Surferpedia - The Wiki Encyclopedia of Surfing
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A[]

air[]

Another term for Aerial.

aerial[]

A trick where the board takes off from the lip of a wave and after travelling lands back on the face of the wave and continuing.

A-frame[]

A peak-shaped wave, with nice left and right shoulders, and the highest point of the crest in the middle of the peak.

ankle slop[]

Waves too small to ride.

axed[]

A heavy wipeout, usually involving the wave's lip impacting directly onto a surfer. Also called drilled, hammered.

B[]

backside[]

Surfing while facing away from the wave.

bail out[]

To abandon or ditch one's surfboard before getting wiped out by the wave, either paddling out, or while riding the wave.

barrel[]

The space inside a hollow, breaking wave between the lip and face.

beach break[]

Waves breaking on a sand bottom beach.

blown out[]

Surf condition in which strong winds disrupt the ridable sections of waves, reducing them to chop or mush.

bombie[]

A reef break situated some distance from the shore.

bottom[]

The lowest section of the face of an unbroken wave.
The lower surface of a surfboard.

bottom turn[]

A turn at the bottom of the wave face.

C[]

caught inside[]

When a surfer is on the "inside" and trapped between the shoreline and breaking waves. Oncoming waves can make paddling back outside difficult, hence being "caught" in an undesirable position. This usually means the surfer will have to wait for a lull between the larger breaking waves for a chance to slip into clear water.

channel[]

Design feature of a surfboard to guide water along its underside.
A trench between sand banks or reefs.

choppy[]

Surf condition in which the waves are inconsistent, broken, or generally irregular.

clean[]

Smooth waves, usually good surfing conditions.

clean-up set[]

A much larger wave or a set of waves, which breaks further outside than normal. A clean-up set usually "cleans" the line-up of surfers caught further inside.

close out[]

An undesirable situation in which a wave does not break uniformly along its length. Instead one or more sections of the wave break ahead of the section the surfer is riding.

clubbie[]

A member of a surf lifesaving club.

cutback[]

A classic surfing move used to change direction when streaking ahead of the curl of a wave with a powerful turn back towards the breaking part of the wave (white water). Cutbacks are an important element in surfing as the maneuver repositions the surfer closer to the power of the wave. See also Roundhouse cutback.

D[]

dawn patrol[]

Literally going surfing at dawn. An early morning surf session before sunrise. This time usually offers the least crowded and cleanest conditions before the winds pick up.

deck[]

The upper surface of a surfboard.

ding[]

Damage, usually a hole or dent, to the surfboard.

double overhead[]

A wave twice as tall as its rider.

down-the-line[]

A reference to the direction further along the crest of a wave from the location from where a surfer drops into the wave. The direction toward which the surfer is riding. Waves can also be described as "down-the-line" when the wall is long and fast.

drop in[]

Taking off on a wave that is already being ridden by another surfer. Contrary to good etiquette.

duck dive[]

A method for getting through a broken or large wave without being washed towards the shore. Basically, pushing the surfboard and one's body under the wave.

E[]

eskimo roll/ turtle roll[]

A method for getting through a broken or large wave without being washed towards the shore. Basically, rolling the board over so the water rushes over the underside (which is facing upwards).

F[]

face[]

Unbroken, forward-facing portion of the wave.

floater[]

A type of surfing manoeuver that involves riding over the broken part of a wave.

forehand[]

Surfing while facing toward the wave.

frontside[]

Refers to your body position in relation to the wave face. Surfing 'frontside' means that the anterior portion of your body is facing the wave face and your posterior portion is facing the beach.

funboard[]

A surfboard somewhere between a shortboard and a mini-mal, designed for ease of surfing in a range of conditions.

G[]

getting worked[]

A term for getting hit hard by a wave, a set, or wiping out in a spectacular manner.

glassy[]

A very favorable, windless surf condition in which the texture of the ocean surface is ultra-smooth, like glass.

gnarly[]

Heavy, intense waves or situations.

goofy-footed[]

A surfer who places their right leg forward while surfing.

going off[]

A term to describe very good, consistent surf. Also refers to a surfer who is surfing particularly well.

green room[]

The inside of a tube.

grommet[]

Young surfer. Sometimes shortened to "grom". Can also refer to children in general, not just those who surf.

gun[]

A long narrow board designed for surfing big waves. The term comes from elephant gun, a big board being needed for big waves in the same way a big gun imagined necessary for big animals.

H[]

hang five[]

A long-boarding trick in which the toes of one foot are curled around the nose of the surfboard.

hang ten[]

An advanced longboarding trick in which the toes of both feet are curled around nose of the surfboard.

held down[]

To be held underwater by a wave. A two-wave hold down is to be held down while two waves pass over. A hold down usually feels much longer than it actually is.

I[]

impact zone[]

Where the waves are breaking.

inside[]

The takeoff position on a wave closest to the curl than any other surfer. Also "caught inside": being located inshore of the breaking waves or inside the impact zone or break line.

