly and that are not ideal to surf on. The opposite of clean surfboard, broadly caused by an inshore or cross-shore wind .


Multi-world champ and all circle surfing caption Mark Richards .


Wipe-out of the highest order .

Mush / Mushburger

Poor quality, slow, or non-powerful waves, frequently onshore.


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