By tradition, newly discovered comets are named after their discoverers, first ascent of routes up mountains are known by the climber(s) who climbed them, and surf breaks are christened by the surfers who first surfed them.
Disputes, divisions, and other-namers arise. Purists and egoists mix it up. For example, is it Hollow Trees or is it Lance’s Right? Sometimes, a genuine first name, of a surf break known to only a select few, loses out to whatever mass exposure, which is rather instant in the age of the Internet, declares it to be.
Here’s a story behind the naming of a well-known Bali Bukit surf spot, as contributed by Robert Wilson:
On the exposed southerly point of the Bukit Peninsular in Bali there’s a deep channel in the reef with a left and right either side. Not an A grade wave by any means but nice & solid just the same.
Until around 8 years ago this break provided uncrowded pleasure for a few of the older, regular surfers. These days one can count on 3 – 4 cars parked, each with their respective ‘ surf teams ‘ inside waiting for the sun to come up ..
This place was named ‘ Greenball ‘ by our mate David Wylie R.I.P in the mid 70’s.
While checking the surf he noticed some green ( glass ) fishing net balls just outside the channel.
Hence, simply ‘ Greenball ‘
A Bukit friend relates how one morning he drove to GB for his usual uncrowded early morning surf break…and counted fifteen in the lineup with more paddling out. Apparently what happened was that the surf break was listed in a European surf guide to Bali, complete with how-to-get-there directions. Overnight instant pack.
Such is the modern life.