Surf culture in Rio

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Youtube channel Surfari TV has been traveling the entire coast of Brazil filming surf culture. Over the last 2 weeks, they published two 20-min videos on Rio (with subtitles), one on surfing in Rio itself and the other on the Região dos Lagos, to the north.

In the last few minutes of the second video, a famous ex-surfer says the word haule/haole many times. This is surfer’s slang for someone who says they can surf well but they really can’t and also for foreigners or people who aren’t locals, although it has entered into normal slang as someone who is a beginner, dumb, unaware. Check the list of some surfer slang I’ve translated below.

Alisar: When the sea starts to be calmer and stops being choppy

Batida: Maneuver where the surfer climbs the wave after a cavada (see below) and hits it on the crest with the lower part of the board. It can be done either on the lip or on the bubbles/foam when the wave breaks on both sides

Bomba: Big wave

Cavada: When the surfer executes a maneuver with a curve at the base of the wave in order to gain speed. The cavada can be done “backside” (facing away from the wall) or “frontside” (facing the wave). AKA Bottom turn

Free surfer: Surfer that isn’t taking part in competitions, surfing just for pleasure, traveling the world in search of good waves

Marola: When waves are small, we can say they’re “marola”. When the surfer likes to surf these kinds of waves, he’s a “merrequeiro”.

Quebra-côco: When the wave is hollow and breaks quickly, making surfing difficult

Rabeta: Tail

Rabear: To drop in

Rasgada: Maneuver in which the surfer, after a bottom turn, goes in the direction of the crest but before getting there, uses his strength and agility to change direction, returning to the base

Vaca: Wipeout

For more, here’s where I found the list (PT) and here’s another list that’s been translated. As a reminder, at Deep Rio, I’ve posted twice about surfing. Once on the Ipanema Pier and another time on Fernanda Guerra.


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