Opening Day At 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells

All Photos: Jimmicane

As is tradition…
And just like that, we’re at Bells. Oh, Bells. Bells, Bells, Bells. The jewel of Jan Juc has such a homey feel to it. Visiting Bells feels like visiting a museum, or even more like visiting your grandparents. While the way may seem a bit outdated and difficult to relate to, it’s still Bells and you still love it — just maybe not out of choice. You love it because it’s teeming with history. With prestige. With tradition. Today, as is tradition, they sent the girls out because the waves were bad. And as is tradition, they played ACDC’s Hell’s Bells as the first heat of the contest hit the water. And not as is tradition, the very next song played was Rihanna’s “We Found Love [in a hopeless place].” Interesting choice, ASP.

Are you crying or laughing?
Oh, shit, you’re totally crying. You must be upset. Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright were upset today too. Last year’s world champ and runner up both failed to win their Round 1 heats today and were sent to a foreign land known as Round 2. Shocking, we know. Maybe it was just a ploy to get you to actually watch Round 2? Here are six gals you won’t see in that round.

Courtney Conlogue: Courtney made Santa Ana so very proud today. She’s a sturdy woman, this Conlogue. Dare we say she plays with more power than almost anyone else on the gal’s tour? Oh, we dare.
Sally Fitzgibbons: There’s something in the way she moves that suggest Sally really wants to toll the bell. While her heat wasn’t wildly impressive today, Sally got it done and lunged closer to that joyous ring.
Dimity Stoyle: She really Stoyled Carissa Moore’s trip to Round 3 today! Dimity threw daggers and earned the day’s highest heat total, a 15.76. Can somebody sponsor her now?
Nikki Van Dijik: She really nicked Tyler Wright’s trip to Round 3 today! Nikki surfed well and we would call her the Adriano de Souza of women’s surfing but that’s only because they both have prepositions in their name.
Stephanie Gilmore: Johanne Defay had Steph on the ropes and almost gave us our third straight upset — then Steph exhibited why she’s a world champ and got a big score at a clutch moment.
Bianca Buitendag: The girl we’re claiming to be the female Nat Young didn’t get too young and reckless today, but she still won a heat at below-average Rincon on her backhand. Do you know how hard that is?

The waves are meant to be smaller, so we probably won’t see any heats unless event organizers decide to chow down a bunch of peyote. A good swell should arrive by Friday and continue through the weekend.
—Brendan Buckley