This thread (and, in particular, the reference to whether there are truly different slang terms for types of surfing conditions or just terms for descriptors that may be used to describe surfing conditions) reminds me of something I stumbled on when looking into the “Inuit words for snow” myth: Wikipedia’s article on the topic mentions, in passing, that the Sami people, unlike the Inuit, “really do” have hundreds of words for snow.
Sami, unlike Inuit, is not, AFAIK, an agglutinative language. With inuit, one could theoretically fashion a million or more words with “snow” as one of its units (if you had a lot of time and nothing better to do), but most of those formulations would be somewhat contrived and would be combinations that native speakers would be unlikely to use. However, the Sami have hundreds of words that are used by native speakers and that involve “snow” in some fashion.
But, strictly speaking, they do not have hundreds of words for “snow” - the cold, white stuff that falls from the sky - itself. Rather, they have hundreds of words for different types of snowy-ground-conditions. And, to pick up on Dave Wilton’s point, these words essentially are part of a specialized vocabulary (actually, multiple, specialized, vocabularies) for snow conditions based on how such conditions impact various activities. So, for example, there is a rich set of terms to describe snowy ground based on how it would affect a reindeer driver’s ability to drive reindeer over snowy terrain. One such word, moarri, roughly translates as “the type of brittle snow and ice that is likely to break and cut a horse or reindeer’s legs.”. There are also a set of terms for “snowy terrain” as it relates to one’s ability to ski upon it or walk upon it (with snow shoes), etc. so, the specialized vocabulary for snow is very much like a doctor or lawyer’s specialized jargon: it allows people in a given field to quickly convey nuanced distinctions that are important to people in that field.
After a shallow investigation of surfing slang, there seems to be a somewhat similar phenomon: as Happydog noted (and I apologize if, in paraphrasing, I am misstating his point) there are specialized terms to describe various elements that would impact surfing conditions (tides, wind patterns, etc.), but there don’t seem to be surfing slang terms that describe, in a comprehensive fashion, A set of “surfing conditions”. And “pipeline”, as far as I can tell, is a slang reference to a fairly specific geographic location that is known for having powerful waves (to put it mildly) but not to be a general slang term for a “type” of surfing condition (although, if pipeline is frequently used in a figurative fashion to refer to a set of surfing conditions, I’m not sure that a distinction between whether it is a word for a type of surfing condition, or whether it is merely a descriptor that may be applied to surfing conditions, could really be maintained.)