One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The point at which waves approaching a shore begin to break or form surf; the line of white foamy water produced by this.
2A line attached to a fixed point, such as an anchor, and used to help keep a boat stable and pointing in the desired direction when attempting to approach a beach or other destination through heavy surf. Now rare.
Mid 19th century. From surf + line.
surf line/ˈsəːf ˌlʌɪn/
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