Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Surf Glossary: B

(verb) The act of taking off deep behind the peak or a section on a hollow wave, and surfing through the barrel or tube of the wave to the other side of the peak. (Also a proper noun: the short intense right peeling off the reverse side of Pipeline in Hawaii.)

Backing Off
The action of a wave as it passes from shallow water into deeper water closer to shore. The wave becomes less steep, or the broken whitewater fades away. Tends to occur shoreward of offshore reefs or sandbars. The wave may reform and break again in even shallower water closer to shore.

A reflected wave, caused by water pushed up onto a steep grade of beach, which then rushes back out to sea against the general wave movement. This can create spectacular explosive wave effects, as the backwash and incoming waves collide.

The space inside a breaking wave between the lip and face. A surfer may be completely hidden from view during a barrel ride, especially from shore. One of the most difficult, best and most enjoyable acts in surfing, but often very difficult to complete due to changing variations in every different wave. Another name for tube.

The measurement of depths of water in oceans, seas, and lakes. The topography of the ocean floor or underwater bottom

Beach Break
Waves breaking over a sand bottom.

Blown Out
A surf condition caused by strong onshore winds, which create ugly chop on the wave faces and through the lineup. Generally considered unridable.

A very large wave, well beyond the session's normal wave size.

Australian term for big waves breaking further out and isolated by deep water. Also called bombie or cloudbreak.

A section of a given wave in which the line of the wave bends, or appears to bend, toward the shore. The bend creates added intensity, often causing the wave to build into a peak, or grow hollower or steeper throughout its general curve. Nicknamed "bowl" because the wave suddenly becomes concave from a variety of angles, not just from the base or lip.

Break Line
The line where waves begin to break. All things being equal, waves will begin to break when they reach water depth equaling approximately 1.3 times the wave face height.

When a wave passes from deep water to shallow water it steepens as the wave energy is forced upward. We call this "shoaling". With increasing steepness, the wave face finally becomes too unstable and the crest or top part of the wave tumbles or "breaks" down the face of the wave.

Broken Up
A surf condition in which waves approach the beach and break apart into different peaks/lines with a clear separation between the ridable shoulders. This is usually caused by two swells from different directions and or periods overlapping the same break. Also called "scattered peaks".

Bumps on the ocean surface created by wind, usually between 6-10 knots in velocity. Definitely not clean but not choppy or blown out either.

A floating object moored to the bottom of the ocean to mark a channel, anchor, shoal, rock, etc. Buoys with sensitive meteorological and oceanographic instruments are also moored in deep-water locations to measure wind, weather, and wave information. This information is used to help forecasters monitor the progress of swells as they pass the buoy location.

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