Surf Encyclopedia

AIR (Also Aerial)

When a surfer launches himself and the surfboard above the wave in which there is space between his board and the top of the wave. Jordy Smith just did the biggest “air” I have ever seen.

AIR DROP (Also Free Fall)

When a surfer drops into a wave, but the board comes free of the wave they’re dropping in on. Also when a surfer free falls down the wave. Julian Wilson had the craziest “air drop” at The Box today.

BACKSIDE

A term used when a surfer is surfing and his back is towards the wave. Rob Machado is known to have one of the best “backside’s” in surfing.

BARREL (Also Tube)

When a surfer is riding a wave and the lip goes over and completely covers them. I saw Kelly Slater today at Backdoor Pipeline, he got the longest “barrel”.

BAIL

To push your board to the side of you and swim freely underneath the wave. This usually occurs when a wave is too big to duck dive. I got caught inside on a set, and had to “bail” my board.

BEACH BABE

The girl who doesn’t surf, but most likely will just hang at the beach and get tan. Did you see April, she’s such a “beach babe”?

BEACH BREAK

This is your most common type of a wave. A surf spot that breaks on sand. In Hossegor, France they have some of the best “beach breaks” around.

BIG FOOT

A trailer that is used to transport a jet ski to and from the water. We are going to have to put the jet ski on a “big foot” and push it down into the water.

BLACK BALL

This is usually done on the beaches in the summer months where the beaches are most crowded. When a Black Ball flag is placed, this means there is no surfing allowed in that certain area. We only have one hour left to surf The Wedge then “black ball” starts.

BLANK

Before a surfboard is shaped it is called a blank. Did you get that “blank” to Al Merrick so he can begin to shape my board?

BLOWN OUT

This usually occurs when a very strong wind is onshore, and will make the waves blown out; and have white caps. I don’t want to go for a surf, it’s all “blown out”.

BOARD CADDY

A board caddy is usually needed during a contest in large surf. A surfer will have another person paddle out into the lineup/contest area on one of the surfer’s boards. This is in case the surfer breaks the board he is on, the board caddy will switch boards. Occy was Luke Egan’s “board caddy” during the Jbay contest.

BOARD SHORTS (Also Trunks)

A pair of shorts worn mostly while surfing. Have you seen the new Andy Iron’s Billabong “board shorts” there sick.

BODYBOARD (Also Boogie, Boogieboard)

A short, lightweight board that is made out of soft foam in which is often ridden by lying on your stomach. Did you see Mike Stewart today riding Waimea Shorebreak on his Morey “bodyboard”?

BODYSURF

Where one surfs the wave without any type of board. Mark Cunningham was at The Wedge “bodysurfing”.

BOOGIEBOARD

(See Bodyboard)

BOOTIES

Similar to a pair of shoes, but made out of wetsuit material. Booties are worn (mostly always in cold water) to help keep your feet warm and they also provide extra traction so you will not slip while surfing. I am glad I had my Xcel “booties” on, the water was freezing.

BOTTOM TURN

When a surfer drops into a wave they then go to the bottom of the wave and into a bottom turn. Derek Ho did the sickest “bottom turn” at first reef Pipe.

BURN (Also Burning, Dropped in On, Dropping in On, Snake, Snaked)

When a surfer drops in on a wave and another surfer chooses (on purpose or by accident) to drop in on the same wave in front of him. I cannot believe someone “burned” Jamie Obrien at Off The Wall, that was lame.

CHANNEL

An area in the surf where the waves do not break. Jaws has a big “channel” where boats and jet skis can wade in the ocean to watch the surf and will be safe from any waves hitting them.

CLAIM

When a surfer lifts his hands or arms in the air because he is happy. This usually occurs after they have come out of a tube or pulled a great trick. I had to “claim” that wave, I was so stoked to come out of that barrel.

COFFIN (Also Board Bag)

A very large travel bag in which is used to hold usually 3-7 surfboards. The airline charged me $400 for my “coffin” bag.

DROPPING IN

When a surfer has just began to drop into the wave. This happens right after they have stood up on there board. I can’t believe Laird Hamilton is “dropping in” on that wave, it must be 30 feet plus.

DUCK DIVE

Where a surfer is holding his board with both hands and using his upper body strength to push his board underneath the un-coming waves. Man, I had to “duck dive” so many waves to get out.

FIN (Also Fins, Skeg, Skegs)

Most surfboards have between 1-4 fins on there board. A fin helps the surfer to not slide out on the wave. Simon Anderson shaped me a board today with three “fins”.

FIN KEY

A key like type of device used to screw in fins on a surfboard. Do you have a FCS “fin key”, I need to tighten my fins?

FINS SOCKS

Socks made of out wetsuit material neoprene. These are worn when wearing swim fins to prevent soars from happening on your toes. Mike Stewart was wearing his “fins socks” today while Body Boarding.

