4200 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77550

(409) 771-6571

~ Aloha and Welcome to Valz Surf Lessons ~

Surfer Lingo

Aerial- a move where a surfer hits the crest of the wave and flies through the air

A-frame - a wave peak breaking left and right with perfect shape

Alaia - a surfboard made of wood originally used by Hawaiians to surf breaking waves in the late 1800s

Aloha- Hawaiian greeting that means "hello" or "goodbye"

Amped - excited, stoked

Backdoor - when a surfer pulls into a hollow section from behind the section

Backside- when a surfer rides with his back to the wave

Backwash - when a wave sweeps up the beach and returns to the ocean, sometimes colliding with incoming waves

Bail - an evasive maneuver used when a surfer is caught inside or about to wipeout

Bailing - letting go of your surfboard

Barrel - the tube, the curl of the wave

Beach break - waves that break over sandbars

Beach bum -someone, usually a surfer, that hangs around the beach

Bellyboard - a bodyboard, a small board used to ride waves in prone position

Blank - a rough block of polyurethane foam that will be transformed into a 


Bodysurf - the sport of riding waves using the body and swim fins

Bogging - when a surfer's weight is too far back and the surfboard nose lifts up

Bombora - a deep water, offshore reef break

Bottomturn - when a surfer turns at the bottom of the wave to start trimming the optimal surf line

Burn - to drop in on someone, or steal a wave from another surfer without priority

Carve - a sharp turn on the wave face

Chandelier - water falling at a barrel opening threatening the tube rider

Chop - bumpy ocean and wave conditions that are rough due to strong winds and/or currents

Closeout - when a wave breaks all at once, with no shape or shoulder

Corduroy - the vision of a series of swells marching in from the horizon

Crest - the top and highest point of a wave

Cutback- a turn performed on the flats or in the shoulder of the wave, in order to get the surfer back on the surf line

Dawn patrol - early morning surf session

Deck - the top of the surfboard

Ding - a crack, hole or fracture in a surfboard

Drop in - to get in the right of way of a surfer who is already riding a wave

Drop - the moment after paddling in and standing up, just before the first turn of the wave face

Duck Diving - a technique of pushing the surfboard under and through a breaking wave

Dude - a cool person, surfer or skateboarder

Epoxy - a type of plastic resin used to produce surfboards

Fetch - the uninterrupted distance over which the wind blows without a significant change of direction

Fin - a hydrofoil mounted at the tail of a surfboard to improve directional stability and control through foot-steering

Flat - no waves or surf

Flats - the horizontal part of a breaking wave, also known as the shoulder

Floater- surf maneuver where the rider goes over the top of a crumbling section and ends up in the flats

Foam - whitewater

Foam board - a surfboard for beginners with a soft foam exterior

Frontside - when a surfer rides facing the wave

Glassy - smooth water with no ripples


Gnarly - awesome, as in “Gnarly Dude!”

Goofy foot - a surfer who rides waves with his right leg forward

Grommet - a young surfer

Groundswell - swell that traveled thousands of miles through the ocean, with a period of 15 seconds or more

Gun - a big surfboard for riding big waves

Hang loose - a Hawaiian expression for a relaxing, easygoing and carefree attitude

Hang ten - to surf a wave with all ten toes on the nose of the surfboard

Hawaiian scale - an underestimated way of measuring waves by the Hawaiians

Heat - a competitive period held in surf contests

Inside - the area where waves end, as opposed to outside

Kahuna - wizard, magician

Kick out - a surf maneuver done at the end of a wave ride to exit it

Knot - a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour

Leash - the cord that attaches a surfboard to the surfer

Lineup- the spot in the ocean where surfers line up to catch waves, just behind the breaking zone

Lip - the curling part of a wave

Local - a surfer from the area

Longboard - the longest surfboard

Lull - time between sets of wave with no waves breaking

Mack - big

Mental - crazy or radical

Mysto spot - a surf spot that breaks on a far away reef

Neoprene - an ultra stretchy rubber made from melted-down petroleum chips used to make wetsuits

