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San Diego Surfing Home > Surf Terms

Surfing San Diego Surf Terms

360 - A maneuver done wherein the board (and rider) spin 360 degrees on the face of the wave.

Aerial - Part of a maneuver where the surfer and his/her board leaves the water. This maneuver requires split second timing and is only performed by expert surfers.

Air - After a good bottom turn with lots of speed, head up the face, off-the-lip, and into the sky!

Barrel - A hollow faced wave and great to ride.

Blown-out - winds blowing so hard as to chop up the surf and render it unridable.

Booger - Bodyboarder

Bottom - referring to the ocean floor or to the lowest part of the wave the surfer can ride on - the bottom of the wave.

Bowl - a shallow spot in the path of the wave, causing the wave to break a little harder.

Bumpy - choppy water or it could be a decent wave but still the face could be bumpy.

Caught Inside - a surfer on the shore-side of a breaking wave (then he's going to take-it-on-the-head.)

Channel - a relatively deep spot where the waves don't normally break.

Choppy - Very small waves on the surface created by local winds.

Clean-up Wave - A wave that breaks outside of the line-up and dumps on the entire line-up.

Close out - when waves break all the way across a bay or normally safe channel rendering a surf spot unridable (because surfers can't paddle-out to the line-up.)

Covered - Same as "toobed."

Cut-Back - A 180 degree turn that's done on either of the two rails of the surfboard. Turn back toward the curl or breaking part of a wave.

Cut out - Same as pull-out or kick-out.

Da kine - Hawaiian style talk: The best kind of wave, as in, "I jus caught da kine wave, brah."

Drop - The initial downward slide on the face of wave after taking off and before the bottom turn.

Drop-knee - One foot on the bodyboard, with the other hanging off the back. Difficult and fun.

Floater - Where the surfer rides his board loosely along the top of the breaking up or foam of the wave.

Face-of-the-Wave - The front part of the wave. One rides on the face of the wave.

Goofy-foot - Rider who surfs with right foot as lead foot.

Grom - From grommet. A young surfer.

Gun - About seven feet long. Used for big-wave riding.

Hang Ten - All ten toes on the nose. Gotta be on a log to do this one.

Hollow - extremely concave curling wave (a good thing!)

Hodad - A beginner or non-surfer.

Honey - A female surfer.

Inside - Refers to where you are in the line-up, or a place relative to the break. Inside would be on the side of the face of the wave; toward shore. Also refers to a position relative to the shore line, as in, "he craked his head on the inside reef."

Kook - If you don't know then you are one (dat's OK. We all were once.)

Mushy - Slow, sloppy waves of little power. (Better than no waves.)

Outside - Refers to where you are in the line-up, or a place relative to the break. Outside would be on the back of the wave or it would be at the outer most place one could wait relative to the shore yet still catch a wave.

Over-the-falls - Not good!

Line-up - Place in the water where the wave breaks. Naturally, all the surfers "line up" there and wait for the perfect wave.

Log - Longboard, nine feet and longer.

Pit - Place directly in front of the crest of the wave. Usually, if you get in the pit you lose speed, get caught and pounded.

Lip - The top of the face of the wave. Usually curling forward some.

Make a wave - To go for a wave and "make it" as opposed to getting tossed off your board and pounded by the wave.

Pitched - Tossed of the lip of the wave and usually off the board.

Prone - Ride with your belly on the board. The most common and easiest way to ride a bodyboard.

Rickt - deriving from "Richters" deriving from "Off the Richter Scale" meaning that something is awesome / cool / da bomb / etc... (Mahalo to Christian Thiel uzsatq@ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de for providing this one for us. Chris says that there is even a secret spot on the CA Central Coast named Richters.)

Ripping - Executing drastic and radical moves on the wave. Having it your way with a wave.

Re-Entry - Attacking the lip, usually going vertically and then turning nose down and re-entering the wave.

Short Board - About six feet long or less.

Shore break - Waves break very close to the beach.

Sponge - Bodyboard. Called sponge because its core is made of a sponge like material. Your bodyboard.

Sponger - Somebody that bodyboards.

Standup Surfing - To stand up on the board and ride. Only a hand-full of bodyboarders are doing this one and all from Hawaii at last count.

Stick - Your board.

Stoked - "I'm stoked man! I jus got toobed!"

Swell - A good thing.

Tanker - Same as a log.

Tailslide - Part of a larger maneuver in which the surfer purposely makes his/her fins lose their grip and the board slides.

Take-off point - The best spot to be in the line-up to catch the best part of a breaking wave.

The ZONE - This is the place where there is no escape from the wrath of the on-coming wave.. You are caught inside, too far in to catch the wave, and the wave is breaking to far out for you to paddle outside THE ZONE. You get pounded in the zone.

Toes-on-the-Nose - Riding a wave with one's toes curled around the nose of the board.

Toobed! - Riding inside the "tube." In the green room.

Top Turn - Similar to the re-entry but the approach is less vertical and usually performed to gain speed.

Tube - When the crest falls over the hollow barrel, it forms a pipe shaped wave.

Tube-Ride - Where the surfer rides behind or inside the broken curl of the wave. Also known as "In the Barrel"

Surfz up! - Waves are breaking and surfable. I'm outta here!


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