Surfing has grown from a pastime enjoyed in old Polynesia to a global pursuit with legions of devoted fans, the author among them. For many, surfing is a state-of-mind, a life-style that has become a consuming passion. For others, it is a highly enjoyable weekend pastime.
This concise collection of surfing terms gives the outsider or beginner a window into the culture and language of surfing. Seasoned surfers already know these terms.
Like any interest group with dedicated members, over time surfing has evolved its own sub-culture, including its own lexicon of colloquial expressions. This ebook is a combination of Hawaiian-American and Australian surfing lingo; the two dominant surfing influences. While distinct these have much in common.
Some surfing expressions have found their way into popular culture; words like awesome and dude can be heard spoken naturally thousand miles from the nearest beach. The ‘California Surfer-Dude’ (or Valley Boy) stereotype has earned its place in popular culture, as seen in the Simpson’s character Snake Jailbird.
A Surfer’s Code: Tempers have been known to flare when surfers don’t follow a few simple, common-sense rules:
Don’t drop in. Wait for your turn in the line-up and don’t jump the queue. The person closest to the breaking wave has the right of way. Once on a wave, don’t turn back until you are clear of the pack.
Be clear about your intentions. When starting out on a wave, let the surfers around you know which way you intend going.
Keep your board under control. Learn to roll over with your board as you duck under on-coming waves. Avoid throwing your board. The wind could take it and hurt someone. Your leg-rope and ankle strap should be in good condition, not likely to give way under pressure.
Paddle out around the side. Avoid paddling back out through the busy area where the waves are breaking and people are surfing. A rider on a wave always has right of way, so stay out of their way when paddling back out.
Respect your fellow surfers, the ocean and the beach. Watch them and learn from the more experienced surfers. Try not to get in their way. Do what you can to keep the ocean and the beach clean.