Surf Lingo - a basic guide

Surf Lessons Moana

Surfers have a way of describing things that are foreign to those not in the know so I thought it would be handy to put forward a couple of helpful hints!

  • When a surfer gets in a barrel - they are surfing almost inside the wave with the lip of the wave breaking over the top of them.  A Barrell can often be referred to as getting slotted, tubed, kegs, pitted and more
  • When a surfer has had a good surf they say things such as it was epic, stoked, it was filth, it was sick, all time, mad etc
  • When a surfer is describing the wave conditions they say things such as on shore - meaning the wind is blowing from the sea to the shore, off shore means the wind is blowing from the land out to the sea, it is lumpy meaning the waves were not perfectly lind up, it was straight meaning the wave lines are coming in too straight to the beach, lined up means there are regular sets of waves coming in, good on the sets meaning that you had to wait for the sets to come to get a decent wave, peaky meaning the waves would peak up in random spots very quickly, fast meaning the wave would break quickly, hollow meaning the wave is round / tubing - this list could go on forever...!
  • The lip refers to the lip of the wave breaking over
  • The wave is fat - meaning the wave is not very steep - i.e. like a rolling hill rather than a cliff! Make sure to choose the right surfing board for your safety.
  • Snap - a type of turn on the wave
  • Cutback - where you surf along and turn back toward the breaking part of the wave
  • In the pocket - means surfing right next to lip of the wave in the part of the wave with the most power (i.e. the sweet spot)
  • A floater - means when you do a turn at the top of the breaking wave and float down with the lip
  • 2ft - i.e. 2waves are 2 foot high (this is judged from the front of the wave or back of the wave depending on where you are from!)
  • On the head - refers to when a wave breaks on your head (can also be described as copped a set on the head)
  • Caught inside means you struggled to get out past the breaking waves to still water and had to continually duck dive under the waves
  • Duck dive - when you paddle out you duck dive under the breaking waves to get out the back faster
  • Wipe out - when you fall off your board

Learning how to surf is fun and rewarding. If you have any other ones that I have missed and you would like an answer on - please let me know!  Hope that helps unravel the mystery a little bit.

See you in the water! you can also try surf lessons South Australia

Luke