Surf! Hawaiian Words for Waves

Eskimos have names to describe almost any type of snow. Not surprisingly, the Hawaiʻian language contains many different words to describe surf.
pae – to mount or catch a wave
huia – a surfing wave
pae i ka nalu – surf rider
kua nalu, kūlana nalu – surf just before breaking point
kai poʻi, kuap ā – breaking surf
lālahalaha – to rise and swell
heʻe, heʻe nalu – to surf
heʻe puʻewai – to surf the mouth of a stream
pae – to mount or catch a wave
pae i ka nalu – surf rider
kaha nalu, heʻe umauma – bodysurfing
nalu, nanu, ʻale – ocean waves
kai piʻi, eaea, huia, nalu pū kī – high waves
kai emi, kai heʻe, nalu miki – receding wave
nalu kua loloa, lauloa, ʻonaulu loa – long wave
nalu ʻaiō – waves that rise without breaking
Kai – Ocean
Wai  – Water

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