Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Day 5: Class(ic) Acts

posted by / News / April 24, 2011

Behold the speed and torque of a Parko carve. That's Detroit muscle. He should be in Ford commercials. Photo: Ed Sloane

Behold the speed and torque of a Parko carve. That's Detroit muscle. He should be in Ford commercials. Photo: Ed Sloane

Mick Fanning, red and yellow against the brown Bells moonscape. Photo: Andrew Christie

Mick Fanning, red and yellow against the brown Bells moonscape. Photo: Andrew Christie

In-the-pocket carve from Adriano de Souza. Photo: Ed Sloane

In-the-pocket carve from Adriano de Souza. Photo: Ed Sloane

Perfect waves, great weather, Easter weekend, and two childhood chums/competitive psychopath legends going at it in the final. A promoter's dream. Photo: Andrew Christie

Perfect waves, great weather, Easter weekend, and two childhood chums/competitive psychopath legends going at it in the final. A promoter's dream. Photo: Andrew Christie

Mick Fanning, tail over top at Bells — no easy task. Photo: Ed Sloane

Mick Fanning, tail over top at Bells — no easy task. Photo: Ed Sloane

Moments before their semifinal clash, Jordy Smith and Mick Fanning compare pre-heat rituals. PHOTO: Sherm

Moments before their semifinal clash, Jordy Smith and Mick Fanning compare pre-heat rituals. PHOTO: Sherm

Easter Sunday brought out record breaking crowds to Bells. PHOTO: Sherman

Easter Sunday brought out record breaking crowds to Bells. PHOTO: Sherman

“I’ve never seen him look that focused,” said photographer Steve Sherman. “He wouldn’t look at anyone or say anything. It was sick.” Joel Parkinson moments before the final. PHOTO: Sherman

“I’ve never seen him look that focused,” said photographer Steve Sherman. “He wouldn’t look at anyone or say anything. It was sick.” Joel Parkinson moments before the final. PHOTO: Sherman

After wearing a bright yellow wetsuit the entire event, Mick Fanning took to the all black suit for the final. Dark Knight, right before the clash. PHOTO: Sherman

After wearing a bright yellow wetsuit the entire event, Mick Fanning took to the all black suit for the final. Dark Knight, right before the clash. PHOTO: Sherman

One of those off-beat moments that just highlight how unique Parko and Bells are. Not many people can surf this wave period, and to surf it this well is just an art. Parko, in the final. PHOTO: Sherman

One of those off-beat moments that just highlight how unique Parko and Bells are. Not many people can surf this wave period, and to surf it this well is just an art. Parko, in the final. PHOTO: Sherman

Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. Classic moment in a classic arena. Mick immediately became one leg of the chair carrying Joel up the beach, because that's what friends do. PHOTO: Sherman

Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. Classic moment in a classic arena. Mick immediately became one leg of the chair carrying Joel up the beach, because that's what friends do. PHOTO: Sherman

“Immeditely after making it back to land, Joel completely changed back to normal,” Sherm said. “It was epic to see him this happy.” PHOTO: Sherman

“Immeditely after making it back to land, Joel completely changed back to normal,” Sherm said. “It was epic to see him this happy.” PHOTO: Sherman

That thing is seriously f—cking massive. After four heats at Bells in one day, Parko still standing tall. PHOTO: Sherman

That thing is seriously f—cking massive. After four heats at Bells in one day, Parko still standing tall. PHOTO: Sherman

Joel Parksinon during the very ceremonial Bells awards presentation, (moments before he actually almost broke the bell from ringing it so hard). PHOTO: Sherman

Joel Parksinon during the very ceremonial Bells awards presentation, (moments before he actually almost broke the bell from ringing it so hard). PHOTO: Sherman

 

Hell yes. Finally. I’m so happy this just happened. And in such classic fashion too! Despite heavy scrutiny of the wave at Bells. About the timing of the event. About the tour. About the judging. About blah blah blah, whatever people seem to complain about, the Rip Curl Pro Bells has just reinvigorated a World Tour, a wave and two of our favorite surfers’ careers. It’s just a splendid little tale. Gather around, there are stories to tell.

It went down in electric, legendary, timeless, classic (choose your magical adjective, they’ve all been used and abused this week) fashion here at Bells this year. I’m here, sitting in the VIP section, overlooking the Bells bowl right now, which is now hosting a herd of surfers (literally) towing in (yes, the swell filled in) and I feel like the Super Bowl just ended and my team won. The swell is marching through Bells and the festivities for Easter Sunday are just starting to cascade across the land.

With a record number of humans on hand to watch live, and parking lots closed and traffic backed up to Geelong, Joel Parkinson has sealed his third Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title, and I can guarantee you that this one will be his favorite. The waves were flawless. It’s a holiday. He surfed against one of his best friends in the world. And his surfing was inspired and a damn pleasure to watch throughout the event. And for those of you who got to watch the moment in which Joel shut down Mick’s last second charge with a 10-point ride at the buzzer (he was literally in the barrel as the hooter went off), you will remember the buzz it gave you for a long time. I know I will. That was a pretty little moment. I seriously got goosebumps. And then, as the two boyhood buddies made their way to the shore — backdropped by the cliff-laden amphitheater at Bells — I watched Mick Fanning hoist Joel Parkinson on his back and chair him up the steps, his board dangling in the shorebreak, and I realized something: there is no other lifestyle like being a surfer. We win. We are the best. Cheers to Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson for epitomizing the passion and fun all in one moment.