Offshore wind - wind blowing from the shore out to the ocean, holding the curl line and smoothing the wave face

Onshore wind - wind blowing from the ocean toward shore, destroying the quality of waves

Out the back - an Australian expression for paddling through the breaking waves into the line-up zone

Outline - the shape of a surfboard from nose to tail

Outside - the line-up area, as opposed to inside

Paddle battle - a race between surfers to get into a curl first and get the right of way

Paipo- a small bellyboard 

Peak - the spot in the ocean where the wave breaks for both sides

Pearling - what happens when a surfer's weight is too far forward and the surfboard nose dives underwater

Perfect 10 - a perfectly ridden wave in competitive surfing

Pit - the impact zone of the wave, or the most hollow part of the tube

Pitted - tubed, barreled

Point break - a really long wave to ride as the wave wraps around a point or headland and then runs along the coastline of a bay or cove

Polyurethane - the most common type of material used in surfboard manufacturing

Pop-up - the quick move a surfer makes to rise to a standing position when taking off on a wave

Punt - to perform an aerial maneuver

Quiver - the number/collection of surfboards owned by a surfer

Rail - the edge of a surfboard

Rash guard - a form-fitting shirt made of nylon-polyester-spandex mixture used under the wetsuit

Reef break - a wave that breaks over rock or coral

Reflection - when a wave strikes a hard object and bounces some of its energy off into another direction

Refraction - the effect by which a swell moving along a point of land slows down where it feels shallow water

Regular foot - a surfer who rides waves with his left leg forward

Right of way - priority given to the surfer closer to the breaking part of the wave

Rip - to surf very well

Rip Current - strong surface current of short duration flowing seaward from the shore, also known as rip tide or undertow

Rocker - the curve of the surfboard bottom from nose to tail viewed from the side

Rogue wave - an open ocean wave bigger than the current sea condition

Section - a part of the wave that breaks ahead of the curl line

Set - a group of waves

Shaka - a Hawaiian hand gesture used to say "hello," "great," "cool" and "alright"

Shaper - a surfboard designer and producer

Shoaling - the effect by which waves entering shallower water increase in height

Shortboard - a small surfboard

Skeg - an old expression for surfboard fin

Slab - a heavy reef break coming out of deep water and breaking in shallow water

Soup - the broken foam of a wave

Spear - Australian slang for surfboard 

Stall - when a surfer slows the speed of the surfboard to let the tube catchup

Stance - the surfer's feet position on a surfboard

Stick - slang for surfboard

Stringer - the wooden material that runs down the center of the surfboard to give strength and flexibility to the foam

Stoked - enthusiastic, exhilarated, or excited

SUP - stand up paddleboard

Surging wave - a wave that doesn't have time to break because the transition from deep-water to shallow water is too fast

Swell - energy powered by strong winds which produces wave trains

Take-off - the start of a wave ride

Tow-in - when surfers get towed into waves on jet skis that can't be paddled into

Trimming - finding the perfect surf line for speed on the wave face

Trough - the bottom of the wave, the opposite of a crest

Tube - the hollow interior of a wave, also known as barrel

Turtle roll - a surfing technique where the surfer flips the board over in front of an oncoming wave to get under it

Twin-fin - a surfboard with two fins

Wahine - a female surfer, AKA Val

Wave height - the difference between the elevations of a crest and a neighboring trough

Wave period - time between two consecutive wave crests

Wave train - a group of swells of similar wavelengths

Wavelength - the distance between the crest of one wave to the crest of the next wave

Wax - a paraffin-based product which is applied to the surfboard deck to increase traction and reduce slipperiness 

Wedge - a steep wave

Wetsuit - a garment made of neoprene which provides thermal insulation

Whitewater -the foamy, white-colored water created where a wave breaks

Windswell - a group of waves generated by local winds less than 800 miles from the coast

Wipeout - an unexpected fall off a surfboard while surfing a wave