I had to really dig for a definition that fit my mental image of the word, but finally found Surf Slang on About.com, which explained “Tubular is an adjective used by surfers from the 1980’s to describe something especially great… It was universally recognized as uncool by real surfers but used extensively in movies of the era. The literal definition can be used to describe a wave that is hollow or barreling, but as of the 90’s, calling something “tubular” pretty much fell out of favor altogether.”
My high school memories of the “real” surfers I knew did not include “tubular” in their vocabularies, but it was certainly overplayed as slang by Valley Girls and their ilk. Tubular was nearly always followed by an exclamation point, which is why I played it that way in my word list.
The A-Z Challenge is tubular, man!