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Located on Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii

Surfing lessons Waikiki Beach
Honolulu surf lessons
Oahu, Hawaii

Call: 808-393-9956

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Chris Matteson
Lead Instructor

Brenda Cochran

Waikiki Beach surfing lessons Honolulu, Hawaii

Kilohana is a Hawaiian name meaning "the best"

Pronunced KIY-Low HHAANaa

Kilohana 서핑 학교 LLC

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Waikiki Beach surfers glossary Oahu Honolulu surfing lessons

A to Z Glossary of Surfing Terms

Helpful terms to know for your surfing lessons at Kilohana Surf School, LLC
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

A surfing maneuver where the surfer becomes airborne. This is for advanced surfers and requires excellent timing and speedSurf special $75 group lesson
This is where a wave forms in a peak and breaks both ways. The name comes from the fact it is “A” shaped before it breaks
This is where the surfer takes off on a wave on the far side of the peak. He then proceeds to surf through the barrel. Backdoor is also the name of the right-hander that breaks off Hawaii's famous Banzai Pipeline
To surf a wave in the direction that means your back is towards the wave. Usually considered more difficult than forehand but easier for some maneuvers
Back off
This is where the wave goes from being steep and surfable to being flat and lacking power. It usually occurs when the wave breaks and then hits deeper water
Bail out
To jump or dive off your board when the going gets sketchy - this is usually on the paddle out when confronted with a wave too big to get under

Surfing lessons on Waikiki Beach - Honolulu - Hawaii - Oahu

How the sand forms on the sea bed and determines the shape of the wave above. Without good banks, the surf is pretty at best.
One of a variety of names for one of surfing's ultimate goals. Can be used as a noun or a verb, both refer to the hollow part of the wave formed when the top travels faster than the bottom. Anatomy of a wave surf lessons Waikiki Beach Oahu
The trick is to get into the barrel and is thus be barrelled/shacked!
Beach Break
The clue's in the name! A wave that breaks at a beach (some don't)
A particularly large wave
Australian term for a large wave that breaks a long way out to sea on an offshore reef or sandbank. AKA Bommie
A surfboard with no less than five fins! Invented by the Californian Campbell brothers in the 1970s, it occasionally makes an appearance in modern designs
When a surfer performs a long, smooth, often powerful longer turn
You want clean waves! This doesn't mean there is no poo in the water but that the waves are smooth and breaking well due to offshore winds. The opposite is messy when the wind blows onshore making them ragged
Close out
Waves are supposed to break across-either left or right. A closeout is where the whole wave breaks at once. Surfiach surfing lessonsA very short ride!
The concave surface of the bottom of a modern surfboard. It helps increase speed
Very good surf conditions
As in cooking above
An "S" shaped maneuver where the surfer changes direction on the wave to head back to where the power is. This is followed by another change in direction back down the line
This is what big waves do to you after you fall off!
Drop knee
A style of body boarding where the surfer rides on one foot and one knee somewhat like a rifleman would stand.
Drop in
This is an offensive, unspeakable act in surfing. When a surfer is already on a wave (and thus has priority) it is extremely rude for another surfer takes off on the same wave. Depending on who does it and where it occurs can sometimes result in violence!

Learn to surf on Waikiki Beach - Honolulu - Hawaii - Oahu

Not strictly speaking only a surfing term, but for years this was the only place it was used. Another name for a friend, can be one of your boys, or just anyone you are talking to. Totally cool person!!
Elephant Gun
A surfboard designed for very big surf
The front of the wave where it hasn't broken - the blue/green part you can see
The appendages on the bottom of most surfboards. One used to be the norm, now they usually come in 3s, sometimes 4s and occasionally 2s and 5s! Their purpose is to create lateral resistance to stop you from going sideways
A short wide surfboard designed for surfing small waves
Where the surfer rides over the top of the broken part of the wave as opposed to the face
To surf a wave in the direction so that you are looking towards it. Generally considered slightly easier than backhand
Conditions where there is no wind and the water surface becomes so smooth it resembles glass. This is a good thing!
Scary, bad or dangerous
Goat boat
A fond term for a surf-ski
Goofy foot
If you stand with your right foot forward you are a goofy footer!
Green Room
70s term for a barrel/tube
Someone who can't surf very well
Grom or Grommet
A young surfer
A surfboard for riding big waves: long, thin and usually a pintail
Hang Five
Old-school longboarding move where the surfer hangs the toes of one foot over the front of the board
Hang Ten
Old-school longboarding move where the surfer hangs the toes of both foot over the front of the boardSurfing Video You Tube
Powerful waves are described as heavy, which is how it feels if they break on your head!
Tubing/barrelling waves are hollow
Waves often get steeper and faster as they come in, this is the inside section
A more recent word for a barrel
A form of surfing where the surfer doesn’t stand up or lie down, but instead kneels. Harmless, but not natural!
Pronounced 'kuke' refers to someone who surfs badly and is generally a bit of an idiot

