Surfers (pictured) returning from the linguistic front lines.
Surfers (pictured) returning from the linguistic front lines.

Decades long linguistic war ends as the Olympics publishes official “surfing terminology and glossary”

Skeg heads and fin boys lay down their weapons.

Surfers will gladly fight about anything. Wave height, degree of rotation, if the strand connecting surfboard to ankle is called a “leg rope” or a “leash,” etc. ad infinitum. Fight and charge, attack and parry. The linguistic war, in particular, has been raging since Tom Blake invented the surfboard fin back in 1935, declaring, “Look at his fin.” Woody Brown, nearby, sneered, “That’s no fin. That’s a skeg.”

Corpses line the many etymological battlefields and it was thought that it would be a “forever war.” Thankfully the Olympics, reimagined in 1896 to bring the world together in peace and harmony, has just ended it.

Surfing 101: Olympic terminology and glossary is now, officially, our guide and let us peruse some terms, together, while white doves flutter.

Aerial: Complex small-wave maneuver in which both surfer and board launch into the air off the top of a wave, before dropping back down into the same wave.

Axe/axed: A heavy wipeout, usually involving the wave’s lip impacting directly on a surfer. Also called drilled, pummeled, etc.

Bail/bail out: To abandon or ditch one’s surfboard before getting wiped out by the wave, either paddling out, or while riding the wave.

Carving: A surfing technique in which the surfer creates big, deep turns by sinking much or all of the rail of the surfboard during each turn.

Cutback: A classic surfing move used to change direction when streaking ahead of the curl of a wave with a powerful turn back toward the breaking part of the wave. Cutbacks are an important element in surfing as the maneuver repositions the surfer closer to the power of the wave.

Drop-in: When a surfer initially goes down the face of the wave after catching a wave. Also a term used to describe catching a wave in front of another surfer who is already riding, which is a general breach of surfing etiquette.

Pitted: “Getting pitted” (or “getting barreled”) is when a surfer rides inside the hollow, tunnel-like part of a barrel wave. Also known as tube riding.


But what does it mean to “snake” someone?

More as the story develops.

Chris Davidson (pictured) better times.
Chris Davidson (pictured) better times.

Chris Davidson’s killer receives five year prison sentence: “He spent all of his life surfing and was never attacked by a shark but he was taken by a human shark”

Tragic end of a tragic tale.

The tragic tale of Chris Davidson reached its denouement, yesterday, as Grant Coleman was officially sentenced to five years in prison over killing the preternaturally gifted surfer with one punch outside of a Sydney pub in 2022. The case had slowly unspooled for years with Coleman arguing that he had attacked Davidson to protect the community because he was a convicted child sex offender.

The judge, Peter McGrath, did not accept that as reason, declaring that Coleman had taken the law into his own hands, stating, “He was judge and jury of Mr Davidson. Tragically, Mr Coleman also became Mr Davidson’s executioner.” McGrath went further, adding that Coleman had developed a “fixation” on Davidson, calling him a “paedophile” several times before delivering the fatal strike to the 45-year-old after he had approached a 19-year-old girl at the bar.

For his part, Coleman insists that he is haunted by the night. “[When] I realised what I’d done. I wanted him to wake up, to regain consciousness.”

The remorse did not warm over Davidson’s sister who insisted, “[Chris] spent all of his life surfing and he was never attacked by a shark but he was taken by a human shark. We can never forgive and forget and this incident should just never have happened.”

Davidson was exceptional in the water, bursting onto the world scene as a wildcard by beating the greatest ever surfer Kelly Slater not once, but twice, at the 1996 Bells Beach Pro. At the time of his death, Slater posted that he was “one of the most naturally talented surfers he had known.”

Lisa Andersen, dumped by Roxy, scooped up by Tenore.
Lisa Andersen, dumped by Roxy, scooped up by Pat Tenore.

Lisa Andersen, dumped by Roxy after 30 years, joins Billy Kemper at RVCA offshoot Tenore!

The four-time world champ scooped up by sharpest man in surfing Pat Tenore!

Two months ago, four-time women’s world champ Lisa Andersen was shown the door at Roxy after thirty years service with reclusive former WSL commentator and ’89 world champ Martin Potter breaking his five-year silence to vent his displeasure at the event.

“Pro surfing is dead. So sad,” wrote Pottz.

The almost fifty-five year old Lisa Andersen, who became the face of Roxy in 1993 one year before her four-pack of world titles, posted a video where we saw her peeling a Roxy sticker off her board.

The caption read, “All is good.” 

But was it? 

Shortly after, Lisa Andersen listed a “big part” of her surfboard collection. Andersen was hunting a whale with a brick of cash to buy ‘em all but, if necessity demanded it, admitted she’d negotiate with minnows seeking one or two of her iconic shooters.

