INSIDER INFO: SURFER LINGO

Whether you’re packing your baggies and heading off to Newquay, or carving up the surf in Hawaii or Californ-i-a, get hip with the lingo dude, and blend in with the locals...

Aggro: Aggravation or annoyance, often caused by a breach of surfing etiquette

Air: A manoeuvre involving the surfer riding up the face of a wave and into the air above then landing back on top of the wave

Ankle Busters: Little waves

Avalanche: A huge breaking wave

ASP: Association of Professional Surfing 

Bail out: Pulling out of a decision to surf a wave at the last minute, sometimes abandoning your surfboard before falling off 

Baggies: Surfing shorts or trunks. 

Barney: A newby or inexperienced surfer.

Barrel: See entry for Hollow 

Bitchin': Awesome

Bogus: Disappointing

Blown Out: Surf rendered choppy and unrideable by onshore winds

Bodyboard: A soft foam board which is ridden lying face down 

Bodysurf: Surfing the waves without a board

Bombs: Big big waves

Brah: Slang for buddy, derived from the Hawaiian word Bruddah, meaning brother

Brainfreeze: The result of having had your head submerged in very cold sea water

Bruddah: See entry for Brah

Carving: The classic surfing move where the surfer turns sharply on a wave 

Choppy: Rough sea conditions 

Cannon ball: Assuming a foetal position when falling off during a surf

Clean: Good sea conditions, waves and board

Cord or Leash: The usually plastic lead which attaches a surfer to their board

Cross stepping: Walking  foot over foot up and down a longboard 

Cut-back: Reverse surfing direction in a single smooth movement towards the white water, so as to increase the amount of time a wave can be ridden

Dawn patrol: An early morning surfing session 

Deck: A surfboard's upper side 

Ding: Surfboard damage 

Drop in: A serious breach of surfing etiquette, this means coming in on a wave in front of someone already riding it, causing them to have to abandon the wave

Double up: Two waves combining

Face: The whole front of a wave as it approaches the shore

Fins: The control rudders found on the bottom of surfboards

Fubar: An acronym that commonly means "fucked up beyond all repair," "fucked up beyond all recognition," or similar. The phrase originated in the US armed forces

Get worked: To come off your board and get thrown around while being held under by the wave

Glassy: Very smooth sea conditions

Gnarly or Hairy: Describes an especially awesome wave 

Ground Swells: Waves created over long distances by a broad and deep undulation of the ocean rather than waves formed close to the shore by the wind

Hairy: See entry for Gnarly

Hammered: Being pummeled by a wave

Hollow, Barrel or Tube: The cylindrical shaped hollow tube formed by a wave when it is breaking, as the lip of a wave curves over . 

Inside: Surfing inside the hollow of a wave (see hollow above)

Kick-out: Pull out of a wave

Leash or Cord: The (usually) plastic lead which attaches a surfer to their board

Left and Right: A wave breaking from left to right as you look out to sea is called a left, while one that breaks from right to left is known as a right

Lip: The very top, curved over part of a wave

Long board: A board with a widened round end that is around three feet longer than the surfer's height 

Mushy: Crumbling, weak waves 

Nose: The front end of a board

Peak: A wave's highest part

Point break: Breaking waves off a rock formation that appears above the surface of the surrounding land

Pop-up: Get into a standing position after catching a wave

Rail: The surfboard's curved sides 

Ripping: Surfing well 

SAS: Surfers Against Sewage, an organisation dedicated to cleaning up the surfing environment. You can join online and buy stuff

Set: A succession of outside breaking waves

Shaka sign: This is a common greeting among surfers, and is one of the most well known and used gestures in Hawaii. It is formed by sticking out the thumb and pinky finger while keeping the other three fingers curled, with the back of the hand facing the person being greeted

Short board: A small surfboard 

Shoulder: A breaking wave's unbroken edge

Snaking: Obstructing another surfer who has the right of way on a wave

Soft board: A safety-conscious surfboard made from a soft material

Soup: The white froth created by a broken wave

Stall: A move that slows the forward momentum of the surfboard  so as to let a wave catch up

Stick: Nickname for a surfboard

Surf wax: Wax that is applied to the top side of  a fiberglass surfboard to help create traction,

Swell: Building waves 

Tail: The back end of a board

The Bomb: Fantastic, the best

Thruster: A surfboard with three fins

Tow-in: Being towed by a jet-ski or other machine into waves that are too big to be paddled into

Tube: See entry for Hollow

Walking the nose: Walking towards the nose or front of the surfboard 

Whitewater: Breaking waves creating white,  foamy water

Wind Swells: Waves formed close to the shore by the wind rather than those created over long distances by a deep sea conditions

Wipe out: Falling off the board in the middle of a surf ride

Zipper: A really fast breaking wave

Zone: When everything comes together perfectly - rhythm, timing. flow and breaking waves