All Photos: Corey Wilson
There are certain moments that epitomize a person, place or thing. Moments that show more than they tell and tell more than they should. Moments that explain a real story and reveal true character in a very crash course kind of way. Today was full of those moments. They epitomized the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
Bells is nobody’s favorite wave, not even Mick’s. It’s a frumpy, almost senile chunk of ocean that has been grandfathered (presumably with a warm glass of whole milk and a fuckload of AM radio) into this sometimes dreamy modern tour. People used to lust over Bells just like people used to lust over women wearing provocative one piece swimsuits. Times change, thankfully, and dreaminess takes on a new meaning. These days, we need sexy and Bells is a grouch.
But the world’s best surfers (or at least the ones who didn’t win their Round 1 heats) know how to deal with a grouch. That’s why they’re here — you heard of the ‘QS? And so they handled the geriatric walls with a whole lot of elegance and even more cutbacks. And it perfectly summarized a day in the life of the Rip Curl Pro Bells.
One heat pumps and the next pauses. You need not leave the lip to get a big score, but somebody ends up doing a rogue air anyway — think Kelly in 2012, think John John in 2014, think Filipe today. Guys are somehow going left? It’s a wild, weird mess.
Filipe’s air was easily the best thing we saw today — it was a big ol’ full roter that came with absolutely no fussing in terms of style. Another thing worth noting: if Sebastian Zietz surfs like that every single heat, he could probably crack the top 10. On the women’s side, again, Carissa Moore was everything. Watch Courntey Conlogue’s 9.60 and then watch Carissa’s 9.67 and tell me that’s the same sport. You can’t.
The swell forecast went from not being half good to not being half bad, and we’ll likely see a bulk of heats run early this week as everyone quickly surpasses their quota for how many times it is acceptable to hear the song Hell’s Bells in once calendar year. Rock N Roll!