Essential Surf Terms


Learning to Surf? Here are some essential surf terms to know

Learning to Surf? Need to know your barrels from your curves? Not sure about all the surfing terms. Then read on, we have listed the top essential surf terms you should know.


The barrel is a type of wave that looks like a tube when it is breaking. Think about the iconic surfing images and it will probably be a Barrel!


Carve is a classic surfing manoeuvre, where you turn your board on the wave.


A Cutback is a surfing term for when you change your direction while riding a wave.


Drop-in is definitely the big no-no in surfing etiquette. The drop-in is when a surfer catches another surfers wave. Not only is it rude, but It can be dangerous. The unwritten rule is that the person closest to the break part has first priority.

Duck Dive

Duck dive is when you press down on the nose of the board so you can dip under an oncoming wave when paddling out.

Line Up

The Line Up is the area just after the breaking waves. This is where you will see all the surfers waiting for the next set of waves to ride.


Offshore is where the wind at a surf break is blowing off the shore. Makes for good surfing conditions.


Offshore – where the wind at a surf break is blowing off the shore. Makes for good surfing conditions.


Onshore is where the wind is blowing towards the land. Tends to spoil the waves.


A Rip refers to a strong current that moves out to sea. Can be dangerous for both surfers and swimmers.

Wipe Out

Wipe-out is simply falling of your board. This will happen all the time 🙂

The UK has some great surfing destinations. Whether it is famous surfing beaches in Cornwall or stormy beaches in Yorkshire. Check out our guide to Surf Schools around the UK

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