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Phuket Sport: Surf Spot: What’s all the talk?

Phuket Sport: Surf Spot: What’s all the talk?

SURF SPOT: A fat one, a peeler, a dumper, the green room, what are these crazy people talking about? Surfers seem to have their own language, and when they talk sometimes sounds like a regurgitated sentence of adjectives.

By Tim Campbell

Friday 5 July 2013, 06:32PM

Listen up, potential surf groms, and I’ll let you in on a secret: sure we are crazy, but these mixed enthusiastic words to describe our passion are actually quite accurate. 

Waves are formed out at sea by storms and move in a clear direction, helped by the wind.
When the force of these waves hit something like a rock or a sand bar, they build up and fall on top of themselves, creating the necessary ingredients for surfing.

Now, depending on what a particular wave hits, how deep the water is, and if there is any wind around will determine the shape of that breaking wave.

Ideal conditions for a surfer would be a consistent rolling swell of waves hitting a reef or sand bar that is shaped on an angle, so the wave breaks (peeler) from left to right or vice-versa.

To top it off we want an off-shore wind (wind moving from land out to sea) which makes the ocean clean, smooth and creates a tube inside the wave (green room).

What’s not good is a wave that hits the shore, breaking at the same time (dumper). Waves are naughty too, and sometimes they tease you as they start to peel and look like they will break but then fade away to nothing (fat one).

The dictionary of surf jargon stretches longer than your grandad’s nose hair, but at least now you will have a few crazy adjectives up your sleeve.

The school bell rings loud and clear though, no matter what the shape, size or power of the wave – it’s just all about being in the big blue.

After the last two weeks of storms the ocean is back to its lovely self with plenty of fun waves on all beaches for all levels of abilities. Want to know more? Email:

Tim’s Tip: when you’re paddling for a wave and you think you’re on it, do two more paddles just to make sure.

Surf’s up Phuket!
Tim Campbell

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