Fierce Southern Ocean storms. Massive crowds. Rampaging surfers at the local Torquay pubs. If you are coming to Bells during the Rip Curl Pro, it's best to come prepared. Here's a quick list of essentials for a trip to Australia's most iconic surf contest:
Encyclopedia of Surfing
Going to Bells for the Rip Curl Pro is surfing's ultimate history lesson. Be sure to visit the Surf World Museum in Torquay, the world's largest surf and beach culture museum. Bring a reference and do your homework. That older fellow beside you in line for the toilets could be a legend!
AC/DC's Back in Black
There's no better way to get amped for the Rip Curl Pro final than blasting AC/DC's classic hit, “Hells Bells.”
The Great Ocean Road is home to some of the most postcard-worthy coastline around – and it starts in Torquay.
This ain't the Gold Coast. The water at Bells can get chilly this time of year. After all, this is where Rip Curl wetsuits were born. There are countless stories from over the years of surfers from Hawaii and California arriving at Bells for the first time, completely unprepared for the rugged conditions and having to borrow a steamer from one of the locals. You don't want to be that guy.
Melbourne is only an hour and a half away. You'll definitely want to make a visit to one of Australia's most sophisticated cities. However, boardies and a trucker hat won't cut it here. You'll stick out like a sore thumb – and you'll be freezing.
They don't call this the “Surf Coast” for nothing. The coastline here is exposed to a broad range of swells from major Southern Ocean storms. This means the Bells reef cops a ton of raw swell in autumn and winter. You better be comfortable paddling in strong currents and punching through lines of whitewater.
Slater and Parko on your Fantasy Surfer team
Kelly and Parko have combined to win six of the past eight Bells titles, with Parko currently the defending champ. The smart money says at least one of them will be in the semis – maybe both.
Epic party lineup + ASP Top 34 + media circus + vibrant Torquay pub culture = you can do the math.
The beach at Bells during the Rip Curl Pro is crawling with beautiful creatures. Make sure you can admire the view without getting busted.
Legends have a way of showing up at Bells during the Rip Curl Pro. Don't miss your chance to take a photo with them. New profile pic!
Boardies / bikini
Not for the beach, but you'll definitely want to take the traditional post-surf soak in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach hot tub. If you're lucky, you might be joined by some bathing beauties from one of the PR booths nearby.
It's Easter weekend. Duh!