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Kuhuna Or Wipe-Out?
by Leon Baxter
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

You know, surfing is more than catching a few waves and wearing flip-flops and board shorts. The sport has a vast history. It encompasses language, music, dance, film, and fashion. So, maybe you can get up on a fifteen-foot swell, but are you a true, card-carrying surfer? It doesn’t matter if you’ve ridden the biggest waves this side of Rincon or if you don’t know the difference between a shore break and Pauly Shore break dancing. Take this quick quiz and find out how you really stack up.

1. Which of the following phrases is/was not standard surf lingo?
a. Walking the nose
b. Jagged tooth
c. Goofy foot
d. Head dip

2. When a surfer gets “tubed” how does he refer to the wall of water surrounding him?
a. Green wall
b. Glass wall
c. Black wall
d. Blue wall

3. Which musical group is often seen as the “Fathers of Surf Music”?
a. Jan and Dean
b. The Beach Boys
c. The Surf Boys
d. Dick Dale and the Del Tones

4. What’s the significance of “Kook” in surfing?
a. It’s the name given to the first surfboard leash, made of a chain of rubber bands.
b. It’s an old term for a beginning surfer.
c. It’s a term used when a surfer hits his head on his surfboard.
d. It’s the nickname for the Hawaiian pro surfer, Mitch Kookamakala.

5. Which of the following surf terms has the wrong definition?
a. “Agro” means out of hand.
b. “Soup” means to float.
c. “Bail” means to leave quickly.
d. “Drill” means to crash.

6. Who starred in the film, Beach Party?
a. Annette Bening and Frankie Valli
b. Sandra Dee and James Darren
c. Sandra Dee and Frankie Valli
d. Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon

7. Which of the following does not belong?
a. Wannabe
b. Skeg
c. Hellgie
d. Grommet

8. In Bobby Picket’s song, “Simon the Sensible Surfer”, how did Simon avoid being carried from the beach on a stretcher like the other surfers?
a. He put wheels on his surfboard and surfed down the street.
b. He would only ride his surfboard in the bathtub.
c. He sold his surfboard and moved to Iowa.
d. He wore a suit of armor whenever he surfed.

9. If you are a surfer who’s tubed without your board, you’re ________.
a. Taking Gas
b. Shoveling Salt
c. Barreling Without a Cork
d. Mystifying Susan

10. If a surf spot is “zooed out”, as a surfer you would:
a. expect there to be an abundance of marine life: seals, dolphins, etc...
b. just climb the “No Trespassing” fence and surf on the private property if the swell was bitchin’.
c. expect it to be very crowded.
d. know that the water was contaminated.

11. What is a “Rhinochaser”?
a. a surfer who only rides the biggest waves
b. a type of surfboard
c. a surfer who rides close to the nose of the board
d. an idiot on an African safari

12. Which of the following is not a “hotdog” maneuver?
a. Hanging Five
b. Walking the Nose
c. Quasimoto
d. Tipping the Scales

13. Which of the following is an actual dance?
a. The Flail
b. The Boogie Board Boogie
c. The Surfer Stomp
d. The Barrel Roll

14. A typical surfer would most likely not “shoot”______.
a. the pier
b. the tube
c. the target
d. the curl

15. Why is Duke Kahanamoku significant to surfing?
a. He was the first known professional surfboard designer.
b. He was Hawaiian royalty who temporarily banned surfing from the Hawaiian Islands.
c. He was the “Father of Modern Surfing”.
d. As of this writing, he had earned the most money in the history of surf competitions.

16. What’s a “Woody”?
a. a station wagon-like car with wood paneling and space in the back for surfboards
b. a person who doesn’t live on the coast, yet pretends to
c. a hotdog maneuver where the surfer rides the wave standing completely erect, keeping knees and waist from bending
d. the term used for original wooden surfboards

17. The word “Cowabunga”...
a. means “watch out” and comes from Hawaii
b. means “stoked” and comes from Australia
c. means “bail out” and comes from Africa
d. means “watch your step” and comes from cattle ranchers

18. Which location is not mentioned in the Beach Boys’ song, “Surfin’ USA”?
a. La Joya
b. Steamer’s Lane
c. Manhattan
d. Ventura County Line

19. Which of the following terms is not a type of surfboard?
a. Cigar
b. Toothpick
c. Elephant Gun
d. Shoelace

20. What is the term “Gidget” short for?
a. a girl midget
b. a kid’s gadget
c. a giddy jet
d. a flying nun

1. b (The “Head dip” is a hotdog maneuver. “Walking the nose” is walking to the front of the board. “Goofy foot” is a term describing one who rides with her right foot up and left foot back.)
2. a
3. d (All of the groups sang surf songs, but Dick Dale and the Del Tones were the originators.)
4. b
5. b (“Soup” is a term used for the white water after the wave breaks.)
6. d (Sandra Dee and James Darren did star in surf films, but not Beach Party. Annette Bening was one of the stars of American Beauty. Frankie Valli was the lead singer of The Four Seasons.)
7. b (If you chose “Skeg” you would be correct. A skeg is actually a fin on a surfboard. But, if you’re a hard-core surfer, you may have chosen all three of the other choices. The terms “Hellgie”, “Grommet”, and “Wannabe” are negative terms used for inexperienced surfers. The experienced surfer will often argue that they “don’t belong” on their beach. If this is the case, give yourself a point.)
8. a
9. a
10. c
11. b
12. d
13. c (The Surfer Stomp was created by Dick Dale.)
14. c
15. c
16. a
17. b
18. b (Although Santa Cruz, California’s Steamer’s Lane is a hot spot among surfers, The Beach Boys neglected to mention it in their hit song.)
19. d
20. a (The name “Gidget” was coined for the five foot, sixteen year old Kathy Kohner during the summer of 1956.)

Give yourself one point for every correct answer.

If you scored between:

(18 - 20) BIG KAHUNA - You are most tubular. Your baggies should be bronzed.
(14 -17) PRETTY GNARLY - Not bad. Almost a perfect set.
(9 - 13) GREMLIN - You’re barely keeping your head above water. Watch out for that undertow.
(0 - 8) FLAILING BIG TIME - You’d be much better off surfing the internet.


Leon Scott Baxter is a West Coast writer who lives with his wife and two daughters in California. To see more of his work, go to

Published: Dec 18,2008 21:45
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