Waves and surf breaks: they who discover them have the right to name them | Photo: Shutterstock

There is an informal universal rule in the surfing world that tells us that he who discovers a new surf break or secret spot has the naming rights to it.

The world isn't endless - it's finite and limited to the planet's boundaries. As a result, the number of surfable zones is also restricted.

With the advent of Google Earth and later Google Maps, surf travel's exploration factor and adventure elements were somehow cut short.

The digital world has undermined the magic of discovering a new wave, like when "The Endless Summer" crew unveiled the perfect right-hander at Cape St. Francis in South Africa.

Finding a secret spot is genuinely phenomenal.

It's exciting to know that you're about to or have just ridden a wave nobody else has ever cherished.

Despite all the print and digital mapping of the world's surf breaks, there is always a tiny corner, hidden behind a rock, where you can be the first and find freedom in an empty, exclusive wave.

Surf break nomenclature: you can name a wave after a person, an object, a place, or a funny thing | Photo: Shutterstock

Naming Rights to New Surf Breaks

The pioneers were the lucky ones.

Every time they discovered a new wave, peak, or surf zone, they had the right to name them.

Naming a surf break is an exercise of freedom and creativity - you can basically choose whatever you wish.

When it comes to associating a wave with a word or a series of words, several trends or concepts are taken into consideration.

The most popular are based on the following criteria:

1. Geography

It's common to name surf breaks after where they're located and landmarks in their surroundings.

It could be a village, a temple, a city, a road, or a neighborhood.

They're generally the less creative and funny.

Examples: Mundaka, Kirra, Bells Beach, Ribeira d'Ilhas, Jeffreys Bay, Church, Country Club, Cortes Bank, T Street, etc.

2. Ego/Tribute

Some waves are named after people.

They could be the person who discovered it or someone a local community or foreign surfer wants to pay tribute to:

Examples: Lance's Right, Bruce's Beauties, Corbyn's Cove, Dino's Left, Lindie's Point, Velzyland, etc.

3. Connotation

Many surf break nomenclatures get their inspiration from connotative ideas, items, or objects.

They could be - or not - directly related to the spot in question but generally invoke something in addition to its literal or primary meaning.

Examples: Apocalypse, Pipeline, Supertubos, Ghost Tree, etc.

4. Denotation

The surfing world map is also full of spots with terms directly connected to their surroundings.

They are similar to the geographically inspired surf spot designations but sometimes with a subtle twist.

Examples: Beach House, Casino, Cobblestones, Coconuts, etc.

5. Humor

Surfers often have an acute sense of humor. Or maybe not.

But at least they try to be funny and comic. Finding new surf breaks is a great way to put fine irony to the test.

Examples: Boilers, Boneyards, Bunkers, Destroyers, Gas Chambers, Graveyards, No Name, Hippies, Leftovers, Gums, Boobs etc.

6. Local Culture

There's nothing like honoring local culture and spiritual beliefs than naming a brand new surf spot using the local dialect and languages.

It could be the name of a God or Goddess, king or queen, angel or evil creature. Unfortunately, these designations are rare.

Example: Teahupoo.

7. Mood and Mechanics

The naming trend inspired by the surf spot's behavior is extremely popular among surfers.

It's also a way of characterizing the type of wave you should encounter way before you arrive on-site and paddle out.

Examples: Racing Lefts, The Wedge, Freight Trains, Backdoor.

Soon-To-Be-Discovered Surf Break Name Suggestions

Now that we've dissected the core and anatomy of the wave naming process, it's to suggest a few cool titles.

Have you found a secret spot? Are you unsure how you should name it?

Look no further. Here are our coolest suggestions:

Coral Caverns
Reef Reverie
Neptune's Nook
Surfer's Sanctuary
Olas del Oro
Foam Frenzy
Aqua Arena
Curl Cove
Breaker's Bliss
Closeout Combat
Palma Pacifica
Current Cadence
Barrel Bliss
Surfer's Solace
Espuma Especial
Briney Beat
Splash Sojourn
Dreamy Dunes
Luna Llena
Shimmering Shallows
Misty Mirage
Echo Echo
Sunlit Surge
Velvet Vortex
Sol del Sur
Silken Swell
Pearl Perch
Sunset Sound
Shimmering Surf
Surfer's Army
Radiant Reef
Mystic Maelstrom
Ola Ocaso

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