Should you actually watch Bells? Mick Fanning says yes!
Interview by Theo Lewitt With any luck, the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach is about to get the green-light. After a couple days of clean, highly shreddable surf at Victoria’s most famous mushroom burger, Mick Fanning delivered us his top picks to bet on. Or just watch. However you roll. Of course, he left himself […]
Interview by Theo Lewitt
With any luck, the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach is about to get the green-light. After a couple days of clean, highly shreddable surf at Victoria’s most famous mushroom burger, Mick Fanning delivered us his top picks to bet on. Or just watch. However you roll. Of course, he left himself off the list, but he’s won it thrice, rules the place and knows a Bells threat when he sees one. With Snapper’s slew of shocking third-round loses, Mick also knows that fires have been lit in an overwhelming majority of the World Tour’s elite. “They’re all gonna want to smash some people at Bells,” he tells Stab. “You’re gonna see a little more determination in every turn and I think that’s gonna be awesome to watch.” It’s worth noting that Mick only chose natural footers, here. With Occy being the last goofyfooted champ back in 1998, that comes as no surprise.
Now, let’s pass the mic to Mick, so he can choose who’ll most likely be his runner up…
1. Joel Parkinson
“First and foremost, I think Parko is probably the gnarliest out there. Everything about his surfing just suits Bells perfectly… those big long swoops! And, he’s had success out there, so you know he’s confident. He’s the guy that you both love and hate coming up against because you know it’s gonna be a really good battle.”
2. Jordy Smith
“Probably the next guy would be Jordy Smith. Over the last few years out there he’s really stepped up his game. Once again, same as Parko, he just has a huge frame and has those big open wraps down. He just toys with the big faces out there. I think after last year, with his heat against Julian, he’s got something brewing this year, f’sure… that extra bit of fire. It was a tough loss last year.”
3. Adriano De Souza
“Another guy would be Adriano De Souza. He’s put in so much time out there over the years. From when he first got on tour until now, he’s elongated his turns and made them so much bigger. Obviously he’s won the event in the past, and he really prides himself on how well he’s done out there. I think a lot of the younger guys are probably focusing more on big airs, but Adriano’s sort of gone the other way, focusing on big power turns. He can still do those airs, though. He’s one of the guys you’d pick on your fantasy team, f’sure.”
4. John John Florence
“Another one would be John John Florence. Some of the surfing we saw him do last year out there was pretty amazing. Who knows what that kid’s gonna do. He’s a freak.”
Stab also recently asked John if he likes the ever-polarising Bells as a wave: “Bells is sick,” Mr Florence told us. “I think it’s a fun wave cause it’s kinda similar to Hawaii, but a lot of people really don’t like it. It’s got that same unpredictable thing that you get in Hawaii. It could be a running wall, or could just die out, or there could be warbles and weird lumps. Kinda like Sunset or something. Who am I looking forward to beating there? Everyone, hopefully. Oh my god, I hope there’s waves there after the Gold Coast. Snapper was a funny one to watch though. Everyone was talking about how that day was going to happen after all those laydays. There was always going to be some freak outs. Freddy’s was the best.”
Photo: Simon Muirhead
5. Ricardo Christie (Darkhorse)
“For a dark horse, I think the one rookie that could do some damage out there is Ricardo Christie. Once again, I think the big frame just really helps with the power and the speed management on those open faces. I think he could do really well out there.”
Venue change: Julian Wilson and Taj Burrow
“If the event moves down to Winkipop, you just have to extend list by a couple more guys to include Julian Wilson and Taj Burrow. I think Julian has found something… found a lot of confidence in himself making two finals in a row. He’s is looking great right now. And Taj, he’s a guy that always performs. Those two guys at Winki are phenomenal.”
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Italo Ferreira (BRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF), Nat Young (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), TBD
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Long Read: An Angel At My Table
From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…
Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance
A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.
Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight
Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.
Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?
Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…
Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test
And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.
Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games
Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.
The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar
Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?
Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45
A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.
The Team Ukraine Interview
“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…
Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy
Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…
The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4
There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?
Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy
Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.
Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers
Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.
The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title
The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.