“The fact that it’s the 50th anniversary makes it that much more special too,” Joel said afterwards. “I can’t remember a time Bells had waves this good. I’m so excited. I can’t believe this.” And as a spectator, we must log this moment in our collective memory banks, because, like the Curren/Occy clashes, like Occy’s floaters at the Skins event, like Andy Irons’ laybacks period, this is a moment we must store and pass along for the ages.

The atmosphere at this event has catapulted the World Tour back to an interesting place. Even without Dane, and with a lot of exciting surfers losing out early (Wilko, Bobby, Kerr, etc.), it still managed to demonstrate to the world that pro surfing can be a damn good time. Kelly got combo’d by Adriano de Souza, who looked fantastic throughout the event. Mick Fanning put on an absolute clinic at Bells all week, showcasing a dynamic repertoire of maneuvers. “I’ve been working on some new turns,” he said. And hot damn, they look good on the face of a Bells Beach wave. And Chris Davidson made us believe again. In everything.

And as I attempt to file this from the front line, on Easter Sunday in Australia, surrounded by celebrations, amid Tooheys Extra Dry cans and surfers and shuffleboard and laughing and face-paintings and tow-in showcases at Bells, I must say I have only one complaint: the judging of backside surfing throughout the event. Owen Wright, Ace Buchan, Jadson Andre and CJ Hobgood deserve some sort of medal. Their surfing was incredible to watch and often under-appreciated, so I’d like to take this moment and raise my glass for the goofy’s: grab one on us tonight. You deserve it, as do Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. Thanks for putting on that show. We’ve missed that lately. Long live East-(ah) mate. And congrats to Bells Beach and Rip Curl and Parko. That was classic. —Travis Ferré

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  • Cod

    It was an amazing event. And it was a fair finish. The week’s best surfers made the final, and both Parko & Mick really deserves the win. Adriano and Jadson put some stellar performances for sure. Adriano, in particular, done and dusted Kelly, in a clash thats shows a heavy rivalry between them. Kelly told before that Adriano’s aproach remember him Andy. I’m curious about next heat with them.

  • ghandi

    oh what a surprise, a regular foot won at bells?
    and he was australian? oh, that’s another surprise.
    yawn…………..

  • Ben

    You forgot one SERIOUSLY underscored goofy, namely Bobby Martinez. His turns were easily the most critical IMO.

  • gunner no gun

    Agreed with poster above; very anti-climatic. Very predictable outcome. At J-Bay and Backdoor, we can expect the same top 6 guys in this contest. Chopes will be 4 feet and Trestles 3 feet. No lefts to contend with, but only regular-foot dominance. The author’s attempt at gaining enthusiasm falls short of reality. This was an expected cookie-cutter result for all involved.

  • Kaipo Gomes

    Maybe now that Travis was there, in person, he might “cover” more than the skinny jean, wool beanie, can’t hold a rail crew. By being an eye witness to the “best” surfing in the world we can only hope that you will now realize that Parko, Fanning, Slater and Taj are leading the cutting edge of surfing. How did you survive without Dane there? Dane is insane and at times a leading light but not on a consistent basis. To witness Parko and Fanning at their peak is a rare thing. You witnessed “history” so hopefully you will do it justice in your Mag.

  • Matt S.

    Well written summary of a great event and an epic day of surfing. You nailed it across the board.

  • mmmeeehhhhh

    that contest was b b b boooring… like the rest of them.(exept pipe, and when dane shoes up)

  • Gool

    Parko nailed an air in an earlier heat that was nice. Watch the top waves on their website.

  • Todd Ronson

    I miss Dane.

  • Andrew Bourke

    Well they were both great in the final. Parko is a fantastic ambassador for surfing (as is Mick) and his win was well deserved. That last wave was a nice way to end it. I didn’t find it boring at all.

  • Shep Bransor

    The best man won for sure. I American but have to say the Aussies are by far way better on the whole and that’s why they win. Aside from Kelly and Dane we don’t have anything to brag about. Time to put in work, stop complaining and step it up

  • jim

    Yay to Parko! Haha to Michael Fanny! …..On a serious note, Parko’s last wave a 10? A joke, right? His tube was a mess, and he fell on his last turn. C’mon judges..

  • dirt

    If you found the last day of bells boring, you must know very little about good surfing.

  • Garibaldi

    Geez, you even found time to pull an insightful quote from the press release?! Nailed it!

  • ElephantCandles

    What happened to the awesome gallery of Conner Coffin and his buddies drinking?

  • Gool

    We will never see a goofy win this or snapper in our lifetime.
    Even with some past winners, there is no way with today’s talent that both of these will be won by regular footers so that moves up 12 more people in the semis and quarters…higher point totals.
    The tour is a sham. No lefts.

  • Sven

    Mr. Ferre: you flew all the way to Australia and this is your insight into the contest for us? Rah rah rah? Goosebumps? Don’t forget you have a job to do…and it’s not just partying with the pro/bros. Those quotes are straight off the press release. The rest coulda been reported from the webcast.

    And don’t get me started on Parko’s “10″?!? Ugh…when does the new One World Judging system kick into effect. Can’t wait to see some new blood behind the scoreboards.

  • 40 oz

    im gonna go buy the Parko boardshort along with the same colored Billabong wetsuit he used during this contest… surely those factors alone contributed to his success.

  • gool

    Goofyfoots and East Coasters…nothing but complaints and inferiority complexes. Shut up n surf, ya queens.