Surfer surfing in a tube - Surfing in Cantabria ·

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360: Performing a full turn (360°) with the surfboard.

Surf instructor Martin Zawilla surfing in the Natural Park of Oyambre ·

AERIAL OFF-THE-LIP: Jump over the wave to re-enter it.

Surf instructor Martin Zawilla surfing in the Natural Park of Oyambre ·


BACKSIDE: Surfing the wave having your back to the wall of the wave.

BACKWASH: A wave reflected back by a steeper edge away from the shore.

BEACHBREAK: Waves breaking on a sandy bottom. Advantages: friendly for beginners, low risk of injury when touching the bottom. Disadvantages: Can be difficult to reach the PEAK, the sandy bottom can change over time and thus the quality of the waves.

BLANK: Foam core of a surfboard.

BODY BOARD: Board made from foam and more or less rectangular. To surf lying down or kneeling. Using bodyboard fins on your feet to paddle.

BODY SURFING: Surfing waves without surfboard only with the body. Requires good physical shape. It's a good chance to prepare for learning to surf. Many bodysurfers use fins and some also have a planchette that is carried in one hand.

BOTTOM TURN: Turn at the bottom of the wave to go back up the wave.

BOTTOM: Bottom of the surfboard.

Very good advice !!! ·

CHANNEL: Area between two PEAKs where waves break but there is usually little current that pulls out to sea. This channel helps experienced surfers get to the PEAK.

CHANNELS: Channels in the bottom of the board to increase buoyancy to float and turn the board better (--> CONCAVE).

CHOPPY: Small waves among the waves and the wall of the wave, caused by local wind. The opposite is called GLASSY which is the best for surfing.

CLOSED OUT: Wave closing, i.e. waves that are not surfable as they break in all or part of their width at the same time.

RATE ("Coeficiente" in Spanish tide tables): A value between 25 and 115 which is related to the height of the tide. A ratio of 25 indicates a small difference between LOW TIDE and as a coefficient HIGH TIDE of 115 indicates a high difference, i.e. if we have a ratio of 115 with LOW TIDE it rises more than normal.

CONCAVE: The bottom of the board is concave to increase buoyancy to float and turn the board better.

CURL: Between the broken part (foam) and the wall of the wave that is still unbroken. Advanced surfing on the wall of the wave is adjacent to the CURL.

CUT BACK: Surf a turn to return to the CURL to get back to the most vertical part of the wave.

Girl surfing for the first time standing up ·

DECK: The top of a surfboard.

DROP IN: Infringement of right-of-way rules by catching a wave in which another person has right-of-way.

DUCK DIVE: Technique to pass a wave that looks like a duck diving. Very efficient but requires good coordination and good balance. Technique which Advanced surfers use ideally with types of boards such as SHORTBOARD.

Advanced surf course - Top Turn ·

EVOLUTION: Board for surfers whose level is between beginner and advanced. It is smaller than a MINIMALIBU and larger than a SHORTBOARD.

Surfing student catching her first waves ·


FINS: Fins at the bottom of the TAIL of the surfboard that allow both course keeping and turning.

FISH: Type of board that was fashionable in the 70's and came back into in the late 90's. A FISH is wider, shorter and rounder than a SHORTBOARD. Can be rotated easily in small waves.

FLOATER: Going over a section of the wave that is already breaking.



FRONTSIDE: Surfing the wave facing the wall.

Surf student catching his first standing waves ·

GLASSY: Good conditions for surfing without wind: Surface water of the waves and the wall is smooth. The opposite is called CHOPPY.

GOOFY FOOT: A person who surfs with his left foot behind and the right foot at the front.

GUN: Long and narrow board, specific for big and hollow waves (although a GUN can be as long as an EVOLUTIVA, it is not worth anything for beginners).

Gun surfboard by Full & Cas ·

HANG FIVE: Surfing with a foot at the tip of a LONGBOARD and 5 of your toes hanging over the edge.

HANG TEN: Surfing with both your feet at the tip of a LONGBOARD and all 10 of your toes hanging over the edge.

HIGH TIDE: The highest level of the tide (water).

Magical light in the Oyambre Natural Park with San Vicente de la Barquera and the National Park "Picos de Europa" in the background ·


Olas perfectas en el Parque Natural de Oyambre · Cantabria ·

JAMS: Boardshorts type surfing suits.

Surfing student trying to stand up for her first time ·

KICK OUT: Exiting the wave over the crest of the wave in a relatively sharp turn.

KNEEBOARD: Board for surfing kneeling down on a special board shorter than a surfboard, called KNEEBOARD.

Surfing student surfing her first standing waves ·

LEASH: Chord joining the board to the surfer's ankle to retain the board in case of falling.

LEFTHANDER: A wave surfable to the left as seen from the sea, seen from the beach it is a wave surfable to the right.

LINE UP: The area where the waves start to break.

LIP: The upper part of the wave wall that shoots forward.

