Surfing Terms to Get You Started

One of the most exhilarating activities at the beach is, without a doubt, surfing. If you are planning a holiday on the beach, you may be tempted to grab a board and find a good nug. If you are unsure what I just said, then this is the perfect article for you. The surfing community is known for being fun and friendly. They are also known to have their own language.

If you are wanting to hang out on the beaches and enjoy the far-out scene, you will want to learn a few of the basic terms of choice used by surfers today. This will help you break into the beach way of life. You don’t want to be a Jake after all.  As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

The Lingo

Waves – when it comes to the waves, there are few keywords that you want to know. As we mentioned before, the word Nug means a good wave. A lull is a rest between waves and Flat represents just that. Flat, no waves are to be found at the moment. Mush is a term that means what it says, there is non-surfable soft or mushy waves.

Safety – understanding the terms can help you take precaution. When you hear the word Riptide, there is a long pattern of highly turbulent waters. In that instance you can almost hear the song Wipeout as it also means to fall off of the waves. Large waves that are high and over six feet tall are called Overheads. In the event you hear someone shouting Noah! Or Men in Gray Suits! Swim away as fast as you can because a shark has been spotted.

Friendly Gestures –  surfers have a sign called the Shaka. To do the Shaka, your thumb and pinky will extend out in an otherwise closed hand. An excited term when something is awesome or rad is Tubular. Bro is used as a friendly way to say “hey dude” or to address a fellow surfer.

If you want to express your enthusiasm for something spectacular, you can yell Far Out!

Avoid- While Surfers are the epitome of friendly, like any language there a few words that you want to avoid. Jake, Quimby or Hodad are generally not meant in the friendliest of ways. Just as names like  Junkyard Dog or Shubie should not be accidentally said to someone while on the beach. Last but not least, Benny is a tourist or someone who is not locally from the area.

Surfs Up

Surfing is energizing and complete sport. Before attempting to hit the waves, find an instructor or friend to help you learn the ropes. The right equipment is often for rent on the beach, however buying your own can save you in the long run.

Now that you have the basic terms down, you may want the full glossary! Read up with an A to Z description of surfing basics and guidelines and you’ll be paddling in no time.