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Ocean SurfingSurfing Gear • Surfing Lingo • Where to Surf

surfer with surfboard If you are just getting started in surfing, it helps to know what other surfers are talking about!  Here is a limited glossary of surf lingo.
BACK OFF
When a wave dies down by encountering deep water.  This term can also define the deep water where a wave dies down.
BACKSIDE
Surfing down the line, with your body facing away from the wave.
BAGGIES
Surf shorts.
BODYBOARD
A sawed-off surfboard that you ride lying down.  They are usually about four feet long, and made of spongy material.
CLEANUP SET
A set of especially large waves.
CLOSEOUT
When a long wall of wave breaks all at the same time.
CORD
Leash that velcros around your ankle and attaches to your board.
CUTBACK
A turn where you reverse your direction completely, right to left or left to right.
DECK
The upper surface of your surfboard that you stand on.
DING
Any damage to your surfboard.
DROP IN
Catch a wave.  This term can also mean to steal a wave from someone else.
FACE
The smooth, unbroken part of the wave that you ride.
FIN
The piece on the back of your surfboard that goes down into the water and allows you to steer.
FRONTSIDE
Surfing down the line, with your body facing the wave.
GOOFY FOOT
Surfers who surf with their right foot forward.
HANG TEN
Running up to the edge of your longboard and placing the toes of both feet over the edge while you ride a wave.
KOOK
A novice surfer.
LINEUP
The location where a wave breaks.
LULL
A period of time when waves quit coming or come at a reduced size.
MUSH
Waves that break softly and have no power.
NOSE
The front end of your surfboard.
OFFSHORE WIND
A breeze that blows out to the surf.
ONSHORE WIND
A breeze that blows in to the surf.
OVERHEAD
Waves that exceed the height of the surfer.
PEARL
When the nose of the board catches, dips under water, and sends you head over heels into the water.
RAIL
The side of your surfboard.
REGULAR FOOT
Surfers who surf with their left foot forward.
SET
A series of waves.
SHAPE
The characteristic way a wave breaks.
SIDESHORE
A breeze blowing parallel to the beach.
SLOP
Weak surf.
SOUP
Whitewater.
SPINOUT
When the fin of your board comes out of the wave, causing a wipeout.
SURFSPOT
A geographical location for riding waves.
TAIL
The rear end of your surfboard.
TRIMMING
Riding the board at an angle to the wave.
VICTORY AT SEA
Large, choppy surf.
WIPEOUT
To fall off, or get knocked off, your surfboard.

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Surfing Glossary