J[]

jacking[]

A wave condition in which a swell rises very quickly as it passes from deeper water to shallow water. A radical shoaling process caused by an extreme variation in water depth as the swell hits the shallow reef or ocean floor. Often creates very hollow and intense waves that appear to grow suddenly in height; thus "jacking up".

K[]

kook[]

Any person who is in the line-up and unconsciously causing trouble or problems for their fellow surfers.

L[]

layback[]

A manoeuvre where the surfer leans back off the board.

localism[]

Term given to hostility displayed by local surfers to surfers visiting what the locals consider to be their break. The hostility can range from graffiti, verbal abuse in the line up, wiping of surf wax over the windscreen of the visitor's car, to physical violence.

M[]

mal[]

Short for malibu, refering to a long board, not the place.

mini mal[]

Mini malibu.

mushy[]

A surf condition in which waves are crumbly and soft without any steepness or much energy. Gutless and weak.

N[]

natural footed[]

A surfer who places their left leg forward while surfing.

noah[]

A shark. From rhyming slang, Noah's ark.

nose[]

The front of the board.

nose guard[]

A rubber tip stuck to the nose of a board to reduce injury if it strikes someone.

nose ride[]

A surfing manoeuvre whereby the surfer walks to the front of the surfboard and stands on the nose.

O[]

off-the-lip[]

A re-entry. Turning the board quickly off the top of the wave to come back down into the face of the wave.

out-the-back/outside[]

The area outside of the lineup or break line where surfers in the lineup initially observe sets of waves as they approach. Often used to warn other surfers in the lineup that a new set of waves is approaching.

overhead[]

Wave heights taller than the surfer riding it. Often used as a measurement scale of waves such as 2 feet overhead, three feet overhead, double overhead, triple overhead.

over-the-falls[]

The worst kind of wipeout in which a surfer is sucked back over the top of the wave as it breaks, and free-falls down with the lip.

P[]

peak[]

Where a wave forms in a manner that the surfer is able to go both right or left from the take off.

pocket[]

The section of a wave just ahead of the broken section, where the face is at its steepest.

pointbreak[]

A type of surf break where waves wrap around a point of land creating waves that peel along the coastline.

pull in[]

The process of turning the surfboard up to enter the barrel or the tube.

Q[]

quiver[]

A surfer's collection of boards.

R[]

rail[]

The edge or sides of the board.

rashie[]

A Lycra shirt.

re-entry[]

Turning on the lip of the wave to come back down into the face of the wave.

rip[]

A current of fast moving water.
To perform radical manoeuvres.

rocker[]

The longways curvature of the underside of a board.

roundhouse cutback[]

A complete 180-degree directional change in which the surfer turns from the shoulder all the way back into the curl or whitewater of the breaking wave, before completing the ride. A very advanced manoeuvre, which is difficult to complete if enough speed isn't carried throughout the entire 180-degree turn. A roundhouse cutback is usually complemented by a foam bounce recovery off the approaching whitewater.

S[]

section[]

A segment of a total wave.

set[]

A group of waves that are larger than the waves breaking between sets.

shortie[]

A wetsuit with short legs and short, or no, arms. Sometimes known as a spring suit.

shoulder[]

The very edge of a breaking wave that is unbroken.

snake[]

The action of sneaking onto the inside as a surfer's attention is directed to catching a wave.

stall[]

A method to slow the surfboard to allow a wave to catch or overtake it. Performed by stepping to the tail of the surfboard or simply leaning back and resting one's weight on one's trailing foot.

steamer[]

A wetsuit with long arms and long legs.

stick[]

A surfboard

stoked[]

Excited.

stringer[]

The wooden strip which runs the length of the board, designed to give strength an rigidity to the board. These can either be single, for short boards or lighter weight long boards, or double or triple stringers for longboards. Double and triple stringers are great for using longboards in more powerful or large waves, but add weight to the board.

switchfoot[]

Riding with one's wrong foot forward, ie. opposite to one's usual stance.

T[]

tail[]

The rear of the board.

take off[]

To catch a wave and begin the ride.

360[]

A surfing manoeuvre that involves turning the board through a full circle on the face of the wave.

thruster[]

A surfboard with three fins.

tube[]

The inside of a hollow wave.

U[]

V[]

Vickie[]

A derogatory term for Australian surfers. Implies that Australians are descended from convicts.

W[]

waxhead[]

Obsolete term for a keen surfer. It comes from the 1960s when boards were heavy solid wood and were carried balanced on the head, wax-side down, getting wax in the surfers hair.

wetsuit[]

A neoprene (rubber) garment used for surfing in winter or when it is cold. Orinially invented by Jack O'Neill, founder of famous surfing brand, O'Neill wetsuits.

wettie[]

A wetsuit.

white water[]

A frothy, broken wave.

wipe out[]

A drammatic loss of control of the surfboard resulting in the surfer falling off.

X[]

Y[]

Z[]

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