Surfing lessons for beginners on Waikiki Beach - Honolulu - Hawaii - Oahu

A maneuver where the surfer lies back into the wave. Popular in the 70's
The cord that attaches surfers to their boards. In the old days surfers spent a lot of time swimming!
Leg rope
Another name for a leash
Line up
This is where you sit when you're waiting for waves. It's usually just a bit further out than the waves break. It also refers to your position up/down the beach and what landmark you use to position yourself
What people often refer to as the crest. This is the part that plunges forward when the wave breaks
An alternative, slightly derogative name for a longboard
A long surfboard! Not to be confused with a gun, these are boards designed for small/medium waves with a rounded nose and are generally 8 ft long or more
A surfboard that turns easily - better for smaller waves
A big wave: derived from the American Mac truck
Usually refers to a longboard, not to be confused with a Malibu surfboard, which is any stand-up board
A term used to describe a body board by those who are not fans
The opposite of clean of course! Referring to waves this is when the wind blows onshore and spoils the form of the wave giving it a ragged appearance. Not so good for surfing
The ideal wind direction. This blows into the face of the wave, smoothing it and holding it up so it breaks later and with more power

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Off the lip
A surfing maneuver where the surfer turns the board up to the top of the wave and pivots on the breaking part (the lip). The steeper the angle upwards, the better the wave
Off the top
As above but instead of pivoting the surfer draws a longer turn across the top of the waveSurfing Video You Tube
This is the surfer's least favorite wind direction. It makes the waves messy and less powerful
The opposite of inside! The section of the wave that breaks further out to sea
Over the falls
This is a type of wipeout where the surfer falls from the top to the bottom of the wave as it breaks. Can be fun, especially if done head first!
Pearl (dive)
In this wipeout, the nose of the surfer’s board sticks in the water bringing them to a grinding halt. Usually happens when going down a steep wave
Pin tail
This describes the rounded, or even pointed, tail of some surfboards. It is generally preferred for riding bigger and more hollow waves as it makes the board more stable and the turns more drawn out
Classic Hawaiian wave, barrelling and dangerous
Pop out
A surfboard made from plastic injected with foam. Generally a beginner's board
Quad fin
A four-fin surfboard. Fins are arranged in two lots of twos, one just behind the other set. Supposed to give all the benefits of a thruster and a twin fin
The side of the surfboard and the part you are supposed to turn on. Can either be soft (rounded) or hard (angular)

The "ultimate" cool in surfer lingo.
Like an off-the-lip except the surfers returns down the wave on top of the breaking section
Regular foot
The opposite of a goofy foot - i.e. one who stands left front forward. Slightly more common
Reverse V
A keel like part on the bottom of a surfboard towards the nose. The opposite of the concave

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Rhino Chaser
A surfboard designed for very big waves. Usually around 8-10 ft in length. See gun
Rip (current or tide)
A strong and sometimes dangerous current formed as water flows back out to sea. If you ever get caught in one of these paddle across it at a 45 degree angle, not against it.
Short for re-entry
Waves like to travel in groups. The exact science isn't understood but they tend to arrive in anything from two to what seems like infinity if you are paddling out!
Sex Wax
The best known variety of surfboard wax made by Mr. Zog
Another word for getting tubed/barrelled
Waves that break very close to the shoreline of the beach. Often powerful and hollow, but proximity to the sand can result in injury and broken boards
Rather good
Another word for fin
A heavy reef break where the wave comes out of deep water onto a shallow reef. Always hollow, always powerful, often suicidal!
Word used to described as cool or awesome
Weak, poor quality surf
A fast, sharp turn

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A somewhat derogatory term for a body board
The water thrown up when a surfer does a big turn. This is the mark of a good, powerful surfer
Square tail
A surfboard with a tail that is squared off rather than being rounded. Perhaps the most common shape and ideal for pivotal turning in small to medium waves
Name for a surfboard
To be pleased
Wooden strip running down the center of a surfboard. Provides strength and a center line for the shaper. Surfing Video You TubeSome boards have double or even triple stringers
Swallow tail
This is the third main tail type. As the name suggest it is shaped like a swallow’s tail or like a W. The theory is it combines the features of a pin and square tail. Swallow tails come in and out of fashion
Switch foot
Someone who can surf both ways around, i.e. goofy and regular/natural
Name given to a board with three fins, it was invented by Simon Anderson in the 1980s, and remains the most common design
A surfboard that is difficult to turn. This is an advantage in bigger waves, as it is less likely to wobble or do something unpredictable
Tow in
Relatively recent practice of using a jet-ski to tow a surfer into a big wave. These waves usually move too fast for a surfer to paddle into
Another name for a barrel or the hollow part of the wave
Twin fin
A board with 2 fins! Introduced in the late 70s, this creates a very 'loose' board
Applied to the top of a surfboard to give it some grip
WAM chart
Or wave animation chart. This is an animated computer graphic showing the size of swell for the next few days. The data is usually obtained from the NOAA and is great for surf forecasts
Zog's (Mr.)
Maker of the world famous Sexwax! 'For when your stick gets too slick'!




Kilohana Surf School offers private and group surfing lessons on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. Please call us to book your surfing lesson: 808-393-9956.

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Kilohana Surf School, LLC is located on Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI