Maneuvers and Terms

Many common surfing maneuvers and parts of surfer terminology have become well known, if not well understood, in popular culture. For example, the terms "hang ten" and "wipe out" are widely used and associated with surfing, but few know their origin or what they actually mean.

"Wipe out" refers to a surfer being knocked from the board while riding a wave, but it is not the only term used to describe falling off the board. A surfer is said to "go over the falls" when he falls off the board and is pulled along with the wave in a circular motion. This is also called being caught in the wash cycle.

"Hanging ten" is a maneuver performed when surfing on a longboard, when the surfer is able to stand on the nose of his board with the toes of both feet hanging over the end. One can also hang five, with one foot on the nose of the board, or face backward and hang heels.

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