Surf’s Up: Surfing Terms and Slang That You Need to Know

Worldwide, it’s believed there are 35 million surfers in 162 countries.

Are you considering picking up a surfboard and hitting the waves? Once you get into surfing, you’ll realize there’s a lot of slang among surfers.

Make sure you sound in the know right away. Read on to learn the top surfing terms and slang.

SURFER’S SLANG

1. DON’T BE A “BARNEY”

For anyone new to the surfing world, it’s worth getting in some practice or a few lessons before you join the pros.

This is because you don’t want to be called a “Barney” aka someone who’s not cool or is untalented.

By knowing the lingo, no one can talk behind your back without you realizing, right?

2. FEELING “AMPED” TO SURF?

If you’re excited about your next surf session and you’re shooting surfer terms with new friends you made on the waves, make sure to throw the word “amped” in.

This word means excited or feeling excited. It’s a great way to prove you’re not a Barney and that you’re serious about your love for surfing waves.

3. NEVER BE A “BEACH LEECH”

What’s worse being a Barney or a Beach Leech? You decide but preferably avoid being either.

A Beach Leech refers to someone who doesn’t bring their board to surf, doesn’t rent and borrows other people’s. (But, before you DO buy your own, make sure to look out for these five things!)

It doesn’t need to be a board that a Beach Leech is “leeching.” It’s also possible to leech wax or any other useful surf items. Always bring your own.

4. TRY NOT TO “EAT IT”

This is something you’re very likely to do a LOT when you first start surfing. By “eat it” surfers mean that you wipe out on a wave.

Don’t worry. It happens to even the best of them. You know the old saying, when you fall off your surfboard, get back on and try again.

5. GET YOUR REFERENCES DOWN – WATCH THE ENDLESS SUMMER

Unfortunately, no summers are endless. But, if you’re wondering what your new surfer friends are quoting and referencing, it may be the film The Endless Summer.

This surf cult classic was made by Bruce Brown and will make you want to hit the waves after watching. It’ll certainly help you brush up on your surfer lingo too.

6. GET GOOD AT SURFING AND “SHRED THE GNAR”

With practice and a lot of failures, one day you’ll be able to “shred the gnar” and impress other surfers.

Gnar is short for gnarly and to shred it means to excel or do well. You’re permanently overcoming and excelling at a problematic situation.

SURFING TERMS ARE FUN TO LEARN, DUDE

Throw the word “dude” into your vocabulary, listen to what your new companions are saying and in no time, you’ll be picking up all the surfing terms you need.

If you’re finding picking up surfing slang easy but need a little help standing up on a wave, get in touch.We offer everything you need from private lessons to surf camps. Check it out, dude.