Wipeout! 5 Outdated Surf Slang Terms
Surfers have long been known for their culture-defining surf lingo, but before you head out into the line-up, be sure you're up-to-date with your surf vocabulary. On the other hand, if you don't mind getting chased out of the water or snaked on the take-off, try some outdated surf jargon with the local crowd—at the very least, you'll give yourself a chuckle.
Surf's up, dude! Yep, surfers actually used to say that when the surf was up or coming up. But these days if you aren't joking with your buddies, other surfers will think you're trying to be hip. Substitute: "Looks like the swell is picking up," or "I see some bumps on the horizon."
If something were totally wrong or just simply stupid, a surfer 40 years ago might have said it was bogus. Today, bogus is still bogus, but definitely not the norm. If you are brave enough to try using "bogus" as part of conversation in the water, make sure to say it loud, with emphasis and follow it up with a cheeky grin.
Hang loose, meaning to stay mellow or relaxed, is a term that's usually accompanied with a shaka sign, but surfers generally don't use the term these days. The shaka, however, is still a common greeting or gesture among surfers, especially in Hawaii. How to shaka: extend your thumb and pinky finger, while curling your middle three fingers into a fist. Keep the backside of your hand facing the person you're gesturing to and for extra emphasis rotate the shaka back and forth.
Who knows what kowabunga really means? Either way, Bart Simpson pretty much ruined the term for surf culture. It can mean great, fantastic or just about any other positive expression among surfers, but you'll probably want to substitute "sick," "epic" or "sweet."
Don't talk about the Man in the Grey Suit in the water—ever. No surfer wants to chitchat about sharks, potential man-eating animals with razor sharp teeth, hungrily swimming below him. Only exception, of course, is if a dorsal fin is actually circling the line-up.