“Firing” Surfing Term

My informant is from Half Moon Bay, a small, coastal town in northern California, known for its famous, big wave, surf spot, Mavericks. He has grown up surfing, and has learned it is both based on ability and knowledge of not only the actual riding of the waves, but of understanding the ocean, before one even enters the water. My informant will drive from surf spot to surf spot, throughout the day, to catch waves after studying weather forecasts, checking surf reports, and tracking ocean currents. When he hears “Dude its firing,” he knows its time to grab his board and hit the waves.

The term “firing” means there’s really good surf. The water is firing one good wave after another, and breaking nicely. He does not know how the term originated, just heard it out on the water and at the beach. He says it is a universal phrase to surfers around the United States. He only says the term around surfers or those familiar with surfing. The term “firing” is interchangeable with the term “going off.”

The ocean is a powerful, constantly changing, force of nature. It seems ironic that the water is “firing” at first thought, however at a second thought it makes sense. The ocean fires a wave, firing, in terms of shooting, requires great force at a fast speed. Surfers want big waves that move fast, for them to have a smooth ride. Firing, is a perpetual motion, signifying that these waves keep on coming, like “firing a round.” More waves to catch for the riders.