Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MPAL Exhibits 2019-2020: International Surf Music Month

Documents exhibits at the Music and Performing Arts Library during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Find More Related Materials:

Below are links to related subject searches in the UIUC Library Catalog. Some results are physical items in MPAL and are currently unavailable.

Surfing Slang

Most people have heard of surf-related slang terms such as "wipe out" and "hang ten".  Here are some others which can be found in the song titles and lyrics of this exhibit.

Baggies:  Loose, drawstring surf shorts.

Woody (or woodie):  a station wagon made famous by surfers in the 60's

Pipeline:  Famous surf location in Hawaii that has huge powerful and hollow waves.

Goofy/Goofy Foot:  Surfing with your right foot forward.  (Left foot forward is the usual stance).

So, if you plan to shoot the curls someday, you'll need to know the lingo!  These coolaphonic resources will encourage you to be a mega-ripper (not a shoobie) and help you avoid the men in gray suits as you go off the lip!


Hawaiian Pidgin

Some words and phrases from Hawaiian Pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English) have found their way into popular surf culture, such as "brah" (brother/friend). Here are some other terms one might hear from the locals when hitting the waves:

Choke:  A lot.  Plenty

Howzit:  The combination of the words “how,” “is” and “it.”  "Howzit, uncle?"

K'Den: Okay then. Agreed.

Slippahs:  Flip flops


About This Exhibit

Cowabunga!  June is Interantional Surf Music Month!  COVID-19 may have quarantined everyone in their homes, but that doesn't mean that you can't imagine yourself on a warm beach, catching a wave, cruising in a classic hot rod or donning a pair of shades and relaxing on the sand.

This collection of music will help put you in that mindset.  This exhibit includes both types of surf music:  instrumental surf (reverb electric guitar instrumentals played to resemble ocean waves) and vocal surf (with harmonies made famous by The Beach Boys).  There are even some novelty surf songs included from the 1960s and 1970s.  The UIUC online collection, the Alexander Street Press and Spotify links will start you on your imaginary vacation.  Shaka!

Ambient Ocean Sounds

Recent events have put enormous amounts of stress on people worldwide.  It is extremely important to take care of one's mental health during these times.  To supplement this exhibit and to provide something soothing, here is is a relaxing video of ambient ocean sounds.  You can listen to it along with the other audio resources in this exhibit, or you are welcome to use it to relax.


Selected Items

Physical items will be available when MPAL reopens.  Online items are available for immediate access.

Playlists of Surf Music

For more songs, check out our playlist with selections from the Alexander Street Press collections: