| Get surf report

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.

AGGRESSIVE SURFER

Surfer who pushed the limits. In the 1950s and 1960s, you were called ‘aggressive’ if you ‘attacked’ the waves to do moves.

COVER-UP

Surfer rides out of sight behind the lip. ‘He got a cover-up’.

BACKIE

A wave that breaks in the area furthest from the shore, where the biggest swells are encountered – the back line.

BROADIE

A wave that breaks with a wall to enable the surfer to track across the wall, parallel to shore.

DRAK

Nasty, horrible or yucky.

FOAMIE

The broken white water of a wave.

GREMMIE

Young, inexperienced or learner surfer. Now known as grommets.

HIT OUT

Paddle out.

KRAAKER

Big, powerful, good wave. The word used nowadays is ‘cooker’.

KOOK

Derogatory term for gremmies.

LOCKED IN

Under the lip but not covered up. Riding in the curl of the wave. ‘He was locked in.’

LUNCH

Wipe-out. ‘Jack was about to get his lunch.’

PEARLED

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.

PLAY

Classic, great. ‘Let’s hit out, the slides are play,’ means ‘Let’s paddle out, the surf is cooking.’

ROOSTER TRAIL

Surfboard wake. Heavier and longer surfboards created a more defined spray. Modern surfers draw a thinner line with lighter, shorter boards.

SKITOOLS

Baggies. A term for the loose-fitting board shorts worn while surfing.

SKEG

Fin.

SLIDE

Wave. The wave at St Francis is a ‘right slide’.

SOUP

Broken wave or white water. ‘The wave closed out and he rode the soup.’

STOKEY

Someone who is stoked.

TAKES GAS

Wipe-out. More literally, this term referred to a surfer being knocked off his board by the wave.

TOO MUCH

Unreal, radical. Today’s equivalent would be ‘classic’, ‘rad’ or ‘awesome’. That wave was ‘too much’.

ZIGZAG

The motion of a surfboard.
Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape
Fri Jun 14 08:35:51 +0000 2019

The rise of the kneelo was further boosted by a bumper turnout at the Kneelo Gathering 2019, which was held in a qu… https://t.co/cwI5BB8FAE
Wavescape
Thu Jun 13 11:07:23 +0000 2019

KZN South Coast -- The SSW buster in full force Thursday and the coast is smashed sideways by neargale gusts. There… https://t.co/U65c9E3uqw
Wavescape
Thu Jun 13 11:07:21 +0000 2019

Wild Coast -- A stiff SW buster still klaps the Wild Coast early Thursday but eases all day, going light SE by even… https://t.co/RLPar6FTfZ
Wavescape
Thu Jun 13 10:45:57 +0000 2019

Eastern Cape East -- Thursday fires in the west towards PE side, but Slumtown side could puff sideshore south today… https://t.co/hOlvrudZ8P
Wavescape
Thu Jun 13 10:38:02 +0000 2019

Eastern Cape West -- Bruuu! Thursday fires 6' in clean offshore west winds light and smooth. The swell direction ve… https://t.co/4nJU9nt0Yx
Wavescape
Thu Jun 13 10:28:44 +0000 2019

Southern Cape -- Sublime moments of surf lie ahead. Thursday fires 6-8' in clean offshore west winds that glass off… https://t.co/GrHmzYOdbe
Follow Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape friends and partners Isiqalo Foundation DIFF CSIR Isiqalo Foundation Surfing  South Africa Save Our Seas Shark Centre Isiqalo Foundation Red Bull Media House DIFF National Sea Rescue Institute Shark Spotters ASP Africa