FISH SURFBOARD

A board that was originally designed in the early ‘70s as a board that could be used as a kneeboard and a stand-up surfboard. Mark Richards was a legend on his “fish surfboard”.

FLIPPERS (Also Swim Fins)

Swim fins predominately worn by Body Boarders and Body Surfers to help them move faster in the water and to catch waves. Jeff Hubbard just got the new viper “flippers”.

FLOATER

When the surfer glides on top of the wave, after the lip has began to curl over. Mick Fanning did the sickest “floater”.

FOAM

This is caused once a wave has broke and then creates a frothy foam type liquid. When you come up from a wave, make sure you keep your mouth closed, as you don’t want to swallow or suck in any “foam”.

FOAM SURFBOARD

A board in which is usually shaped in the size of a longboard and instead of fiberglass it is made of a soft foam material. The grom’s at the beach today were learning how to surf on there “foam surfboards”.

FRONTSIDE

Where a surfer is facing the wave. When Kelly Slater drops in at Backdoor Pipeline, he is riding “frontside”.

GLASSER

Someone who glasses the surfboard after it has been shaped. Mayhem has a really good “glasser” at Lost surfboards.

GLASSY

When the ocean or wave is very smooth like glass. This morning at Sunset Beach is very “glassy”.

GOOFY FOOT

Where a surfer will surf with his right foot towards the front of the board and his left foot will be in the back of the board. Rob Machado is one of the best “goofy foot” surfers in the world.

GROM (Also Grommet, Surf Rat)

A term usually for any surfer of the age 15 and younger. One who pretty much lives at the beach at a young age. Kolohe Andino is a “grom” and he is surfing insane.

GUN

A big wave surfboard in which is usually between 7-10 feet in length. Grab your “gun” today, because your going to need it, Mavericks is 20 feet plus.

HANG FIVE

This is done while long boarding, where the surfer will hang one foot over the nose of his board. Scotty Stopnik rode “hang five” all the way down the wave.

HANG HEELS

This is done while long boarding, where the surfer will be facing backwards to the nose of his board and will hang his heels off the nose of the board. Alex Knost loves to “hang heels” on his long board.

HANG LOOSE

To remain relaxed or calm. A shaka sign is a common gesture used to show Hang Loose. I saw Rabbit Kekai today and he gave me the “hang loose” sign.

HANG TEN

This is done while long boarding, where the surfer will hang both feet over the nose of his board. When Joel Tudor does the “hang ten” he is so stylish.

HOOD

This is worn usually only in very cold surf to keep your head warm. Made out of wetsuit material. I am glad I had my “hood” on, the water is freezing.

IMPACT ZONE

Where the waves are breaking. I saw Peter Mel at Mavericks get caught right inside the “impact zone”.

INSIDE

Inside is very similar to “impact zone” meaning you are in the inside of the wave (between the wave and shoreline). Mark Healy got caught “inside” at Pipeline after taking off on a big wave.

JET SKI (Also PWC / Personal Water Craft)

A motorized watercraft used to rescue surfers and or to be used to whip/tow surfers onto waves. Flea just bought the brand new Sea Doo “jet ski”.

LEASH

A plastic cord used to be placed on the tail of a surfboard. When a surfer falls the board will be in arm’s reach away, because they are wearing a leash around their ankle. Shane Dorian has a 15 feet Dakine “leash” for surfing Waimea.

LEASH STRING

A piece of small rope used to attach a surfers leash to the surfboard. Do you have an extra “leash string” I can have?

LIFE JACKET

A jacket type made out of neoprene usually worn in large surf to help the surfer to stay a float. Ken “Skinny” Collins was out at Jaw’s today and luckily he was wearing his “life jacket”.

LINEUP

This could be a lineup of waves or also where the surfers sit on there surfboards and wait for there waves, is also called lineup. The “lineup” at Trestles was so crowded today.

LIPPER

When a surfer goes up and hit’s the lip of the wave while surfing. Matt “Archy” Archbold hit the “lip” so hard today at Off The Wall.

LOCAL

A person who usually surfs a certain spot and has put his time in the water there. They have earned their position in the lineup at that one spot or in that area. Flea is for sure a “local” in Santa Cruz.

LOGOS (Also Stickers)

Stickers on top or on the bottom of one’s surfboard. Joel Parkinson get’s paid a lot of money to put “logos” on his boards.

LONG ARM SPRING

A wetsuit that is cut off at the thighs. Usually worn when the water is fairly warm, but not warm enough to wear shorts. Nathan Fletcher likes to wear a “long arm spring”.

LONGBOARD

A surfboard in which is usually around 9 feet long. A longboard has a rounded nose and is mostly used in surf up to 6 feet. Herbie Fletcher was at San O today riding his “longboard”.

