Ever want to know how to talk “surf lingo” in Japanese? Well look no further than JAPANSURF.COM. Here you’ll find a list of all the “need to know” surf lingo and vocabulary to keep your brain cells busy. Let us know if there’s a word or phrase that you don’t see here and we’ll put it up for you. In the meantime this’ll get you started!


English Japanese
How’s the waves? Nami dou?
How do you get to the beach? Beach made, do yatte ittara ii?
How far to the beach? Beach made, dono gurai desu ka?
How big is it? Size wa dono gurai?
Where’s my surfboard? Ore no board wa doko?
Is it cold in? Mizu tsumetai desu ka?
Is it warm in? Mizu attakai desu ka?
These waves are crap! Nami Gucha Gucha!
How much is that _____? Sono _____ wa ikura desu ka?


English Japanese
Surfing Saafin
Wave Wave / Nami
Power Chikara
Powerful Chikara ga aru
Wind Kaze
Sea Umi
Rip Current
White Water Soup
Knee High Hiza
Waist High Koshi
Chest High Mune
Shoulder High Kata
Head High Atama
Overhead Overhead
Double Overhead Double

You can also mix two of them together: Hiza-Koshi = Knee-Waist High Waves.
If you put the word “gurai” after one of the above – it becomes about “..” high: Atama gurai = about head high.


Most of the equipment English words are the same except for a few:

English Japanese
Surfboard Sarfuboardo or “Ita”
Legrope / Leash Powercord / Leash
Surfing Saafin
Grip Deck Pad
Short Sleeved Steamer Seagull (don’t ask me why!?)
Wetshirt / Rash Guard Rash guard
Boardshorts Trunks


English Japanese
Warm Water mizu ga attakai
Cold Water mizu ga tsumetai
A little bit cold chotto samui
Early hayai
Late osoi
Morning Asa
Midday ohiru
Late afternoon Yuugata
Night Yoru
Close Out Dumper
Choppy Choppy
Crappy waves Gucha Gucha!
Cute Kawaii