Even More Surfer Talk46 comments
Noodled / Noodle Arms
Being exhausted or having tired arms
Another term for shark
The pointy bit of the surfboard; the bit that points away from you when you are paddling and riding
Same thing as a sea, only bigger
This is when the wind at a surf break is blowing off the shore ;-), It makes for ideal surfing conditions.
This is when the wind is blowing towards the land, spoiling the waves. Always remember; offshore good, onshore bad!
Beyond the breaking waves. "See you out back"
The area beyond the line-up. You'll sometimes hear surfers shout "Outside!" as a warning to other surfers that a larger than usual wave is approaching and will be breaking further out that normal.
Waves that are bigger that a surfer when standing up
Someone who stays and plays in the whitewater close to the beach
A wave surfed by several people at once
Perl / Pearl
This is a common term describing when a person buries the nose of their surfboard in the wave and goes "over the falls." It's often referred to by the actual surfer as "@#%%@#@!"
Pipeline (see pipeline surf spot map)
This is the classic Hawaiian wave — amazing, barreling, and mean. It's one of the most famous and most photographed waves there is. If you have just read surfing lesson one - catching waves and are ready to go out and try surfing for the first time, then Pipeline is probably the last place on the planet you want to be.
Pocket / In the Pocket
The pocket is the most powerful part of the wave, just ahead of where the wave is breaking
A mass producted surfboard made by machine
Describes the move a surfer makes to go from lying on the surfboard, into the standing position to ride a wave
Which surfer has the right of way, fully explained here
A decent swell where the waves are nice and powerful; also used to describe a surfer trying to generate speed
Pretty much everyone, surfers and non-surfers alike, will already know about Quiksilver. They're one of the largest manufacturers of surfing equipment and surf clothing on the planet. The lads have done well from their boardshort beginning on Torquay — good on ya! (See Quiksilver boardshorts in the store.)
A surfer's collection of different surfboards. (I've heard people say it's the place where they keep their boards but not sure about that. Thanks go to Kris Carré who suggested "quiver" as an entry.)
Radical / Rad
High performance or risk taking surfing, awesome or impressive
Rails are the sides of your surfboard, running from nose to tail and back again. More details can be found on the surfboard rail page.
To fall off and take the surfboard between the legs (Ouch!)
To be hammered by incoming waves while paddling out
Regular / Regular Footed
Surfing with your left foot forward
Getting into or out of the surf over rocks
See Surfers Against Sewage
Getting completely barreled, riding a phat tube
A common hand signal used by surfers, with an extended thumb and little finger. Hang loose!
A shove-it is a manoeuver where the rider shoves the surfboard round underneath the feet, 180 or 360 degrees. It's a good trick if you can do it.
Someone who buys surf gear and clothing but does not surf
A term used to describe when someone does something impressive, e.g. "that was a sick air" — not just because you have swallowed too much sea water
The opposite of surfing smoothly with style
A rapid turn off the top of the wave, hopefully throwing loads of spray off the top
He's famous for being in Baywatch and his alleged dalliance with Pamela Anderson. Oh yes, we've heard that he's a pretty tidy surfer as well.
Snake / Snaking
Waves should be shared, but snakes take it all. To snake is to drop in out of turn.
Where spray blows out of the end of a barrel. Tube spit.
This is a famous Northern California surf spot
Step Into Liquid
This is what happens when you go walking in puddles. It's also the the name of a surf video by surf vid guru Dana Brown. Check it out at our video store: Step Into Liquid.
Surfer slang for a surfboard
This is the bit of wood that runs up through the length of your surfboard. (It's there if you have a fibreglass one and not one that you have fashioned out of an old ironing board!) More info is available on the surfboard information page.
Where breaking waves cause all the water to be drawn off the sea bed, leaving it exposed
Surfers Against Sewage
SAS is an organisation campaigning for clean water for all. These guys are incredibly high profile and lobby endlessly to ensure all water users are surfing in clean water. Check them out at www.sas.org.uk and become a member. Everyone should become a member.
Soft-tissue swellings on the dorsum of the foot and just below the knee, as a result of kneeling for long periods of time on the surfboard while waiting for a wave
You'll really have to go and read up on the surfboard tail shapes section. I can't be explaining everything over again.
Swell or groundswell refers to solid, real waves. (As apposed to rubbish wind chop) Why not read more on how waves are made.
Riding the surfboard standing the other way round, i.e. if you're regular footed you would be surfing goofy
The tailslide is a move where the tail of the board slides across the lip of the wave
Catching big waves with the aid of a Jet ski
Popular name for a tri-fin shortboard
A traction pad is a permanent replacement for surf wax, stuck directly to the surfboard. It is normally seen placed just in front of the leash plug, providing grip for back foot. Full length grip is available, but is not seen so often. You might find it referred to as deck grip, traction, or a riser pad.
