Learn some Surf slang for the next time you go catch a wave!

Do you love Surfing or would you like to learn how to Surf? Get familiar with this terms and expressions to be considered a “Wahine” (Female Surfer) instead of a “Barney” (Inexperienced Surfer) the next time you are at the beach with your board.

A-Frame
The perfect barreling surf, a cross-section of an A-frame wave reveals an “A” shape where it is breaking so nicely.

Aggro
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.

Akaw!
Something surfers shout when they spot a huge perfect wave, or when they are shocked or surprised.

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

Ankle Busters
Small waves.

Backdoor
Entering a barrel from behind the peak of the breaking wave.

Bail
To bail is to jump of the board to avoid an imminent wipeout.

Barney
An inexperienced surfer, or someone who’s no good at surfing.

Barrel
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.

Benny
A non local.

Billabong
What Australians call a watering hole, but to everyone else it is one of the largest surfing equipment and clothing manufacturers out there.

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

Booger
Slang for body boarders.

Carve
The classic surfing manoeuver, carving is basically what turning on a wave is called.

Choka
Awesome, great.

Choppy
Where the surface of the ocean is rough.

Clean
Waves that break from a single peak along it’s length, providing an open face for a surfer to ride on.

Clidro
The process where a surfer turns up and down the face of the wave while surfing down the line.

Clucked
Being scared of afraid of waves.

Cowabunga
Slang from 1960’s surf culture, cried out enthusiastically when surfing.

Cranking
When the waves are good, it’s said to be cranking.

Dawn Patrol
Going surfing first thing in the morning.

The Drop
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.

Dude
Dude can mean anything depending on the tone and inflection.

Eat It
Wiping out on a wave.

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

Firing
Firing is the same as “going off”, where the surf is really good and the waves are breaking nicely.

Flat
No waves.

Froth
The foam left after a wave has broken.

Frube
A surfer who does not catch a wave for the whole time they are in the water.

Gnarly
Particularly dangerous surf conditions.

Goofy
Surfing with your right foot forward.

Goat Boater
Derogatory term for kayakers and wave skiers.

Gremmie / Grommet / Grom
Any of the above can be used to describe a young or inexperienced surfer.

Grubbing
Falling off your board while surfing.

Hang Eleven
This is when a male surfer rides his board in the nude.

Ho-dad
Anyone who annoys board riders while they surf.

Impact Zone
The spot where the waves are breaking.

In the Soup
A term used when a surfer is in the white foam of the wave after the wave has broken.

Junkyard Dog
A surfer with poor style or a surfer who only surfs crappy waves.

Kick Out
Finishing a ride by turning back out over the top of the wave.

Kook
A beginner or someone who is not very good at surfing.

Lip
The tip of the breaking part of the wave.

Lull
This is when the ocean goes flat between sets and everyone sits around waiting for the waves to arrive.

Men In Grey Suits
Sharks.

Mush / Mushburger
Poor quality, slow, or non-powerful waves, often onshore.

Overhead
Waves that are bigger that a surfer when standing up.

Party Wave
A wave surfed by several people at once.

Pocket
The pocket is the most powerful part of the wave, just ahead of where the wave is breaking.

Quiver
A surfer’s collection of different surfboards.

Shaka
A common hand signal used by surfers, with an extended thumb and little finger.

Shubie
Someone who buys surf gear and clothing but does not surf.

Stick
Surfer slang for a surfboard.

Wahine
A female surfer.

Washing Machine
Getting spun around and around underwater by a wave.

Wipe-out
Falling off your board.

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