Surf Lingo


air  Another term for Aerial (qv) or descriptive of the size of the aerial achieved, example “I got some serious air on that last aerial”.

aerial  A trick where the board takes off from the lip of a wave and after travelling lands back on the face of the wave and continuing.

A-frame  A peak-shaped wave, with nice left and right shoulders, and the highest point of the crest in the middle of the peak.

ankle slop  Waves too small to ride.

axe/axed  A heavy wipeout, usually involving the wave’s lip impacting directly onto a surfer. Also called drilled, pummeled, etc.


backhand  Surfing while facing away from the wave (also, backside).

backside  Refers to the position in which you are facing the wave. Surfing backside means that the posterior portion of your body is facing the wave face and your anterior portion is facing the beach.

back paddle  paddling in front and around someone to take the closest spot to the wave peak or takeoff spot when they think that spot is theirs

bail, bail out  To abandon or ditch one’s surfboard before getting wiped out by the wave, either paddling out, or while riding the wave.

Barney  A new/untalented surfer. Also see jake; kook.

See the Complete list here!

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