Keeping the surfboard in a straight line at the optimum angle and cruising down the line
The tube is public transportation in London. Oh, you mean Tube! The tube is where the wave is hollow where it's breaking. For some surfers it's the be all of surfing. It's sometimes called a barrel, keg, or pit.
This is a technique for getting a longboard out though a breaking wave. (As apposed to duck diving for a shortboarder). See our how to turtle roll article for more info.
A surfboard with two fins
Ulluwatu is one of a large number of quality Indonesian surf breaks
You are not seriously looking for an explanation of this are you?
Vanuatu is a smallish island in the Pacific, complete with numerous great waves. If you are planning a tropical surfing trip, you could do worse!
It smells nice, gets stuck in your chest hair (not you ladies!), and is used to stop your feet slipping off your board. Also, surf wax can be used as to repair almost anything — leaky roof, rusty zip... you name it.
Getting spun around and around underwater by a wave
It's made of neoprene, keeps out the cold, and makes you look like a seal. Check out the wetsuit section for more information.
Falling of your board is referred to as a wipe-out. Other terms are donut, mullering, eating it, taking a pounding, or pretty much anything else you would like.
To "get worked" is to wipe out and get thrown about while being held under by the wave
Yes, you guessed — we couldn't think of a surfing word truly beginning with "X." Its definition is exactly the same as in the dictionary. Tow in surfing is the latest type of extreme surfing.
Xtrak is one of the leading manufacturers of surfboard traction pads. We've finally got a proper "X." (See Xtrak traction)
Surf spot in Western Australia. (Now we are really struggling!)
(Thanks to those who have sent us "Z" letters. We were struggling for a while but now the section is looking pretty rosy.)
Zamba, Frieda (Born October 24, 1965)
Florida's first four-time world champ
Zogs (Mr.) Sex Wax
Zogs is a popular brand of surf wax found wherever there are surfers. Get some surf wax here.
This is often considered the "holy grail" of wetsuits, as zippers, no matter how tightly made, will always let water through. Invented in '89 by Body Glove, the first zipperless wetsuits were actually way too stiff for surfers to use. In '93, the Japanese came out with another model that was still too stiff, but by '95, most wetsuit companies offered a high end zipperless suit. Advantages include flexibility and warmth; disadvantages include short lifespan (due to super stretchy rubber) and difficult entry/exit.
This weather pattern term means that all of the storm activity in one particular region is moving in a consistent west-to-east pattern along the same latitude. While this can happen anywhere in the world, it's usually associated with the Southern Ocean (around Antarctica) and is caused by large ridges of high pressure in the mid-latitudes, "pancaking" the active storm track into the upper latitudes. Since most of the swell energy in these storms will only travel the direction the fetch is pointed, it means that all of the swell is also going west-to-east. For most of the eastern half of the Pacific (California, Baja, Mainland Mexico, and Central America), zonal activity in the SPAC is bad for swell production. It's good for an area in its path like Chile, but bad for the rest of us.
This is the same as GMT or Greenwich Mean Time. Zulu time is used on weather charts, which may display 12Z for 1200 GMT or 00Z for 0000 GMT. Weather charts play an important part in predicting surf.
That's it for the surfing talk page. If anyone actually read this page and found it interesting and informative (or even remotely amusing at times) then we'd be interested in knowing — e-mail us and let us know.
Back to surf talk main page
on May 10, 2011
|I found this page to be of great interest. It is a well set out document full of valuable information not necessarily known to the non surfing community. Congratulations|
on May 17, 2011
|As a non surfer, I'm trying to work out a particular lyric in a song by the fantastic Baggy's called "My big Gun Board". In the 3rd verse they sing "And before I (space space) I got to get some speed, And my big Gun board gives me all that I need". If someone can fill the spaces I'd be grateful. |
PS At the risk of being a smart arse, in your glossary of surfing terms you forgot "Surfer(ing) knots.
on May 18, 2011
|I'd not come across surfer's knots before, I'll add it to the list.|
Thanks for the feedback, sorry I can't help you out with the lyric - try asking over on the forum.
on May 20, 2011
|Mr Zogs Sex Wax is also good for waxing then polishing rosewood fretboards on guitars, so you can play surf music even faster|
on May 25, 2011
|Great site. Restoring a 60vw dune buggy "mini-T" and found great input into personalized license plate. Love the hang-11.|
on May 26, 2011
|Some funny stuff. I like that you could define ocean with a straight face.|
on Jul 6, 2011
|Sick! Nice job on this... You guys need to add "shacked" - riding a phat tube|
on Jul 11, 2011
|you forgot priority. you talk about it when you talk about the drop in but you never explain what it is.|
on Jul 12, 2011
|We have a whole article about wave priority. Check it out.|
It should probably be mentioned in this list also.
on Jul 28, 2011
|Another term for bodyboarders:|
|F.E. Van Kirk|
on Aug 13, 2011
| Never surfed but used your terms for this. |
I was new schooling at Narrabeen
and everything I did was sick.
