BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014
Surfing
Wales Surfing

BBC Homepage
Wales Home
Surfing

Contact Us

Pembrokeshire surf by Aled Evans

Waves

Surfing lingo explained. This section is dedicated to waves and conditions...



beach breaks - wave is formed over sand and sand bars, can shift seasonally and from storm to storm.

backwash - flood of water returning off the foreshore against incoming waves.

channel - a channel of deeper water where excess water, piled up by waves, flows out to sea.

clean - faces are unrippled - usually offshore or no wind.

cnoid waves - as waves come in to shallow water their shape changes to something called a 'cnoid' which has a short, steep crest and a long shallow trough - those are what we see as lines of corduroy.

fetch - determines the size of a wave. wind speed X time X distance.

frequency - the increase of wave period within a fetch ...a decrease in frequency is an increase in period.

ground swells - waves formed over vast distances, well formed and powerful.

glassy - describes a condition when the wave face becomes silky smooth and the wind drops to form perfect waves.

impact zone - the point where the waves break for the first time.

inside - where waves continue to break, reform, and break again if it's big enough.

lip - curling lip at the top of a wave.

line-up - just beyond the impact zone where you wait to catch waves.

outside - offshore, beyond where the waves break.

pitch - the act of the lip throwing out in front of the wave.

period - time between waves. wind swell less than about 10 seconds /approx/ 12 seconds and longer is ground swell (the energy / power of a wave is proportional not only to its height but its period).

point breaks - wave forms in reaction to the land form consistently.

reef breaks - wave is formed over an underwater reef or rock consistently.

river mouth breaks - wave forms on the sediments deposited at the river mouth, similar to beach breaks but sometimes more susceptible to change & often sharky.

section - any appreciable length of wave that has common characteristics and timing.
e.g. normally the whitewater to beat before finding the face again.

shore-break,shorey - mean dumping wave closing out on the water's edge.

soup / slop - unorganised sloppy foam.

sine waves - in deep water swells are very well-approximated by pure sine waves.

steep - refers to angle or pitch of wave face.

wind swells - waves formed close to the shore by local wind conditions, unorganised, tendency to be slop.

Comments

Phil - Nuneaton
Rip - Either a predominent current taking you along or away from the beach or where there is a current under the surface which is not obvious.

K from Cambridge
Toombstone:- A way of indentifying a surfer that has been held under. So named because one end of the board sticks out of the water and looks like a gravestone.

Send in some surf lingo to the site



The BBC reserves the right to select and edit comments. To submit a larger contribution or if you require a response please contact us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy