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Chowder In The Soup Is Not A Good Thing

Jun 13, 2008
Summer is here again and the surf is up. All around the world surfers are throwing away hair brushes, digging out the sunscreen and boardies (long shorts) and preparing their surfboards with their sex wax. For the grommets among you (no, not cute animated doggies but wannabe surfers) I have set out below some terminology that will help you at least sound as if you know what you are talking about.

First, you need a surfboard. This is a simple affair of fibreglass decorated with either pretty colours or in a design of your choice. If you are trying to surf without one of these, then that's called swimming, or drowning, and that will make you look stupid so please don't do it.

Knowing the terms for various waves will also make you appear a little more experienced. A crumbly is not what you may think. It is not the old boy sitting on the beach with the knotted hanky on his head eating an ice cream but is, in fact, a wave that is affected by onshore winds. The lip of the wave crumbles and will send your surfboard in all directions, ruining the session.

When a fellow surfer points towards the sea and says 'fetch', do not run into the waves holding your hands up and shouting 'What, what?' He is, in fact, pointing towards the area of the sea's surface where the wind generates the waves. It is this area that will determine the quality and size of the waves and this is the area you need to keep an eye on.

If waves are said to be 'dumping', you have no need to fear of sewer leakage because the term means that the waves are folding over in large sections. Do not take your surfboard into these conditions, you will be wasting your time.

However, if there is concern of 'chowder' in the sea then surf by all means but do it with your mouth shut as there really will be sewage in the sea. This is quite a gross thought, but one you need to come to terms with.

A floater is not something to fear. It is actually a term for a surfing manoeuvre that will help to generate speed beneath your surfboard in readiness for your next manoeuvre. These come as front side floaters or backside floaters. If you see a small kid in the water with a grin on his face then backside floaters could mean something else entirely and you should, once again, surf with our mouth closed.

If a surfer is referred to as having 'sick air', it means he has done an impressive manoeuvre. It does not mean he has had too many donuts. Donut is another word for a fall, as is mullering, eating it, pounding and wipe out.

When a fellow surfer passes comment on your stick he is not referencing your anatomy because your wet suit is too tight, he is discussing your surfboard. If he offers you sex wax do not be offended. This is the stuff that stops your feet slipping off your surfboard.
Being 'in the soup' is where you will be if you end up in the white foam after a wave has broken. However, if you get too cocky after doing sick air and are lining up for your floater but end up eating it in the soup with chowder in the surf you're going to have problems.
About the Author
Surfing expert Catherine Harvey looks at the slang terms used by surfers for their surfboards waves and maneouvres.
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