‘I will make two more cutbacks and one last carve, and maybe then we can go to the kooks on the channel because this onshore wind is making the waves messy.’
Do you have no clue of what is said here? No problem, most people haven’t. There are hundreds of particular terms used in the surfer world, and most people don’t understand what surfers say to each other.

You have specific words for shoes, waves, tricks, and beginners. If you always have wanted to know what they are saying to each other or if you’re going to be as fresh as they are, continue reading, we will tell you the most important terms!

Aerial: A maneuver in which the surfer and his/her board leave the water and become airborne.
Barrel: A faced wave, also known as tube or hollow.
Beach break: A surf spot that’s the beach as opposed to a reef.
Blown out: When the waves are an unreadable duo to the wind chopping up the surf.
Bomb: A wave that’s much larger than is typical for that session.
Booties: Neoprene shoes. Only required when the water’s cold or when you need to walk on the reef break.
Carve: The classic surfer maneuver, carving is the term given to turning on a wave.
Channel: Place where the ocean floor dips deeper than the surrounding area. Deeper water results in smaller waves, making it easier to paddle out in a channel.
Clean-up: A wave or set of waves that are larger than average and break before the line-up, resulting in clearing the line-up of surfers.
Cross-step: This is the art of walking up and down a longboard, foot over foot.
Cutback: Reserve the direction that you’re surfing in one fluid move.
Ding: This is when a surfboard is damaged by contact with a hard object.
Drop-in: Catching a wave when someone is already on it.
Duck dive: Diving under an oncoming wave. Performed by pushing the front of the board deep below the surface using your arms and then pushing the back of the board down with either the knee or foot.
Eskimo roll: Getting through a large or broken wave without being washed ashore.
Glassy: Windless surf conditions in which the texture of the ocean surface is ultra-smooth, like glass.
Goofy foot: A surfer who rides the waves with his right leg forward.
Grommet: A young surfer.
Gun: A unique surfboard design to ride big waves. Generally longer than regular surfboards so the surfer can paddle faster to catch the bigger, faster-moving waves, with a pulled-in-tail to handle the high speeds.
Kook: An inexperienced or particularly foolish surfer.
Leash/leg rope: The urethane cord used to attach the surfboard to a surfer’s ankle.
Line up: The area where surfers sit waiting for waves. Generally just outside of the break line or impact zone.
Messy: When a strong onshore wind is creating lots of chops and causing the wave to appear ragged and break erratically.
Offshore wind: Wind blowing from the shore out to the ocean, holding the curl line, and smoothing the wave face.
Onshore wind: Wind blowing from the ocean toward shore, destroying the quality of waves.
Pearling: What happens when a surfer’s weight is too far forward, and the surfboard nose dives underwater.
Rashguard: A form-fitting shirt made from nylon-polyester-spandex mixture used under the wetsuit.
Reef break: A wave that breaks over rock or coral.
Regular foot: A surfer who rides the waves with his left leg forward.
Ripping: Surfing well.
Set: A series of waves.
Shorebreak: Waves that break right on the beach, so not suitable for surfing.
Snake: When a surfer paddles around another to position himself to get the right of way for a wave.
Take off: The start of a ride when a surfer paddles for a wave then pushes their body up to a standing position before dropping into the wave.
Wax: A special wax that rubbed on the top or deck of a surfboard for traction duo to slippery nature of a fiberglass surface when wet.
Wipeout: An old-fashioned expression meaning to fall off while riding a wave.
So, let’s take a look at the sentence we mentioned before:
‘I will make two more cutbacks and one last carve, and maybe then we can go to the kooks on the channel because this onshore wind is making the waves messy.’
Probably you now know what they say….
The instructors at Canggu Bali Surf Lesson will also use surf terms during your surf lesson. But no worries, they will explain every term they use before you dive into the ocean with them. Do you want to be a real surfer? Practice some terms and enjoy your lesson at Canggu Bali Surf Lesson!