Culture
52 voters

Surfer Slang To Learn So You Won't Sound Like A Barney

Updated December 28, 2018 552 votes 52 voters 3.9k views25 items

List RulesSurfers only: vote up the terms and phrases you and your fellow riders actually use and love.

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head when listening to the things surfers say? Surfers are a tight-knit group who use their surfer slang to weed out interlopers in their midst. Not unlike the slang bikers use, surfers have their own language and lingo. And while many of these idioms have made their way into mainstream culture thanks to movies and surfer-oriented clothing companies - looking at you Billabong and Quicksilver - there's still a lot of surfing vocabulary that can sound like gibberish to a landlubber. 

Learn these terms so you can speak like a surfer; even if you're just a kook when you hit the beach, at least you won't sound like one!

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    Gnarly

    Meaning: Surf conditions that are impressive but at the same time very dangerous.

    Use It In A Sentence: Things are looking a little too gnarly out there - we better bail.

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    Is this real surfer slang?
  • 6

    Barney

    Meaning: A beginner or novice surfer who lacks proper surfing skill.

    Use It In A Sentence: This beach is for experts only - no barneys allowed!

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    8
    Is this real surfer slang?
  • 7

    Point Break

    Meaning: In addition to being the title of an action-packed '90s film starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, point break also refers to a uniquely angled wave that’s caused by a protruding rock formation or a sandbank.

    Use It In A Sentence: The rocks on Ollie’s Point make for a mean point break.

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    Is this real surfer slang?
  • 8

    Snake

    Meaning: The taboo act of dropping in on someone else’s wave before your turn.

    Use It In A Sentence: There’s nothing worse than being snaked when you’re about to catch the biggest tube of the day.

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    Is this real surfer slang?