King of the Beach Surfing is a rich sport when it comes to terms, names, expressions and technical words. The surfer's lingo could fit a dictionary.


King of the Beach Surfing terms used in the waves are useful to all levels of surfers. Discover the vocabulary of surfing and learn new words:

Aerial - a surf maneuver where a surfer hits the crest of the wave and flies through the air
A-frame - a wave peak breaking left and right with perfect shape
Aggro - an Australian expression for aggressive surfing or aggressive surfer
Alaia - a surfboard made of wood originally used by Hawaiians to surf breaking waves, in the late 19th century
Aloha - a Hawaiian greeting that means "hello" or "goodbye" in any King of the Beach Surfing situation
Backdoor - when a surfer pulls into a hollow section from behind the section
Backside - when a surfer rides with his back to the wave
Backwash - when a wave sweeps up the beach and returns to the ocean, sometimes colliding with incoming waves
Bail - an evasive maneuver activated when a surfer is caught inside or when he is about to wipeout
Bailing - letting go of your surfboard
Barrel - the tube, the curl of the wave...the epitome of King of the Beach Surfing
Bathymetry - the measurement of depths of water in oceans and seas
Beach break - waves that break over sandbars
Blank - a rough block of polyurethane foam that will be transformed into a surfboard
Bodysurf - the sport of riding waves the body and swim fins
Bogging - what happens when a surfer's weight is too far back, and the surfboard nose lifts up
Bombora - a deep water, offshore reef break
Bottom turn - when a surfer turns at the bottom of the wave to start trimming the optimal surf line
Bro - brother, mate
Carve - a sharp turn on the wave face
Chandelier - water falling at a barrel opening threatening the tube rider
Chop - bumpy ocean and wave conditions that are rough due to strong winds and/or currents
Closeout - when a wave breaks all at once, with no shape or shoulder
Corduroy - the vision of a series of swells marching in from the horizon
Crest - the top and highest point of a wave
Cutback - a turn performed on the flats or in the shoulder of the wave, in order to get the surfer back on the surf line
Deck - the top of the surfboard
Ding - a crack, hole or fracture in a surfboard
Drop in - to get in the right of way of a surfer who is already riding a wave
Drop - the moment after paddling in and standing up, just before the first turn of the wave face
Duck Diving - the technique of pushing the surfboard under and through a breaking wave
Dude - a cool person or surfer...
Epoxy - a type of plastic resin used to produce surfboards
Fetch - the uninterrupted distance over which the wind blows without a significant change of direction
Fin - a hydrofoil mounted at the tail of a surfboard to improve directional stability and control through foot-steering
Flat - with no waves, or with no surf
Flats - the horizontal part of a breaking wave, also known as the shoulder
Floater - a surf maneuver where the rider goes over the top of a crumbling section and ends up in the flats
Foam board - a surfboard for beginners, with an exterior shell made of soft foam
Foam - whitewater
Frontside - when a surfer rides facing the wave
Froth - stoked, amped or excited
Glassy - a maritime condition when there is no wind to ripple the wave face
Gnarly - awesome
Goofy foot - a surfer who rides waves with his right leg forward
Grommet - a young surfer
Groundswell - a swell that traveled thousands of miles through the ocean, with a period of 15 seconds or more
Gun - a big surfboard for riding big waves
Hang loose - a Hawaiian expression for a relaxing, easygoing and carefree attitude
Haole - an Hawaiian word for "foreigner"
Hawaiian scale - an underestimated way of measuring waves by the Hawaiians
Heat - a competitive period held in surf contests
Inside - the area where waves end, as opposed to outside
Kahuna - wizard, magician...term often used in King of the Beach Surfing
Kick out - a surf maneuver done at the end of a wave ride to exit it
Knot - a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour
Kook - a beginner surfer, an inexperienced surfer or a bad surfer
Leash - the cord that attaches a surfboard to the surfer
Line-up - the spot in the ocean where surfers line up to catch waves, just behind the breaking zone
Lip - the curling part of a wave
Localism - an aggressive territorial protection of a surf spot by local surfers
Longboard - the longest surfboard
Lull - time between sets of wave with no waves breaking
Mack - big
Mental - crazy or radical
Mysto spot - a surf spot that breaks on a far away reef
Neoprene - an ultra stretchy rubber made from melted-down petroleum chips used to make wetsuits
