¡Hola, Ola! – our dictionary to the Spanish surf language

Written by NOMB Surf


Let`s write a book! That`s how it all started. Surf coach Angie and camp chef Miris were sitting at a beach in Galicia when the idea struck. Why not write a book that helps people communicate in a Spanish speaking line-up?

A dictionary for surfers

The potential use of the book is obvious: it gives travelling surfers an opportunity to communicate, impress and avoid bad vibes in a Spanish speaking line-up. We as travelling surfers are at the bottom of the wave hierarchy, that`s a fact. Showing respect to the local surf community can be done by following the surfing rules, and also by trying to communicate in their local language. No need to be perfect but at least it shows that you are making an effort.

A surf book idea was born

Camp chef and NOMB Surfer Mirjam Loosli, aka Miris, is an incredible artist. Out of nowhere she comes up with the idea of a hilarious illustration and brings it to paper. This way the famous washing machine was born. We as surfers know the feeling of being tossed around by the waves. It really does feel like a washing machine, right?

When surf coach Angie saw Miri`s Instragram post with the washing machine, she was once again blown away. How does Miris do it? And even more important, how can we tackle more of her creativity out of her brain and onto paper? An easy solution popped into Angie`s head: let`s make a book! Containing Miri`s illustrations. And maybe even some funny surf trip stories.

The making of the book

It didn`t take much to convince Miri of the book idea. She was immediately hooked on the idea of creating a surfing book. The idea was set and the two chicas agreed to brainstorm and talk via video call in a month time.

Poco a poco (little by little) the idea of the book turned into a project. And what a hell of a project it was. Turned out that both Angie and Miris had underestimated the amount of time and work it takes to create a book. But as they both love a good challenge, they kept going.

When Angie and Miris met on Lanzarote for a week of surf tripping in warm water, things went serious. The idea of inventing a dictionary for surfers took form. They wanted to make it easy for surfers to learn. Instead of having to study the old school way they decided on visual and textual Eselsbruecken (mnemonics). Plus adding an actual dictionary part containing the translation, the pronunciation and a short description. That`s what it looks like:

Four chapters full of words and phrases

The title of the book represents not only our gratitude towards the ocean but also the contents of the book. ¡Hola, ola! is composed of four chapters:

  • Gone Surfing
  • Surfing Equipment
  • Social Skills
  • Surfers World

The 1st chapter `Gone Surfing` includes important words like wave, current, left and right. In the 2nd chapter you will learn the essential words like surfboard, wax and fins. The 3rd chapter, `Social Skills`, teaches you easy to remember phrases like saying hello or explaining that you don`t understand. In the 4th chapter we will take you into the real world of surfing and make it easy for you impress with common surfing words in Spanish.

We hope, you will enjoy ¡Hola, ola! and are certain that you will be loads more confident, catch more waves and experience fun and beautiful moments in Spanish speaking line-ups. Pleases dedicate a wave to us once in a while!

Sea you in the ocean!

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