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Surfing Lingo

We've narrowed down some of the top surfing terms for your reference.  Now you can not only act like a surfer, but talk like one too!

  • Amped - getting excited while surfing or looking forward to surf
  • ASP - Association of Professional Surfing
  • Backdoor - entering a barrel from behind the peak of the breaking wave
  • Backside - surfing with your back towards the wave
  • Bail - to jump off your board to avoid a wipeout
  • Banks - sand on the sea floor of a beach break
  • Barney - beginner surfer or a not good surfer
  • Barrel - where the wave is hollow when breaking, also known as a "tube"
  • Benny - non local
  • Betty - good looking female surfer
  • Boardshorts/Boardies - men's and women's surf shorts
  • Carve/Carving - classic surfing maneuver or turning on a wave
  • Choka - bitchin', awesome, great
  • Clean Up Set - a wave or set of waves that are larger than average and break before the line up, resulting in clearing the line-up of surfers
  • Cowabunga - cried out enthusiastically when surfing
  • Dawn Patrol - surfing first thing in the morning
  • Drop in - this is a crime in the surf world!  A drop in is catching a wave out of turn
  • Duck Dive - diving under an oncoming wave when paddling out
  • Eat it - wipe out on a wave
  • Epic - top class surf or extremely good waves
  • Funboard - mid-length surfboard
  • Gnarly - dangerous surf conditions
  • Kook - similar to a Barney, a beginner surfer who is not very good or doesn't know the rules
  • Leash - the cord that is attached to your leg and surfboard
  • Line Up - the area just outside the wave where surfers wait for their waves
  • Mavericks - famous big wave spot for experts off of the California coast
  • Pipeline - classic Hawaiian wave - most famous wave and sought after by expert surfers
  • Pop Up - term describing a surfer going from laying down on the board into the standing position to ride a wave
  • Pumping - a decent swell where the waves are nice and powerful
  • Raked Over - to be hammered by incoming waves while paddling out
  • Riptide - strong current heading out to sea
  • Shaka - common hand signal used by surfers with an extended thumb and pinky finger, also known as "hang loose"
  • Snaking - drop in on a wave out of turn
  • Stoked - elated, high excitement