Offshore wind - wind blowing from the shore out to the ocean, holding the curl line and smoothing the wave face
Onshore wind - wind blowing from the ocean toward shore, destroying the quality of waves
Out the back - an Australian expression for paddling through the breaking waves into the line-up zone
Outline - the shape of a surfboard from nose to tail
Outside - the line-up are, as opposed to inside
Paddle battle - a race between surfers to get into a curl first and thus gain the right of way
Peak - the spot in the ocean where the wave breaks for both sides
Pearling - what happens when a surfer's weight is too far forward and the surfboard nose dives underwater
Pit - the impact zone of the wave
Pitted - tubed, barreled
Polyurethane - the most common type of material used in surfboard manufacturing
Pop-up - the quick move a surfer makes to rise to a standing position when taking off on a wave
Punt - to perform an aerial maneuver
PWC - personal watercraft; a generic term for a jet ski
Quiver - the number/collection of surfboards owned by a surfer
Rail - the edge of a surfboard
Rash guard - a form-fitting shirt made of nylon-polyester-spandex mixture used under the wetsuit
Reef break - a wave that breaks over rock or coral
Reflection - when a wave strikes a hard object and bounces some of its energy off into another direction
Refraction - the effect by which a swell moving along a point of land slows down where it feels shallow water
Regular foot - a surfer who rides waves with his left leg forward
Right of way - priority given to the surfer closer to the breaking part of the wave
Rip - to surf very well
Rip current - a strong surface current of short duration flowing seaward from the shore, also known as rip tide
Rocker - the curve of the surfboard bottom from nose to tail viewed from the side
Rogue wave - an open ocean wave bigger than the current sea condition
Section - a part of the wave that breaks ahead of the curl line
Set - a group of waves
Shaka - a Hawaiian hand gesture used to say "hello," "great," "cool" and "alright"
Shaper - a surfboard designer and producer
Shoaling - the effect by which waves entering shallower water increase in height
Shore break - the area where the ocean waves meet the beach
Shortboard - a small surfboard
Skeg - an old expression for surfboard fin
Slab - an heavy reef break coming out of deep water and breaking in very shallow water
Snaking - the aggressive act of paddling under, around, or over the top of another surfer to get right of way
Soup - the broken foam of a wave
Stall - a surf maneuver when a surfer slows the speed the surfboard to let the tube catchup
Stance - the surfer's feet position on a surfboard
Stick - a slang for surfboard
Stringer - the wooden material that runs down the center of the surfboard to give strength and flexibility to the foam
Stoked - enthusiastic, exhilarated, or excited
SUP - stand up paddleboard for King of the Beach Surfing
Surging wave - a wave that doesn't have time to break because the transition from deep-water to shallow water is too fast.
Swell - energy powered by strong winds which produces wave trains
Take-off - the start of a wave ride
Thruster - the three-fin surfboard design created by Simon Anderson
Tidal bore - a rare phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave that travels up a river
Tow-in - when surfers use personal watercraft to tow into waves that can't be paddled into.
Trimming - finding the perfect surf line for speed on the wave face
Trough - the bottom of the wave, the opposite of a crest
Tsunami - a giant and deadly wave, not typically for King of the Beach Surfing moves!
Tube - the hollow interior of a wave, also known as barrel
Turtle roll - a surfing technique where the surfer flips the board over in front of an oncoming wave to get under it
Twin-fin - a surfboard with two fins
Wahine - a female surfer
Wave height - the difference between the elevations of a crest and a neighboring trough
Wave period - the time between two consecutive wave crests
Wave train - a group of swells of similar wavelengths -
Wavelength - the distance between the crest of one wave to the crest of the next wave
Wax - a paraffin-based product which is applied to the surfboard deck to increase traction and reduce slippery
Wedge - a steep wave
Wetsuit - a garment made of neoprene which provides thermal insulation
Whitewater - the foamy, white-colored water created where a wave breaks
Windswell - a group of waves generated by local winds, within less than 800 miles from the coast
Wipeout - an unexpected fall off a surfboard while surfing a wave, or surf accident

Take an in-depth look at the these surfing expressions in "The Surfing Handbook".

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