Now, money woes might be a thing of the past, after Lisa Andersen apparently signed with Tenore, the hot new brand from RVCA founder Pat Tenore.

Although it’s yet to officially launch, Pat Tenore has been quietly snapping up some of the biggest names in surfing following the fire sales of Billabong, Quiksilver and Hurley and the subsequent dumping of their expensive surf teams. 

Pat Tenore famously sold RVCA to Billabong in 2010 in a total buy-out package worth between thirty-five and forty-five mill and was the first industry figure to recognise the burgeoning growth of mixed martial arts.

In a post to Instagram, Lisa wrote simply, “The next chapter with…(black heart emoji)” while tagging Pat Tenore.

A black heart emoji, of course, signifies strength, power, and mystery. It can be used to convey resilience or as a symbol of mourning, black humour, sorrow and remembrance.


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Joel Parkinson in surfing accident at Snapper Rocks
Joel Parkinson, "stuffed" after failure to correctly assess conditions at Snapper Rocks.

Citizen cop Joel Parkinson issues grave warning to surfers after rock jump goes horribly wrong!

"He's stuffed!"

The 2012 world surfing champ Joel Parkinson has issued a grave warning to fellow Gold Coast surfers after a mistimed rock jump that ended with his wedding ring being ripped from his finger and the champ being smashed into a volcanic rock garden.

Joel Parkinson may be better known these days for his hometown policing, his legend cemented after he  tried to stop two TikTokers filming ‘emselves sliding down a muddy hill citing environmental damage and, possibly, excess noise, but his surfing bona fides are still impeccable.

However, even champs like Joel Parkinson can have a bad day, a lapse of judgement. And, at a joint like Snapper Rocks, where the intrepid surfer must dance atop the volcanic outcrops to finally be confronted by a wall of water, one mistake, as they say, and you’re cooked.

Forty-four-year-old Joel Parkinson, whose eyes spark with all their old fire and brightness and who looks younger than his age by a decade at the very least, is forced to abandon his surfboard as waves pummel him across the shelf and into a hole.

“Never underestimate the power of the ocean…even at your local!” writes Joel Parkinson. “All it took was my wedding ring – sorry babe the ocean let me have this one – hopefully you will be as kind!

Fellow Snapper Rocks devotee and three-time world champion Mick Fanning was quick to recognise the severity of the incident.

“Very lucky there mate.”

Two other world surfing champs also weighed in,

“Soo freakin sketch that visit on the rocks!! She is always ready to teach us a lesson…so stoked you pulled it!!! The sigh of relief🙌👏👏👏👏🙌is felt here mate!!” wrote Tom Carroll (world champ 83 and 84)

“Stoked yr ok mate as you know those rocks are fucking sharp you pulled a rabbit out of yr ass on that one,” wrote Gary “Kong” Elkerton, (three-time world masters champ.)


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Charles Leclerc and pals.
Charles Leclerc and pals.

Shock and awe as Monegasque Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc conquers heavier wave than delicate surf champion Filipe Toledo!

"So good to be back surfing..."

Our favorite pastime spreading far and wide is nothing new. For decades now, outliers see a surf film, or surfers themselves playing the sport of kings off some beach, and think “I want to try.” A glorious cycle though maybe somewhat dulled by today’s ease of entry. Abundant surf schools, squishy soft tops, evaporated rules have, each, left a sort of vacuum where “cool” once hovered, vaguely defined.

All that aside, wonder and amazement spread overnight when images of Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc began spreading online depicting the 26-year-old Monegasque dropping into a terrifying triple up. A wave that would send shivers into the spines of all but the hardest Shipsterns’ natives. A wave that would current World Surf League champion Filipe Toledo into emotional hospice care.

You, of course, remember when the timid Brazilian failed to paddle at lightly plus-sized Pipeline earlier this year, tantrum’d that he owned nobody nothing then went on a mental health break.

“So good to be back surfing. No photoshop at all in the 2nd picture of course, all talent,” the Team Ferrari driver, anyhow, penned to X.


Now, surfing and Formula 1 are not strange bedfellows. Lewis Hamilton, who now also happens to drive for Ferrari after leaving longtime Mercedes, is a known aficionado even counting father-to-be-again Kelly Slater amongst his best of friends.

As talented as Hamilton may be, his barrel nowhere close to Leclerc’s devil send.

Back to Toledo, though. Do you think he would be equally scared behind the open wheel, zooming this way and that, or do you think he should take his talents elsewhere?

Also, we never got to discuss Hamilton to Ferrari. Are you a yay or nay there? I wish I could spoil his gender reveal but there’s only so much time in the day.

Until next time.