Terms & Slang: Surfing (Part 2)

Time for round two in our journey to get you sounding just like everyone's favorite stereotypical surfer, Mr. Spicoli. Included today, as opposed to part one, are some more technical terms regarding positioning and board type. Shoot us a note if you have any questions.

Aerial - this is a high-performance maneuver where the surfer launches themselves and their board into the air and lands riding the same wave they left. Most often, these acts are reserved for smaller waves but you'll see some pros push the envelope in bigger surf. 

A-Frame - a wave that breaks from the middle out so you can ride either direction on it.

Backside - also referred to as "backhand", this is surfing with your back to the wave.

Caught Inside - this is bad positioning that cause a surfer to get swallowed up by a wave. Being too far in front of the wave (nearer to the beach than behind a wave) will prevent the paddler from getting up to speed and get synced with the wave. It can be a painful endeavor and also leave you in the path of others with better positioning.

Fish - this is a short, wide surfboard that has two 'tails' on it. It is a board used by experienced surfers in weak, mushy surf to prevent the need for a long board. 

Front-side - also called forehand, this is facing the wave while surfing. 

Hang-Five/Ten - the bold and athletic feat of dangling five (or ten) toes off the front of your board. Typically a long boarder's move, stylish short boarders will also do this for style points. 

Hybrid - a version of the short board, these are becoming more and more popular due to their versatility in many types of waves. Often, these boards will be shorter, wider and thicker than a short board (see below) but will have multiple fin options and tail shapes unlike a fish.

Long board - as the name suggests, this is a long (typically 8-10 feet) thick surfboard. It serves multiple purposes. Since they are stable, they work best for beginner surfers. Don't be fooled into thinking anyone with a long board is a novice, however. These boards are great when the surf is small or weak but they are also great in long breaking waves. A lot of the most stylish surfers in the water are masters of the long board. With a long board, you can practically surf every single day. Don't be a short board snob just because you see big-name pros on them. 

Quad - this is a fin set-up, you guessed it, consisting of 4 fins. This is a very fast arrangement that works well in slow moving, mushy waves as it helps generate speed. There are several variations on this set-up but you'll see that the front two fins are larger with the rear two fins running slightly smaller, and sometimes in a different shape.

Short board - yep, you guessed it, these are short surfboards. Typically these are going to be your 'high performance' boards that allow the surfer to have the most freedom in the water to perform maneuvers. These are the boards that you see mostly in surf vids and competitions. Hard, fast turns. Aerials (see above). Bigger, pumping surf. This is the board for that. This is not a good choice to learn on and you should never be trying to surf to a certain size. Always surf a board that suits your style and don't be afraid to have a little more volume under you. It's time to go smaller when the board is what restricts your surfing.

Thruster - traditional fin set-up on a surfboard consisting of two outside fins and a rear, center fin. This set-up typically sees all 3 fins the same size and is the most common fins arrangement in the water these days. 

Best of luck out there. Again, let us know if we can help clarify out there.