caught inside

Getting trapped on the shoreward side of an incoming wave, or set of waves. Many surfers feel that being caught inside is the worst thing that can happen during a heavy swell, in part because it forces the surfer to contemplate, sometimes for a minute or more, the approaching wave as it gathers and looms. A big-wave wipeout, by comparison, happens all at once. In a 1987 survey titled "Fear City," 12 out of 17 pro surfers replied that getting caught inside was their greatest surfing fear. "I d...