5 Football Terms for Surfers

The year's single biggest sporting event in the United States is about to unfold as two American football teams, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, face off in Sunday's Super Bowl. In anticipation of the event, here are some key football concepts in terms surfers may better understand.

Two-Point Conversion

After a touchdown (6 points) is scored, a team is awarded a chance at extra points, conducting either a field goal (1 point) or a play (2 points). A two-point conversion is more risky than a field goal, as the offense must carry or throw the ball 5 yards (or 4.57 meters) with the opponent's defense blocking the way.

Here Kelly Slater (USA) does his best to demonstrate the surfing equivalent as Matt Wilkinson (AUS) blocks with priority at the Quiksilver Pro France.

Slater's Two-Point Conversion
The champ launches to earn a solid score during the 2014 Quiksilver Pro France.

See more completed conversions in the aerial review

Hail Mary

When a team is trailing and time is running out, it's sometimes necessary to go big or go home. In such do-or-die situations the quarterback may opt to try for a so-called "Hail Mary" pass, throwing the ball high into the air --- usually over half the length of the field -- praying that his receiver is the one to make the catch.

In surfing, the Hail Mary is akin to an impossible drop in the final minute of a heat. Travis Logie (ZAF) took out this year's World Title winner Gabriel Medina (BRA) in Rio with this move:

Logie Lives on a Prayer
Travis Logie pulls off a last-second win with this 9.50 barrel in Round 3.

Touchdown Dance

In American football it's often customary to celebrate one's glory and achievements after scoring a touchdown, not unlike pro surfers making a claim after a successful wave. Check out Owen Wright's Superman celebration in Tahiti.

Wright Flies For 10
The Aussie charger drops another huge score on the final day of competition at the 2014 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

See more of the best claims from last season


Each football team is supported by a group of individuals cheering from the sidelines at every game. The responsibility of the cheerleaders is to motivate and encourage athletes to perform to their utmost ability. Arguably one of the strongest cheer campaigns in the history of professional surfing came from the #VaiMedina camp. Watch the reaction after Gabriel Medina became Brazil's first World Champion.

Medina's Cheer Squad Goes Nuts
A Brazilian celebration as fans rally around their first World Champion.

Big Hit

Americans tend to be fans of anything BIG. Big cars, big meals and -- when it comes to sports -- big hits. Not unlike watching a clean tackle in football, a heavy wipeout elicits equal parts sympathy and thrill. Compare this wipeout by Anastasia Ashley (USA) during an XXL session in Mexico some of Super Bowl Sunday's big hits and see for yourself.

Ashley Gets Blindsided By Lip
Anastasia Ashley Mexican wipeout.

See more Wipeout submissions for the 2015 XXL Awards