Surf Slang I-Q

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A-H I-Q R-Z

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.

Inside – The area of whitewater where the waves have broken, between the shore and the line-up.

Instinct – Popular brand of surf clothing.

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

Keg – Another word for a barrel / tube.

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

Kickflip – A new school surf trick which involves rotating the board 360° along it’s length while airborne, and landing back on the board.

Kneeboarding – A surfing spin-off, kneeboarding is riding the waves on your knees using a special knee board.

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

Landlord – Shark.

Late Takeoff – Waiting until the last possible moment to get up on a wave.

Layback – The layback is a surfing manoeuvre where the surfer literally lays backwards on a wave. It’s one of surfing’s more extreme tricks.

Leash/Leg rope – This is the cord that is attached between your leg and your surfboard.

Left – A wave that breaks from right to left from a surfer point of view when facing into the shore.

Licked – Getting licked means wiping out and being hammered by the wave.

Line Up – The line up is the place just outside the breaking waves where surfers wait for their waves.

Lines – Unbroken waves heading towards the shore. See corduroy.

Lip – The tip of the breaking part of the wave.

Locked In – When a wave crashes and the surfer is inside of it.

Log – Slang for a Longboard.

Logger – Slang for someone who rides a Longboard.

Logjam – A surf break full of longboarders.

Longboard – A long surfboard with a rounded nose.

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

Men In Grey Suits – Yikes! Sharks!

Messy – Waves that close out, break irregularly and that are not ideal to surf on. The opposite of clean surf, generally caused by an onshore or cross-shore wind.

Mullering – Wipe-out of the highest order.

Mushy – Poor quality, slow, or non-powerful waves, often onshore.

New School – The term given to trick surfing — airs, shove-its, etc.

Noodled – Being exhausted

Nose – The pointy bit of the surfboard

Ocean – come on, you gotta know that???

Offshore – This is when the wind at a surf break is blowing off the shore, usually means ideal surfing conditions.

Onshore – This is when the wind is blowing towards the land, spoiling the waves. Always remember; offshore good, onshore bad!

Out Back/OTB – Beyond the breaking waves. “See you out back“.

Outside – The area beyond the line-up. You’ll sometimes hear surfers shout “Outside!” as a warning to other surfers that a larger than usual wave is approaching and will be breaking further out that normal.

Over the Falls – A wipeout where a surfer wipes out and either free-falls down the face of the wave or gets sucked up, over and back down by the circular breaking motion of the wave.

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

Paddlepuss – Someone who stays and plays in the whitewater close to the beach.

Party Wave – A wave surfed by several people at once.

Perl/Pearl – This is a common term describing when a person buries the nose of their surfboard in the wave and goes “over the falls.”

Pipeline – This is the classic Hawaiian wave — amazing, barreling, and mean. It’s one of the most famous and most photographed waves there is. If you’re just starting out – stay well away!

Pitted – Caught a tube, shacked.

Pivot Turn – A turn where the tail of the surfboard remains almost stationary while the rest of the board swings round.

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

Pop-Out – A mass produced surfboard made by machine.

Pop Up – Describes the move a surfer makes to go from lying on the surfboard, into the standing position to ride a wave.

Priority – Which surfer has the right of way.

Pumping – A decent swell where the waves are nice and powerful, also used to describe a surfer trying to generate speed.

Quiksilver – One of the largest manufacturers of surfing equipment and surf clothing on the planet.

Quiver – A surfer’s collection of different surfboards.