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Ok, so you had your first surf lessons, you are totally hooked to this sport, you pop up just right and now you wanna be just like the pros, surf just like them, talk just like them. We found a pretty good selection of Surf Slang at SURFING WAVES , go check it out:

180 / 360

The spin of a surfer's board during a manoeuver in degrees, e.g. 360 degree turn.


Aggressive attitude in the water; having a bad attitude.

Air / Aerial

An advanced surfing manoeuver where the surfer and board leave the surface of the wave. Here are some great air photos.


Getting excited while surfing or really looking forward to a surf.

Ankle Busters / Snappers

Small waves.


Entering a barrel from behind the peak of the breaking wave. Backdoor is also the name of the right hand wave that sometimes breaks at the famous wave of Pipeline.


Surfing with your back towards the wave. A regular footed surfer going left or a goofy footed surfer going right will be surfing backside. The opposite is frontside.


Waves / water heading back out towards the incoming wave where it has rebounded from the beach / cliffs / sea wall etc. Can make for some fun surfing.


A barrel is where the wave is hollow when it is breaking. For some surfers it's the be all and end all of surfing. Is sometimes called a "tube."

Beach Break

This is a wave that breaks over a sandy sea bed. You've not read up about waves, have you?


A non local.


The foam used to shape a surfboard.

Blown Out

Where the onshore wind turns the surf in to unrideable mush.


A particularly large or heavy wave. "He took off on a bomb".

Booger / Boogieboarder

Slang for body boarders.

Bottom Turn

This is the turn made at the base of the wave when coming down off the face. It's often the first move made after dropping in. Get it right for great positioning for your next manoeuver.


Slang term for brother, friend, fellow surfer.

Carve / Carving

The classic surfing manoeuver, carving is basically what turning on a wave is called. Carve is also a surfing magazine found in Europe.

Caught Inside

A surfer who is caught inside is too far in, and the waves are breaking further out. It can be dangerous in big surf.


A surfer really going for it on a wave, surfing aggresively. Charges, as in "ho, that guy charges".


Where the surface of the ocean is rough / bumpy.

Close Out

Where a wave breaks along its length all at once.


Slang from 1960's surf culture, cried out enthusiastically when surfing — The surfer's cry "Cowabunga" as they climb a 12 foot wall of water and "take the drop."


The outside part of the barrel. "I was deep in the barrel the curtain closed on me."

Cross Step / Stepping

This is the art of walking up and down a longboard, foot over foot. When you see some guy / gal running up and down their board, you'll now know what to call it.


Making a cutback is reversing the direction that you are surfing in one smooth fluid move. (That's the idea anyway.)

Dawn Patrol

Going surfing first thing in the morning.


The is the bit of the surfboard you stand on. (Hopefully you have your board the right way round in the water.)


Surfboard damage — "Oh dear me, I've dinged my board!" (Perhaps a little more profanity will be used.)

Double Overhead

The height of a wave twice as tall as the surfer.


The drop is where a surfer first gets up on the waves and drops down the face of the wave. It's also referred to as "taking the drop."

Drop In

Dropping in is a crime in the surf world. A drop-in is where a surfer catches a wave without having priority, i.e. there is already a surfer on the wave. Please see diagram above. Remember, it's a CRIME!

Drop Knee

Riding a longboard with one knee on the deck of the surfboard.


Protection when surfing in very cold water, when a wetsuit would not be effective for keeping warm.

Duck dive / Duck Diving

Duck Diving is diving under an oncoming wave when paddling out. See duck diving in full detail in surfing lesson three — duck diving.


Often caused by onshore conditions, where a wave will fold over in big sections, making it un-surfable.

El Rollo

A surfing manoeuvre. Riding the inside wall of the pitched lip (barrel), instead of the main wave wall, and coming out sideways.


Top class surf or extremely good waves; description of an awesome wave or surf session.


The unbroken part of the wave.


FCS stands for fin control system. This is a type of fin that is fully removable from the surfboard. It's ideal if you break a fin (you don't have to get a new on glassed back on), or if you are travelling. (It's best to remove the fins to keep your board from being damaged.)


The fin is the curved bit hanging down under your surfboard that you keep bashing when you tie your surfboard to the roof of your car. It's sometimes called a skeg.


A type of surfboard shape, shorter and thicker than a standard shortboard. Fish surfboards are for surfing smaller waves.


No waves. Boo hoo!


Riding over the whitewater back onto the shoulder of the wave (you may need to consult the terms list further to understand this answer fully).


The broken part of a wave, another term for "Whitewater" or "Soup".


These are either whitewater waves or surfboards that are made out of foam. (They're ideal for beginners.)


The rate of change of thickness of a surfboard from the nose to the tail.


Surfing with your front towards the wave. A