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Surfing Glossary

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.
Barrel The space inside a hollow, breaking wave between the lip and face. Sometimes called a Tube.
Beach Break A wave that breaks over the sandy sea bed.
Body Surfing Surfing a wave using only the body or minimal equipment.
Boogie Board A short, soft foam board. Also known as a body board or a sponge.
Bottom Turn A turn made at the base of the wave.
Carve Classic surfing manoeuvre. Basically what turning on a wave is called. Carve is also a surfing magazine found in Europe.
Choppy Surf condition in which the waves are inconsistent and irregular.
Clean Smooth waves, usually good surfing conditions.
Cutback A classic surfing move used to change direction when streaking ahead of the curl of a wave with a powerful turn back towards the breaking part of the wave.
Drop In Taking off on a wave that is already being ridden by another surfer. Dropping in is a crime in the surf world.
Duck Dive Diving under an oncoming wave when paddling out.
Glassy Windless surf condition in which the texture of the ocean surface is ultra-smooth, like glass.
Grommet Cute doggie character in the Nick Park animation creations. Also the term used to describe a young surfer.
Hold Down To be held underwater by a wave. A two-wave hold down is to be held down while two waves pass over.
Impact Zone The spot where the waves are breaking.
Layback A maneuver where the surfer literally lays backwards on a wave, usually either in the barrel, or during a cutback.
Leash A cord used to prevent the board being washed away from the surfer.
Mushy A surf condition in which waves are crumbly and soft without any steepness or much energy.
Nose Ride A maneuver in which the surfer walks to the front of the surfboard and rides on the nose.
Off-the-lip Turning the board quickly off the top of the wave to come back down into the face of the wave.
Quiver A surfer's collection of boards.
Rail The edge or sides of the board.
Reef Break A wave that breaks over the reef.
Shortie A wetsuit with short legs and short arms.
Steamer A wetsuit with long arms and long legs.
Swell Solid, real waves (as apposed to rubbish wind chop). Swells are often created by storms thousands of miles/kilometers away from the beach where they are surfed.
Tube The inside of a hollow wave. See also Barrel.
White water A frothy, broken wave.
Wipe Out Falling of your board.