Some people get a little startled when they hear a skimmer talk. Skimmers have their own language. Here are a few words that I have learned growing up in the skimming community that might help you understand what the heck they are talking about. (Keep in mind each beach and county has there own lingo so these terms might only be heard in the Santa Cruz Skim community.)

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  • Aerial: This is a skimboarding move that is performed when the rider catches air off of a wave and lands back on the the wave. (or catching air)
  • Backside: this refers to situations where the skimboarders back is faced toward the ocean or the oncoming.
  • Barrel: A rider catches a barrel or a tube when they get surrounded by the wave.
  • Dig: this is a small dent or crack in the board that happens from hitting something. This is a skimmers worst nightmare because a small dig can lead to a whole lot of damage to a board.
  • Down The Line: This is a skimboarding move that results when a skimboarder rides out to the wave in one direction and after turning off the wave continues in the same direction proceeding “down the line”.
  • Fly Away: This is a very skilled move that takes a lot of practice. You pretty much need to wipe out really hard and fly off your board. You go one way and your board goes another way explains…”fly away”.
  • Front Side: this refers to situations where the skim boarder is faced toward the ocean or the oncoming.
  • Grom: this is a young skimboarder or surfer from kids to teenagers. (this might only be lingo from Santa Cruz. Not sure though.)
  • Offshore Wind: Offshore wind is wind that blows from the land out to sea. Offshore wind is usually much more desirable than onshore wind.
  • Onshore Wind: Onshore wind blows from the sea toward the land.  It is usually undesirable.
  • Rail: Outer edge of the board
  • Rocker: the amount of curvature on you board. The curve of your board is important for the transition from the sand to the water.
  • Side-Slipping: this is a technique minimalize speed loss in order to get out far enough into the wave. This is when a rider turns there board sideways where there toes point towards the waves.
  • Speed Run: Is when a skimboarder turns on a wave and the water rushes them back up the beach towards dry sand.
  • Speed Wobble: this is also used for skateboards which is when a rider goes too fast and the board starts to wobble and the rider starts to loose control. In skimboarding your board usually flies out from under you.
  • Tube: when the wave surrounds the rider.
  • White Wash: Is the water that makes its way to shore after a wave has broken.
  • Widdly: this is a move that I have never seen someone land in person. It is when a rider does a flip straight off the wave while holding the board under foot.
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