OFFSHORE

Where the wind blows from the shore to the ocean. In California we would call this East wind. Down in La Jolla today the wind was blowing so “offshore” it was hard to catch the waves.

ONSHORE (Also Blown Out)

Where the wind blows from the ocean to the shore. In California we would call this West wind. I was so excited to go surf, but when I got to the beach it was “onshore”.

OUTER REEF

Where a wave will break further out in the open ocean due to the fact there is a reef on the ocean bottom. Greg and Rusty Long like to go to the “outer reef” at Cortes Bank to go surfing.

OUTSIDE

A term used when a set is approaching. Twiggy “outside”, a big set is coming.

OVER THE FALLS

When a surfer is paddling for a wave and is not able to ride down the face of the wave, but instead will go over with or in the lip of the wave. I saw Johny Craft today go “over the falls” on at least a 20foot wave at Mavericks.

PADDLE

What one must do to move while lying on there board. Man that was a long “paddle” out to Chun’s Reef today.

PECKING ORDER

Mostly ever surf spot has a pecking order. This is due to the fact whatever surfer has surfed the spot the most or the best, will most likely be in that pecking order. Most surfer’s dream of being in the “pecking order” at Pipeline, but only a handful are in it.

POINT BREAK

Where a wave is either a left point break or a right point break. Famous point breaks would include, Rincon, Jbay, Kirra, Burleigh Heads, Reunion Island, Mundaka, etc. Tom Curren love’s “point breaks”.

QUAD FIN

A surfboard with 4 fins. Nathan Fletcher loves riding his “quad fin” that Stretch shaped him.

QUIVER

A wide variety or selection of surfboards. A quiver usually consists of 5 or more boards. Did you see Donavon’s “quiver”, he has to have at least 20 boards.

RASH GUARD (Also Jersey)

A thin lycra type material worn like a t-shirt. This is to help prevent any rashes a wetsuit may give you. Also worn in warm water to help with sun protection. I wish I had a Roxy “rash guard” on, my wetsuit gave me the worst rashes.

REEF BREAK

A surf spot where the waves will break over a reef. On Oahu North Shore, the surfing spot Pipeline is one of the most famous “reef breaks” in the world.

REGULAR FOOT

Where a surfer will surf with his left foot towards the front of the board and his right foot will be in the back of the board. Taj Burrow is one of the best “regular foot” surfers in the world.

RESCUE SLED

(See Sled)

RETRO SURFBOARD

A type of surfboard that came out in ‘70s. Most had a weird shape to them, which had one or two fins in them. Alex Knost was out at Trestles today riding a “retro surfboard”.

SET

Where a set of waves comes in. Usually from 3 to more at a time. This happens around every 10-15 minutes. Here comes a “set” I hope Andy Irons get’s one.

SHAKA

(See Hang loose)

SHAPER

Someone who shapes surfboards. “Shaper” Xanadu shaped Lisa Anderson some really good boards.

SHOOT THE PIER

Where a surfer will ride a wave (underneath) from one side of the pier to the other side. Occy just “shot the pier” in his heat at The US Open in Huntington Beach.

SHORE BREAK

A wave that breaks very close to the shore. This type of wave is usually a close out and it not that good for surfing. Some famous shore break spots are The Wedge, Waimea Shorebreak, and Keiki. Christian Fletcher was at the Wedge today and he was doing the biggest airs in the “shore break”.

SHORT ARM FULL

A wetsuit that goes from head to toe, but is cut off at the bicep. Mick Fanning was wearing his “short arm full” today.

SHORTS

Most surfers and people in general wear shorts as part as there everyday life. (Board Shorts are worn mostly when you surf). Kolohe was wearing his Nike 6.0 “shorts” today to the beach.

SHORTBOARD

(See Surfboard)

SINGLE FIN

A surfboard in which has only one fin. Most every longboard has one fin. Alana Blanchard was riding her “single fin” today at Rocky’s.

SKEG

(See Fin)

SKIMBOARD

A very thin board that is made out of fiberglass and is about 3 feet in length. Best to be used as you run into the waterfront you slide the board onto the shallow water and jump on it. Brian was “skimboarding” the Wedge this afternoon.

SLED (Also Rescue Sled)

Similar to a very large bodyboard. Used to be attached to the back of a jet ski for rescue missions and or a place to rest surfboards. I am glad Peter Mel had a “sled” on his ski, he pulled me right out of the impact zone.

SOUL ARCH

When a surfer arches there back in which is usually done while they are bottom turning or pulling into a tube. Donavon Frankenreiter is very known for his “soul arch” bottom turns.

SOUL SURFER

Usually one who has no interest in name brand clothing, logos, contest, sponsors or getting paid to surf. One who surfs for fun. Hendrix is such a “soul surfer”.

