Location, Location, Location
In the 1991 cult classic Point Break, Grommet tells Bodhi, “No way Bells is bigger than Waimea, bro.” Thank God someone was making sense in that movie. Bells is a small pointbreak, holding double-overhead waves at best, and bears no resemblance to the Hawaiian big wave. So you’ll see no guns used at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. Just shortboards and thick wetsuits to shield the surfers from the chilly Tasman Sea. Who will go berserk on the iconic Bells Bowl? Who will be chaired up the steps to ring the bell? Time will tell. Bodhi will not. The waiting period for the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is from March 24 – April 5. Torquay, Australia is six hours behind America’s West Coast, so clear your afternoons and be glued to worldsurfleague.com to cheer on the Monster team!
John Florence: Coming off a fifth at small Snapper Rocks, John is proving that his rail game is equal to his aerial prowess. And with renewed focus, don’t be surprised if John ends the contest with face paint and a bell-shaped trophy.
Conner Coffin: What a debut at Snapper! Conner showed no rookie nerves with smart, aggressive surfing, finishing 9th. With the contest site resembling his homebreak of Rincon, Conner will fit right in with the Bell’s best.
Miguel Pupo: Miggy will look to redeem a slow start to the year. His calm, fluid backhand should match perfectly with the pace of the Bells Bowl.
Tyler Wright: Well, well, well — look who’s sitting at No. 1. Tyler dominated the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and will bring a tsunami of swagger into 2016’s second event, protecting her coveted gold jersey with every tail blow and power carve.
1. Where’s Filipe Toledo? Sadly, Filipe pulled his groin in the semifinals of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and will be out for the remainder of the Australian leg. Here’s to a quick recovery, Fillipe. See you in Rio.
2. How’s the forecast look? Good! Low pressure is dominating the southern ocean, opening wide for wave-generating storms to send great waves to Bells during the first half of the contest period.
3. Who surfs against whom in the first round? John’s against Jordy Smith and Jadson Andre, Miggy’s against Kolohe Andino and Matt Wilkinson, Conner’s against Gabriel Medina and a wildcard TBD, and Tyler Wright is against Sage Erickson and Coco Ho.