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If this is the first time you approach the world of surfing, it is possible that many of the terms used do not know, why, and always with the intention of making this world closer to more people, we have created a small glossary that attempts to explain the meaning of each term. Of course they are not all that are or are not all they are.


Air/Aerial: Riding the board briefly into the air above the wave, landing back upon the wave, and continuing to ride.

Ars: Air-Reverse short-Spinner, is a triple maneuver simultaneously performs bodyboard that consists of an air and while 360° rotation a double horizontal and vertical rollware is effected.


Backside: Backside: Surfer back to the wave.

Beach Break: An area where waves that are good enough to surf break just off a beach, or on a sandbar farther out.

Blank: The block from which a surfboard is created.

Bodyboard: Smaller foamboard to practice bodyssurf.

Bottom-Turn: The first turn at the bottom of the wave.


Catalyst: Accelerator for drying the polyester coating (resin).

Cut-Back: A turn cutting back toward the breaking part of the wave.


Drop in: Dropping into (engaging) the wave, most often as part of standing up.


Fade: On take-off, aiming toward the breaking part of the wave, before turning sharply and surfing in the direction the wave is breakin.

Fins-free snap (or “fins out”): A sharp turn where the surfboard’s fins slide off the top of the wave.

Fin or Fins: Fin-shaped inserts on the underside of the back of the board that enable the board to be steered.

Floater: Riding up on the top of the breaking part of the wave, and coming down with it.

Foam: It is the basis of the table, the polyurethane foam.


Glassy: When the waves (and general surface of the water) are extremely smooth and glossy, not disturbed by wind.

Goofy foot: Surfing with the left foot on the back of board (less common than regular foot).

Gun: Guns are surfboards designed to be ridden in big waves.

Grom/Grommet: A young surfer.


Hang Heels: Facing backwards and putting the surfers’ heels out over the edge of a longboard.

Hang-five/Hang ten: Putting five or ten toes respectively over the nose of a longboard.

Hang-loose: Generally meaning “catch that wave” or “well done“. This message can be sent by raising a hand with the thumb and pinkie fingers up while the index, middle and ring fingers remain folded over the palm, then twisting the wrist back and forth as if waving goodbye, see shaka sign.


Knee-board: A kneeboard is a board ridden in a kneeling stance. Kneeboards are ridden in ocean surf, or while being towed behind a boat on a lake or river.

Kook: A wanna-be surfer of limited skill.


Line-up: he area where most of the waves are starting to break and where most surfers are positioned in order to catch a wave.

Leash: A cord that is attached to the back of the board, the other end of which wraps around the surfer’s ankle.

Longboard: The longboard is primarily a single-finned surfboard with large rounded nose and length of 8 to 12 feet (2.4 to 3.7 m).


Nose: The forward tip of the board.


Point Break: Rompiente de olas a lo largo de una franja formada por la costa.


Re-entry: Hitting the lip vertically and re-reentering the wave in quick succession.

Regular/Natural foot: Surfing with the right foot on the back of the board.

Rocker: How concave the surface of the board is from nose to tail.


Set waves: A group of waves of larger size within a swell.

Shoulder: The unbroken part of the wave.

Snap: A quick, sharp turn off the top of a wave.

Swell: A series of waves that have traveled from their source in a distant storm, and that will start to break once the swell reaches shallow enough water.


Tail: The back end of the board.

Take-off: The start of a ride.


Winger: Specially formulated surf wax that is applied to upper surface of the board to increase the traction so the surfer’s feet do not slip off of the board.

Whitewater: After the wave has finished breaking, it continues on as a ridge of turbulence and foam, the whitewater.

Wipe out: Falling off, or being knocked off, the surfboard when riding a wave.

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