In today’s society there are numerous different language environments that
we pass through everyday. For myself, the “different” language environment is in
the water. I am a surfer, a northern California surfer at that. In my second
language environment lots of different words and phrases are used to describe our
stokedness or enthusiasm, our past experiences, last session or just to convey our
feelings toward other fellow waveriders, the dudes. We speak the romantic
A typical outing out in the water can turn any bad day into an unbelievable
confidence booster. Catching the King Cong set or pulling into a hollow barrell is
cause for hoots and hallers. Making the steepest, latest drop down the face of an
overhead roller is a feeling that no ordinary barney can describe. A barney being a
person who is learning to surf or does not surf all together. It gets me so stoked to
see my friends shredd the hell out of those waves,and when I’m down and out It
always turns my spirits high. There’s Not a feeling like it in the world.
When speaking of our last session getting wet you might hear such phrases
as,” it was barrelling”,or ” the winds were howling out there. When the waves get
windy we call it choppy and when the waves are really good we say its pumping or
going off. During the Spring through Fall seasons the late afternoon at the beach is
exceptionally beautiful and the winds are calm, we call this the afternoon glassoff.
Surfers gave this part of the day this name because the water has a clean and glassy
When speaking to fellow surfers I use various different words to conversate
with them. Hey dude, whats up buddy, and howdy barney are just a few that are
used everyday at your local wave distributors. When you use known surfer slang
surfers will tend to open up to you, maybe even tell you where there favorite surf
spot is too. Throughout society there is a stereotype that surfers smoke marijuana-
a.k.a. chronic, bomb, dank, greens, they pufferellie, toke, have bong sessions. This
is a folklore that is for the most part true, a lot of surfers smoke but not because
they’re drug addicts. Most of them do it for wave inhancment. Making that steep
drop stoned seems more enjoyable than it does sober, stone cold sober.
Being a wave thrasher in Northern California is one of a kind. The people
up here are really down to earth and speak with a lot of respect and diligence.
Every surfer in this area and every where I’ve ever been has been really involved
with the environment and the laws pertaining to the ocean. The Northern
California surfer is the coolest character known to these parts.