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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:
bottom turn, climbing to the wave's crest, then radically cutting back
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 Mu÷oz.
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.
Wedge, The:
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.



Copyright © 2000-2003, John Baker
All Rights Reserved

Last Revision: April 22, 2003