A Edit

air Edit

Another term for Aerial.

aerial Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

Waves too small to ride.

axed Edit

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

B Edit

backside Edit

Surfing while facing away from the wave.

bail out Edit

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

barrel Edit

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

beach break Edit

Waves breaking on a sand bottom beach.

blown out Edit

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

bombie Edit

A reef break situated some distance from the shore.

bottom Edit

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

bottom turn Edit

A turn at the bottom of the wave face.

C Edit

caught inside Edit

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 Edit

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

choppy Edit

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

clean Edit

Smooth waves, usually good surfing conditions.

clean-up set Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

A member of a surf lifesaving club.

cutback Edit

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 Edit

dawn patrol Edit

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 Edit

The upper surface of a surfboard.

ding Edit

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

double overhead Edit

A wave twice as tall as its rider.

down-the-line Edit

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 Edit

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

duck dive Edit

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 Edit

eskimo roll/ turtle roll Edit

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 Edit

face Edit

Unbroken, forward-facing portion of the wave.

floater Edit

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

forehand Edit

Surfing while facing toward the wave.

frontside Edit

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 Edit

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

G Edit

getting worked Edit

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

glassy Edit

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

gnarly Edit

Heavy, intense waves or situations.

goofy-footed Edit

A surfer who places their right leg forward while surfing.

going off Edit

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

green room Edit

The inside of a tube.

grommet Edit

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

gun Edit

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 Edit

hang five Edit

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

hang ten Edit

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

held down Edit

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 Edit

impact zone Edit

Where the waves are breaking.

inside Edit

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 Edit

jacking Edit

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 Edit

kook Edit

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

L Edit

layback Edit

A manoeuvre where the surfer leans back off the board.

localism Edit

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 Edit

mal Edit

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

mini mal Edit

Mini malibu.

mushy Edit

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

N Edit

natural footed Edit

A surfer who places their left leg forward while surfing.

noah Edit

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

nose Edit

The front of the board.

nose guard Edit

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

nose ride Edit

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

O Edit

off-the-lip Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

peak Edit

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

pocket Edit

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

pointbreak Edit

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

pull in Edit

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

Q Edit

quiver Edit

A surfer's collection of boards.

R Edit

rail Edit

The edge or sides of the board.

rashie Edit

A Lycra shirt.

re-entry Edit

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

rip Edit

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

rocker Edit

The longways curvature of the underside of a board.

roundhouse cutback Edit

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 Edit

section Edit

A segment of a total wave.

set Edit

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

shortie Edit

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

shoulder Edit

The very edge of a breaking wave that is unbroken.

snake Edit

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

stall Edit

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 Edit

A wetsuit with long arms and long legs.

stick Edit

A surfboard

stoked Edit


stringer Edit

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 Edit

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

T Edit

tail Edit

The rear of the board.

take off Edit

To catch a wave and begin the ride.

360 Edit

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

thruster Edit

A surfboard with three fins.

tube Edit

The inside of a hollow wave.

U Edit

V Edit

Vickie Edit

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

W Edit

waxhead Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

A wetsuit.

white water Edit

A frothy, broken wave.

wipe out Edit

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

X Edit

Y Edit

Z Edit

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