When I think of summer baby names, here’s what sticks in my mind: a poster of Kelly Slater spotted in an Ocean City surf shop. I was there to stock up on sunscreen, but found myself wondering about those fearless athletes who travel the globe in search of the endless summer.
Baby names inspired by surfing stars make for a surprisingly eclectic group, but the common thread is an edgy kind of energy. While many summer baby names are laid back and relaxed, this list is daring.
Here are my picks for the most vibrant, interesting appellations to ever hang ten.
Gidget – Sally Field’s bubbly television character from the 1960s was based on a series of novels by Frederick Kohner. Kohner’s daughter Kathy surfed with the boys and earned the nickname Gidget, just like the fictional version.
Jericho – A pioneer in women’s surfing as well as a powerful place name.
Layne – This world champion has a very appropriate last name – Beachley.
Rell – Rell Sunn was surfing at age 4 and competing by 14, before there was a separate women’s division. Her Hawaiian middle name, Kapolioka’ehukai, means Heart of the Sea.
Rochelle – Among the best female surfers today, Rochelle Ballard is one of the women featured in the 2001 documentary 7 Girls. A surf-obsessed parent could double dip: put Rochelle on birth certificate, and call her Rell.
Serena – Another of the 7 Girls from the 2001 documentary.
Beau – Son of the legendary Nat Young – who tried to register surfing as a religion – Beau is a champion in his own right. He appeared in The Endless Summer II, a remake of the 1966 classic road trip flick.
Bede – An up and coming Australian pro surfer with the name of a venerable monk.
Duke – He’s surfing royalty, but Duke is no title – he inherited his given name from his dad. The senior Duke Kahanamoku was born in 1869 when Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was visiting Hawaii. Duke Jr. won Olympic gold medals in swimming, then used his fame to export surfing around the world.
Jadson – From a Brazilian surfer currently competing internationally.
Maz – A four-time New Zealand champ, Maz Quinn comes from a family of surfers.
NEW NAMEBERRY FEATURE: You can now add famous people and pop culture references to any and every name in the database (as in http://nameberry.com/babyname/Olivia). Ready, set, go!