In the old days of surfing in South Africa, you did it for the enjoyment. As legendary figure Harry Bold says, they would prop up their massive boards against a wall on the beach, and leave them there, safely. Surfing was for fun. The language they used was a more quaint version of the mutant surfspeak we use today.
Surfer who pushed the limits. In the 1950s and 1960s, you were called ‘aggressive’ if you ‘attacked’ the waves to do moves.
Surfer rides out of sight behind the lip. ‘He got a cover-up’.
A wave that breaks in the area furthest from the shore, where the biggest swells are encountered – the back line.
A wave that breaks with a wall to enable the surfer to track across the wall, parallel to shore.
Nasty, horrible or yucky.
The broken white water of a wave.
Young, inexperienced or learner surfer. Now known as grommets.
Big, powerful, good wave. The word used nowadays is ‘cooker’.
Derogatory term for gremmies.
Under the lip but not covered up. Riding in the curl of the wave. ‘He was locked in.’
Wipe-out. ‘Jack was about to get his lunch.’
Nose of the board digs in. ‘Chookie caught a kraaker, but pearled when
taking off.’ The term has since been bastardised. Today a pearler means
a perfect wave.
Classic, great. ‘Let’s hit out, the slides are play,’ means ‘Let’s paddle out, the surf is cooking.’
Surfboard wake. Heavier and longer surfboards created a more defined
spray. Modern surfers draw a thinner line with lighter, shorter boards.
Baggies. A term for the loose-fitting board shorts worn while surfing.
Wave. The wave at St Francis is a ‘right slide’.
Broken wave or white water. ‘The wave closed out and he rode the soup.’
Someone who is stoked.
Wipe-out. More literally, this term referred to a surfer being knocked off his board by the wave.
Unreal, radical. Today’s equivalent would be ‘classic’, ‘rad’ or ‘awesome’. That wave was ‘too much’.
The motion of a surfboard.