Surfer Slang

Written by on 25th August 2016
Published in Surfing
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If you’ve booked your surfing holiday with us, you will be able to walk the walk, but with the help of this Surfer Slang page, you’ll be able to talk the talk. So have a read, revise, master the vocals and hang with the locals.

Jonathan! Thanks for looking after us you are a ledge

  • Amped: To get excited, stoked
  • Stoked: To be happy, excited, contented
  • Bail: To dive off the surfboard just before a potential wipe out
  • Wipe out: To fall off or be knocked off your surfboard
  • Barrel: The cylindrical motion of a breaking wave, which only happens on certain types of waves. Also know as a tube, keg, shack.
  • Barrelled: To ride in this cylindrical part of the wave. Also know as getting tubed, kegged, shacked.
  • Brah: A term used to describe your friend, or ‘brother’. Also can be pronounced as Bru or Bro
  • Ding: A hole, crack, dent, or scratch on surfboard. So if you collide with someone and they say you’ve ‘dinged’ their board this is what they mean.
  • Face: The unbroken part of the wave, where you essentially want to be riding as opposed to the white water.
  • White water: The broken ‘white’ waves that roll in straight lines to the shore
  • Glassy: A smooth water surface condition, almost oil like, caused by no local wind.
  • Gnarly: No one uses this seriously anymore but it’s a combination of the two meanings of the words exciting and dangerous
  • Goofy: Riding a surfboard with the right foot forward (as opposed to the left foot forward which is known as natural)
  • Grommet: A young surfer
  • Kook: A surfers who gets in the way or into trouble because of ignorance or inexperience
  • Nailed: To get a bad wipe out
  • Pumping: A decent swell where the waves are nice and powerful
  • Swell: Unbroken waves moving in groups of similar height and frequency
  • Ripping: Essentially surfing a wave well. Could also be called shredding and killing it.
  • Sick: A term used to describe something good / pleasant / impressive

Surfers, do you have anything to add? Have we missed something? Feel free to add in the comments section below.

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