Hang ten is a phrase you’ll hear a lot in surfing. But what does it mean, why do people say it, and how can you do it?
Let’s take a look.
What Does It Mean to Hang Ten?
The term “hang ten” refers to a surfing maneuver whereby a surfer leaves all ten toes hanging over the nose of the longboard surfboard. It’s also often used as a gesture and a hand signal whereby the little finger and thumb are thrust out of a closed fist. This expression is more commonly used to mean “hang loose”, though, and is known officially as the “Shaka”.
The phrase “hang ten” has also been used in contexts outside of surfing, although it’s nowhere near as common.
In skateboarding, for instance, it’s the name of a nose manual trick that was created in honor of the surfing maneuver. In basketball, it is sometimes used to refer to the moment when a basketball player dunks the ball and holds onto the hoop.
How to Perform a Hang Ten Surfing Maneuver
The hang ten is often performed on heavier boards, such as longboards.
To perform the move, you first need to balance your surfboard in the wave, ensuring that the tail is just underneath the water. That will allow you to walk to the front of the board, at which point you can hang all ten toes over the nose.
Once your toes are touching the nose of the board, make sure you throw a little hang ten/hang loose sign to your fellow surfers.
How Tough is it to Have Ten Toes Hanging on a Surfboard?
Hang ten is one of the best-known surfing moves, but it’s also one of the most difficult to perform. You need a little experience and good control of your board before you should consider trying a hang ten.
Unless you’re persistent, of course, because if you keep trying, you’ll get there eventually, albeit with a lot of wipeouts.