SNAKED

(See Burn)

SNOW BALL

When a wave barrels a snow ball like affect will most likely appear in the tube of the wave. When Tom Curren got tubed at Backdoor, he came out riding on top of the “snow ball”.

SPIT

When a wave will literally shoot a fine mist or spray out of the barrel. Man, did you see that wave “spit”.

SPRING SUIT

A wetsuit that is cut off at the bicep and thighs. Usually worn when the water is fairly warm, but not warm enough to trunk it. Kelly Slater likes to wear a “spring suit”.

STALL

When a surfer makes him or herself slow down on a wave. This is mostly done when they are setting up for a big maneuver or a tube. Dusty Payne had to “stall” in able to get that 10-point ride today at Kirra.

STAND UP SURFING (Also Sup)

When a surfer is standing on a board in the 13 feet range. Instead of lying on your board, you are standing constantly and using an oar/paddle to catch the waves. I saw Joel Tudor out today at Cardiff Reef, he was “stand up surfing”.

STOKED

When a surfer is happy or excited. Could be from pulling a great maneuver or just had a great surf session. I was so “stoked” today, Kelly Slater gave me one of his old surfboards.

SUP

(See Stand Up Surfing)

SURF RACKS

Used to hold surfboards on the top of ones car. Make sure you put the straps on tight to the “surf racks” so the boards don’t go flying off.

SURFBOARD

Typically this is your everyday surfboard. A shortboard is used most often in surf from 1-6 feet in height. As the waves get bigger in height a surfer will need a longer surfboard. Luke Davis was out at T Street riding his brand new Roberts “surfboard”.

SWIM FINS

(See Flippers)

THRUSTER

A surfboard with three fins. Simon Anderson came up with the concept that a surfboard would work best as a “thruster”.

TOW BOARD

A surfboard that is specifically built to be used in tow in surfing on waves of 25 feet and bigger. Brad Gerlach was riding his new Xanadu “tow board” at Jaws today.

TOW AT

Where a surfer is being towed by a jet ski and is whipped into waves. This is usually done in small surf. Ian Gentil was doing “tow at’s” today in Maui.

TOW IN

Where a surfer is being towed into a wave by a jet ski, usually because the wave is much to big to paddle into. Mike Parson’s got “towed” into a huge wave today at Cortes Bank.

TOW ROPE

A piece of rope with a handle in which the surfer holds onto that is being towed, and on the other end is attached to a jet ski. Anthony Tashnick has to hold on tight to the “tow rope” when he is getting towed into large surf.

TRACTION

A piece of material that is placed on the top of a surfboard. A surfer will most likely have a traction pad near the back of their board and wax towards the middle. This is used so they will not slip. I just bought Bruce Iron’s new Da Kine “traction” pad, it works so good.

TRUNKS

(See Board Shorts)

TUBE

(See Barrel)

TWIN FIN

A surfboard with two fins. These are usually on fish and or retro surfboards. Mark Richards was out riding on his “twin fin” today.

WATER HOUSING

A specially made casing used by photographers and filmers in which enables them to go into the surf to take pictures. A camera is inserted inside the water housing and is bolted down. Photographer Jack English just got the newest SPL “water housing” for his camera.

WAX

A harden substance used to be rubbed onto the top of a surfboard so the surfer will not slip. Do you have any “Sex Wax” I can borrow?

WAX COMB

A comb like piece of plastic used to scrape off old wax on your surfboard. Good thing Conner Coffin brought his “wax comb” with him, the wax on his board was so old.

WETSUIT

A tight fitting suit made out of neoprene. The wetsuit was invented by Jack Oneill. A wetsuit is worn to keep the body warm in cold water. Taylor Knox was wearing his brand new Rip Curl “wetsuit” today.

WETSUIT JACKET

A wetsuit top that has long arms and is cut off at the waist. Usually worn when the water is very warm with shorts. Clary Marzo was wearing his Quiksilver “wetsuit jacket” in the water today.

WHITE WASH (Also White Water)

After a wave breaks it turns into white wash. I saw a surfing class today in Oceanside and they were learning to surf in the “white wash”.

WIPEOUT (Also Fall, Falling)

When you cannot make the drop of a wave or cannot complete a trick you most likely are wiping out. During Flea’s heat at Waimea, he had a nasty “wipeout”.

XL

A wave usually between between 15-20 feet. Did you see the surf today at Pipeline, it was easy “xl” size.

XXL

A wave of 20 feet and bigger. Some famous big wave spots that hold and don’t break until the surf is 20ft and bigger are, Mavericks, Todos Santos, Sea of Cortez, Jaws, Waimea, Phantoms, Outside of Log Cabins, Dungeons, and Teaupu. Mike Parsons won the Billabong awards this year for his “xxl” ride at Sea of Cortez.
 

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