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A Look Into Modern Surf Terminology
By Ryan Gorman

Since surfing started becoming a popular sport and pastime back in the 60s, surfers have been said to have their own sub-culture within society. Over the years many things have changed and evolved in this sub-culture, and along the way the "Surf Culture" has developed it's own language, so to speak. There are many terms that originated from Surf Culture, and some have even made their way into modern society. However, there are also many that are only used by surfers describing the sport. Here are a few examples of the hundreds of terms that are floating around today:

The surfer in black is dropping in and "Snaking" the other surfer

• Logger – Name for someone that rides a longboard, a.k.a Log
• Ripiando – Tico term for "Ripping", which means surfing very good and fast with great turns and maneuvers.
• Sponger – Name for someone riding a Bodyboard. Per example, Ron "Big Daddy" Rodgers.
• Shampoo – When you get hit on the head with the whitewash while trying to pull into the barrel of a wave.
• Kook – Someone who pretends and acts like they surf well. These people are also known to sometimes have the best board and gear around.
• Stump – Someone that is standing or playing in the water and gets in the way of a surfer going down the line on a wave. "Right when I was going to pull into the barrel, a stump got in my way and I almost took his head off."
• Getting Snaked – When someone drops in on you while your going down the line on a wave.
• Firing – A term to describe the surf when it is really good.
• Boost – An aerial maneuver.
• Stuck it – Landing an aerial maneuver or completing a hard turn.
• Volando – Tico term for doing and aerial maneuver.
• Pit/Pitted – When a surfer is in the trough of a wave and getting deep in the barrel.
• Shacked – Another word for barreled. "I pulled into the tube and got so shacked!"
• Getting Worked – A bad wipeout.
• Backdoor – When you are going down the line of a wave and pull into the barrel that sets up in front of you.
• Spit – The spray that comes shooting out of a hollow barrel.
• Shredding – How to describe someone that is surfing really fast and pulling hard turns and maneuvers.
• Pegandole – Tico term for a powerful turn while hitting the lip of the wave.
• Layback – A type of turn when the surfer leans backwards as they are making the turn.
• Surf Drip – The nasal drip that occurs post surfing. The surf drip can occur hours after you surfed and when you least expect it.
• Agro – Meaning aggressive.
• Axed/Clipped – When you are getting barreled and trying to make it out, but you get hit with the lip. "I almost made it out of that tube, but I got clipped at the end."
• Baggies – Guys swim trunks.
• Charging/Charger – Someone who surfs really big waves without hesitation.
• Doggy Door – A way to exit a barrel. If it closes out down the line, you pull out the side of the wave before getting slammed.
• Frothing – Excited. "I am frothing to go shred today bro!"
• Gnarly/Gnar – Meaning extreme.
• Throwing Chunks – Describing a big spray from a turn. "Dude, you threw some serious chunks on that turn!"
• Sesh – Short for Surf Session
• Skunked – Going to surf and finding that there are no waves. "We went to Tamarindo and got skunked, it was flat!"

Mike Rourke from Nosara Surf Shop is a "Logger"
A great example of a "Layback" turn
Christian Santamaria "Throwing Chunks".


Ron "Big Daddy" Rodgers is a "Sponger"

A surfer coming out of the barrel, via the "Doggy Door" before it closes out.

This page brought to you by SURFING NOSARA.
Check the Nosara surf forecast


More Surf News

Don Redondo Part 15

May Surf Forecast

May the official start of our rainy season here in Guanacaste. So, that means the surf conditions can sometimes suffer, bringing many days with mixed up, choppy surf. The good thing is that it will have some decent size because we are still in our big south swell season. It will probably average out in the chest to head high range for the month. The size should hold, but expect to have more side shore and onshore winds as well, making for some sloppy conditions. We could have a few days with some offshore winds and clean surf, but depending on how many storms we get, they could be few and far between. Also, expect a few days of large overhead to double overhead conditions if we get some big, powerful south swells into the Guiones bay. See you in the water!

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