What Does It Mean To Hang Ten, Dude?

Quck answer

Hang ten is a surfing maneuver where the surfer positions both feet on the front end of the surfboard, with all ten toes hanging over the edge. This iconic move requires balance, skill, and control. It originated in the 1960s in California and became synonymous with the laid-back surf culture of that era. Hanging ten is not only a display of style but also a way for surfers to ride the wave in a unique and challenging way. It has since become a symbol of the surfing lifestyle and is often associated with the phrase “dude.”


Dude, the surf’s up in Wonderopolis! Ready to catch some totally gnarly waves? Rock on! Grab your longboard and let’s hit the water.
Have you ever attempted to surf some large waves in the ocean on an authentic surfboard? It’s not as simple as it appears. In fact, learning to surf can be one of the most challenging sports to comprehend.
Not only do you need to be a proficient swimmer and possess extensive knowledge about the ocean and how waves function, you also need to be physically fit, have good balance, and be able to navigate along a constantly-shifting wall of water as it propels you towards the shoreline. However, if you’re up for the challenge, learning to surf can be extremely gratifying, as it offers excitement and a perspective that is difficult to surpass in any sport.
If you’ve spent a significant amount of time around surfers, you’ve probably heard the expression “hang ten” being used. Hanging ten is one of the most challenging surfing maneuvers you can learn. If you can hang ten on a longboard, your friends will be impressed and you may be on your way to becoming a surfing legend!
To hang ten, you must achieve perfect balance on your surfboard — typically a heavy longboard — so that the wave covers the back of the board. This allows the rider to walk all the way to the front of the board and dangle all ten toes over the edge. That’s where the term “hang ten” comes from!
Naturally, if you successfully execute the hang ten maneuver, you are then expected to give your fellow surfers the hang ten hand gesture. To do this, raise your fist and extend your thumb and pinkie finger, while keeping your other fingers curled. Some surfers also wiggle their hand back and forth and utter profound words of wisdom, such as “Dude!” and “Righteous wave, man!”
The hang ten maneuver has become so famous — and the hand gesture so popular — that you’ll find many surfers referring to the maneuver and giving the hand gesture far away from the water. Many surfers greet each other with the hang ten hand gesture informally whenever they see each other. It’s like the surfer’s secret handshake!

Try It Out

Surf’s up! Grab a friend or family member — and a surfboard, if you have one! — and try out one or more of the following enjoyable activities:
  • If you want to learn how to surf, the best way is to give it a try! Not all Wonder Friends have the opportunity to surf because they don’t live near a large body of water. However, some do! If you live by the ocean or a big enough body of water, give surfing a shot! You can borrow a surfboard from a friend or rent one from a local surf shop. Get in the water and catch some waves. It would be impressive if you can hang ten, but don’t worry if you can’t yet. That skill usually comes with practice!
  • Even if you don’t surf, you might use surf lingo sometimes. Have you ever wondered about the origins of other common phrases you use? Take some time today with a friend or family member to think about the words you frequently use. Are there any quirky or unusual phrases that you often say? Consider the sports you play and the hobbies you enjoy. Do any of the phrases you use come from those activities? Are there any words or phrases whose origins you’re unsure about? If so, look them up in an online etymology dictionary. You might be surprised to learn where your favorite phrases came from!
  • Looking for a challenge? Explore The Science of Surfing to gain a deeper understanding of the physics involved in turns, buoyancy, gravity, balance, and net force. There is also a lot of scientific knowledge about the weather conditions that create those massive waves. Visit NASA’s Science of Surfing website to learn more about the science behind these aspects.

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