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Its a language of its own! We explain some common surf terms, slang, and phrases.

b
Barreledsearch for term

Getting yourself into the hollow cylinder created inside a wave when it breaks over a reef, sandbar, or shallow bottom. The goal is to get in and stay in as long as possible, then exit at the last possible moment - the cleaner the exit the better. The bigger the barrel the greater the glory. However long you think you got barreled - cut it in half to get an almost accurate estimate.

Synonyms: tubed, shacked, slotted, pitted, deep
c
Choppysearch for term

Waves with poor form caused by wind.

Synonyms: Blown out
d
Dry Barrelsearch for term

Getting barreled without the lip clipping your head/back/shoulder or having to force your way out of a tube thats closing out or sectioning off.

Synonyms: Clean barrel
e
Epoxysearch for term

Durable but too floaty/corky and never quite "bites" or sinks into the wave properly. Hows that for unbiased? :P

f
foamballsearch for term

The ball of whitewash in the back of a barrel.

Synonyms: snowball
g
Glass offsearch for term

Usually in the afternoon the term is used to describe the ocean/surf when the wind dies down and the waters surface becomes very smooth like glass. Glassy conditions tend to improve a waves form... plus it just looks beautiful.

h
Hitsearch for term

Usually set up with a ton of speed then a huge bottom turn then going as vertical as possible up the face of the wave and turning at the last possible second to stay in the wave. Awesome variations include pushing the tail out the back at the top of the wave and/or throwing your weight into it and hurling huge amount of spray into the air. Can also be pushed through into a 360 rotation. Feels FANTASTIC... almost as good as a long dry barrel. Also excellent stress relief.

Synonyms: off the top, whack, smack
l
Longboardsearch for term

A surfboard usually over 7 feet long with a rounded nose and large center fin and smaller side fins. Longboards are very easy to surf, easy to paddle, and relatively easy to learn. They are less maneuverable than shortboards but generally more graceful and fun. They make catching waves significantly easier thanks to their increased volume, floatation and glide. They make the basics of surfing easier to master thanks to their stability, however their increased mass makes then respond slower. Shortboarders often complain about the advantage longboarders have as they are able to catch waves easier (sometimes even before the wave is close to breaking) and paddle faster.

p
Peaksearch for term

The first place waves start breaking. Usually the farthest out, most desirable, and highly contested spot in the lineup. Normally occupied by locals, longboarders, and the agro.

Pearlsearch for term

When your board dives into the water nose first from either charging too hard on a steep drop or when your learning and your weight is too far forward.

Synonyms: nose dive
r
Roundhousesearch for term

A more advanced maneuver where the surfer doubles back and hits or turns off the top of the oncoming section of wave. A great way to burn extra speed and a big open section.

s
Set Wavesearch for term

A larger than average wave, usually (if your lucky) there are multiple waves in a set.

Shortboardsearch for term

Usually a surfboard under 7 feet with a sharply tapered nose, three fins, and built for performance and/or tricks. Countless variations exist with anywhere from 1 to 5 fins and various shapes. Generally ridden by younger, lighter surfers. Often ridden by people who are not ready for them which causes the side effects of crippling their style and fluidity while making bad habits harder to unlearn later. Many shortboarders would be happier on an egg, longboard, fish, or "fun" board but cant get over the need to be cool. Their maneuverability, makes mind blowing things possible but it comes at a price. They are harder to surf well, harder to catch waves on, and break easier but arguably more challenging and rewarding.

Spitsearch for term

When a powerful and hollow wave breaks it forces the air out of the barrel with so much force that it shoots a hard fast mist of water out with it.

Stringersearch for term

The thin strip of wood that runs down the center of a surfboard used to stiffen and strengthen the board. Usually there is only one but there can be 3 or even more, especially on longboards and weird twin fin shortboards made by crazy awesome shapers. They can be made of any type of wood including balsa, redwood, foam and other materials. They can also be formed with multiple layers.

Surfboardsearch for term

Usually hand made from a foam core (or "blank") with a wooden stringer that is sanded to the desired shape then coated with clear fiberglass/resin. Modern boards have anywhere from one to five fins arranged at the tail end of the board. Fins vary in size, stiffness, and shape and can often be changed to suit the rider or conditions. Boards can also be made from epoxy, carbon fiber, and multi-layered foam. An elastic leash is usually attached to the rear to make retrieving the board easier. While a surfboard can withstand hundreds of pounds of force they are also fragile and break down when left in hot areas (such as cars) and direct sunlight.

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The ball of whitewash in the back of a barrel.

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