Water! Hawaiian Words for Waves

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Eskimos have names to describe almost any type of snow. Not surprisingly, the Hawaiian 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