LONGBOARD: A surfboard between 9 and 10 feet, which allows you to catch the waves very early and follow them when they have almost no wall. However, it is not a suitable board for beginners because it is more difficult to ride waves, control vertical balance and make turns.

LOW TIDE: Time of lowest tide (low water level).

LYCRA: A Lycra wetshirt, made of a synthetic fibre that protects from friction by the wetsuit. It also serves as sun protection in hot weather.

Girl in the course "Basic - Surf better" surfing up to the beach ·

MALIBU: LONGBOARD-shaped surfboard, whose length of which is between that of a SHORTBOARD and that of a LONGBOARD, approximately 7 to 8 feet.

MEASURES: For surfboards the English measurements feet (abbreviation: ' ) and inches (abbreviation: '' ) are generally used. One foot corresponds to 30.5 cm and one inch to 2.54 cm. A foot is 12 inches, as it is not a decimal system.

Malibu surfboard by Full & Cas ·

NATURAL FOOT: A person who surfs with his right foot behind and the left to the front.


NOSE: The tip of the surfboard.

Boy in the course "BASIC - Surf better" surfing broken waves ·

OFF SHORE: Wind from the direction of the land that makes the waves break faster and more hollow. Good conditions for surfing. (Otherwise --> ON SHORE).


ON SHORE: Wind from the direction of the sea that makes the wave CLOSE and break without strength. Not so good surfing conditions. (Otherwise --> OFF SHORE).

Boy in the course "BASIC - Surf better" surfing broken waves ·

PEAK: Zone where the waves start to break. One beach may have several PEAKs.

POINTBREAK: Waves breaking along one end of the side edge of a bay. Advantages: long waves and constant, it is easy to reach the PEAK. Disadvantages: Many POINTBREAKs have a rocky bottom and therefore a higher risk of injury.

PULL OUT: Get out of the wave before it breaks by making a turn towards the back of the wave.

Surf instructor Martin Zawilla giving a one-to-one lesson ·

QUALIFICATIONS OF A SURF TEACHER: Surfing has become very fashionable. So there are every day more and more surfers that are opening surf schools and claim to be teachers without the right qualifications or sometimes without any qualifications. There are also surf schools whose directors are qualified surf instructors but the monitors working for them have no qualifications. Is advisable to check, before signing up, that all courses are taught by a teacher with a degree approved by the "European Surfing Federation" (ESF). And also if the monitors have a DEGREE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SPORT SCIENCE, even better ...

Girl catching a wave before it breaks in the course "ADVANCED - Becoming expert!" ·

RAILS: The edges of the surfboard.

REEFBREAK: Waves breaking on a rocky or coral bottom. Advantages: fast waves, hollow and constant, it is easy to reach the PEAK. Disadvantages: Increased risk of injury once under water, suitable only for experts.

REENTRY: A movement that consists of making a 180º turn on the lip of the wave and then lowering it again.


RIGHTHANDER: A wave surfable to the right as seen from the sea, seen from the beach it is a wave surfable to the left.

ROCKER: The curvature of the surfboard, looking at the profile.

Surfing student experiencing the fascinating sensation of catching a wave ·

SET: A group of waves higher than on a regular basis. Within hours the number of waves in a SET and the time between two SETs are more or less constant, within a longer period can vary considerably.

SHAPE: Shape of the surfboard.

SHAPER: A person who manufactures handmade surfboards.

SHORE BREAK: Wave breaking directly on the shore that carries a greater risk of injury.

SHORTBOARD: Short boards for advanced and expert surfers.


STOKED: State of ecstasy after an awesome surf session.

SURF ZONE: The area between the sea and the shore where the waves are breaking and which requires our special protection. More information at Surf & Nature Alliance ...

Student Torben Andersen (born 1948) surfing along the green wall of the wave in the course. "Advanced - Becoming expert!" ·

TAIL: The back end of a surfboard.

TAKE OFF: The start of catching a wave: Paddling, stand up and start.

TOP TURN: Surf a turn at the top of the wave wall to ride it back down.

TURTLE ROLL: To pass waves efficiently that is used primarily with LONGBOARDs, MINIMALIBUs and EVOs. You turn the board and pass the wave under the board (similar as in a canoe).

TUBE: Wave breaking in the form of a tube.

Top Turn ·

VELCRO: A quick release and fastening system, which in surfing is used to attach the LEASH to the board and to the surfer's ankle. Surfing wetsuits also have VELCRO in the neck area.

Surf instructor Martin Zawilla in a small group course ·

WAX: A special wax placed on the top of the table to avoid slipping.

WIPE-OUT: Losing the wave by uncontrolled fall off the board.

Perfect hollow waves in the Natural Park of Oyambre ·

YUHUU ... !!!: Expression of a surfer that lives absolutely (but unfortunately so fleeting) in the Now and Here ... sources that are lost in the mists of history speak of different variations and accents ...

Surfing a perfect wave in the Natural Park of Oyambre ·

© Martin Zawilla 1992 - 2023

Surf instructor Martin Zawilla at his favourite beaches in the Natural Park of Oyambre ·