Then I tried to shove-it hard
and that was my last trick.
As I got worked, I saw the men in gray
coming for me in crowds.
Now Iíve traded my stick for a lightning bolt
And I surf the electric clouds.
So when you hear the thunder
and you feel the splash,
youíll know Iím in the pipeline
and the rain is from my slash.
Frederick E. Van Kirk
on Aug 30, 2011
|you do mention xtrack but you forgot to list "trackpad" or "traction pad"|
on Aug 30, 2011
|You're right, no traction pad. Better get that added. Thanks.|
on Sep 2, 2011
|I am making a crocheted and embroidered hat for a toddler and needed a good word to discribe the lil' octopuss surfin the white water of the wave. I decided on Paddlepuss... its perfect. :) Thanks for the help|
on Sep 10, 2011
|zzzzz...what the older surfers do after finally making it out to the lineup...how many times I've gotten out there, only to find I'm ready for a nap, so I kind of sit there for a while, pretending I'm waiting for "my" wave....|
on Nov 8, 2011
|Ok, I'm writing a story using the POV of a girl who has been surfing her whole life. This really helps me with some of the lingo she can use!!!!|
on Nov 30, 2011
|no spit or froth??|
on Dec 30, 2011
|I see tailslide and tailside. Do they both mean the same or is one term not correct?|
on Dec 31, 2011
|Tailslide is the correct term. Tailside is probably a typo.|
on Jan 2, 2012
|This page is very helpful as I have just moved to Hawaii..............where surfing is the National Sport!!......... Got a feeling I will be a "PaddlePuss" for sometime at least !!|
on Jan 22, 2012
|I love Point Break!|
on Jan 23, 2012
|i love this site! it helps me so much in learning surf terms. THANK YOU|
on Mar 9, 2012
|Just wanted to say thanks for such a great resource! I'm an artist and am painting the waves I saw in New Jersey so was looking for references. Great fun watching the surfers too. :)|
on Mar 18, 2012
|great site guys. you helped me heaps with my homework.( it was an personal interest project. P.I.P.) but you missed waves for W!!|
on Apr 2, 2012
|what about dirty lickings? ya know, takin a gnarly wipout? im in wrightsville beach,nc and youll hear it everywhere. and competitions? what about that?(sorry, dont mean to sound like an aggro)|
on Apr 18, 2012
|Thanks to everyone for all the feedback and additional surf lingo. I've updated this section with your suggestions.|
Please keep them coming!
on Apr 19, 2012
|Being one I knoticed it was missing; a "grey belly", an older surfer with the big belly.|
on Apr 19, 2012
|@Guest JoBo on Apr 19, 2012: Grey belly added!|
on May 15, 2012
|U can also use rad|
on Jun 15, 2012
|just noticed "shark-biscuit" is missing for bodyboarders.|
on Jun 28, 2012
|pretty well covered except for you have a description for 'new school' but not 'old school'..;-)....and no description for 'soul-surfer', which often goes hand-in-hand with 'old-school' ..jus sayin|
on Jul 9, 2012
|Nice list, but you missed some good ones such as rag doll and chandelier.|
on Aug 20, 2012
|Term for a great surfer but one who paddles everywhere and takes all the good waves....even if you have been sitting for awhile...they just paddle right over in front of every good wave...|
on Sep 21, 2012
|Awsome list, I'm opening a bar near a good surf-spot in Spain...bean-bags, hammocks,chilled live music yet awsome cocktails and drinks and food deals, so some class at least...any suggestions for a name guys, can't be like 100% surf terminology as 'the normal' people have to find it attractive as well...cheers!|
on Nov 7, 2012
|still don't know what underwater means... lol jk|
on Nov 9, 2012
|I didnt see pitted on there aka right in the barrel|
on Nov 19, 2012
|This helped me do homework back when I was a child.|
on Nov 20, 2012
|Great list. I need to find out if there is a name for someone who takes up surfing in their late 30s or 40s as a kind of midlife crisis. Any ideas? ('Kooks' isn't it exactly)|
on Feb 12, 2013
|thanks geography surfing project on surfing slang really helped|
on Mar 25, 2013
|Hi there! please give me explanations for the word surferama|
on Mar 30, 2013
|This is for the 2nd guest person who commented: Gun- it means a surfborad used for riding big waves. ur welcome :]|
on Mar 30, 2013
|hahahaha nicee bro|
on Apr 8, 2013
|I found this page to be both informative and entertaining at times. Thanks dude.|
on May 20, 2013
|How does this otherwise pretty decent glossary not have the word "Barney" in it????|
on May 21, 2013
|Barney has now been added!|
|W. H. A., Jr.|
on Aug 27, 2013
|Thanks a LOT a LUMP for the glossary of terms and of phrases of terms of Surfing Slang and for explaining the definitions that it mentions of such terms and of such phrases of said terms of Surfing Slang in a manner in which we know most people can't or won't be confused by their definitions for others and even for us, too....|