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Vocabulary Quiz
tough • natural • paddle
far enough • curling
  1. Dancing does not come for me at all.
  2. The interviewer asked him a lot of questions that he really didn't want to answer.
  3. I don't know if we are out for the water to be deep here.
  4. It's so peaceful to watch the waves over.
  5. We had to the boat in after it ran out of gas.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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619 How to Surf
Mitchell, from Hawaii, gives Joel advice on how to learn to surf.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

that's a tough question

That's a tough question to answer, because I can't explain how I learned how to surf.

Something is a 'tough question' when the answer isn't easy to give for some reason. Notice the following:

  1. I don't know what I would do in your position. That's a tough question.
  2. What's my favorite food? That's a tough question.

come natural

I was surfing ever since I was small, so it came natural to me.

When something 'comes natural' to you, it means that you learn it easily and quickly. Notice the following:

  1. Swimming comes natural for me, but running is very difficult.
  2. Does learning a language come natural for you?


Just lay on your board and pretend that you are paddling.

To 'paddle' you put a long piece of wood with a flat side, or, in this case, your hand, in the water and move it away from the direction that you want to go to move yourself around in the water.  Notice the following:

  1. I can spend hours just paddling around in the pool.
  2. My shoulders are really tired from paddling all day.

get out far enough

It's hard to get out far enough when there are big waves.

To 'get far enough out' means to get to a distance that is far enough away from the shore to be able to surf properly. Notice the following:

  1. If you don't get far enough out, you will hit the sand when the wave drops.
  2. There is a strong current under the water that makes it difficult to get far enough out.


Before the wave starts curling, get ready to stand up on your board.

A wave 'curls' when it gets to its highest point and then folds over. If the waves are tall enough, you can actually surf inside the curl. Notice the following:

  1. The waves aren't tall enough when they are curling today.
  2. If the wave doesn't curl the right way, you can't ride it.