Stab Magazine | We Just Picked The Best Bells Fantasy Team

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We Just Picked The Best Bells Fantasy Team

Introducing Team Lumberjack. 

news // Mar 26, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

So we missed the Fantasy prediction window for Snapper.

Basically what happened was, I thought Dooma was doing it, Morgan thought I was doing it, and Embrey, a sponger by birth, didn’t feel qualified to dish his drag-influenced opinions on the topic of competitive surfing.

But we’ve grown from these mistakes and will now strive to make new ones by predicting the outcome of an ocean/tide/wind/subjective-judging based event.


Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.41.45 PM

There are a plethora of methodologies when it comes to picking a Fantasy team, but the most important factor is, of course, the waves they’ll be surfing. That includes not just the venue but also swell and wind forecasts for the contest period.

Next is the surfer’s dollar value, followed by current form, followed by their location in the draw, followed by whichever extracurricular storyline might coalesce with the event (i.e. Julian’s shoulder/baby situation at Snapper, or Mick’s last-ever event at Bells).

Taking all of these details into consideration, I’ve compiled surfing’s ultimate crew of lumberjacks for what promises to be an axe-swinging, blue collar Bells event. 

Note: These picks are based upon the OG, not the WSL’s inherently fascist and bastardized version.


Jordy Smith:

Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.44.11 PM

Always a favorite in meaty right-handers, and priced at a very reasonable 9.75 mil, the white South African is a no-brainer. Jordy’s last three results at Bells include a 1st, 2nd, and 5th, and the year before that he lost while surfing one of the greatest waves in Bells history. There are no sure things in surfing, but after a disappointing result on the Goldy I’d say Jordy is good for a quarter or better at Bells.

Adriano de Souza:
A wise man once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” And nobody but nobody adapts better than Adriano de Souza. Whether it’s developing different aspects of his surfing to suit current judging criteria, or altering his strategy mid-heat to overtake an opponent, the Champ is the master of modification. And at wave like Bells, where conditions can change to favor sections from Rincon, the Bowl, or Winki within a matter of minutes, nobody will anticipate and react more quickly than ADS. He’s also a past champion out here and big fan of ringing bells.

Michel Bourez:
Fresh off a solid result at Snapper, Michel will come into Bells feeling confident in his ability to overpower just about anyone. So long as steeper sections present themselves, Michel will have no qualms about ripping them, and his competitors, into four million tiny particles. If properly harnessed, the Spartan’s torque-powered wrap could light the town of Torquay for all of Easter Sunday.

Frederico Morais:

Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.41.02 PM

The Portuguese Hammer might have a limited skill set, but his particular abilities are tailor-made for biggish, lumpy Bells. Vast bottom turns, hard carves through the lip, and sure-footed floaters are the key to success at the Bowl, and I’m hard-pressed to find anyone on tour who fits that bill better than Freddy.

Caio Ibelli:
This adorable garden gnome, arguably my surfing doppelganger, rode an Eric Arakawa step-up straight over John John’s head into the 2017 Rip Curl Pro final. With a fresh quiver of EAs under-arm and a solid swell on the forecast, I don’t see what would stop him from doing the same in 2018. Caio draws clean lines, constantly surprises with a progressive flair, and despite his last-place finish was bloody ripping at Snapper. I see big things in his Victorian future.

Wade Carmichael:
By now you’ve noticed a trend in my selections. They’re all right-facing, heavy-footed masters of the rail, who might not be the most progressively inclined but that’s okay because Bells is an old-man’s wave. A wave for Simon Anderson, Occy, and Occy’s long-lost son, Wookie Wade Carmichael. If there are four waves on tour that will suit Wade’s tight, potent arcs and blistering reos, they’re Keramas, J-Bay, Marg’s and Bells. So yeah, he’s on my team.

Conner Coffin:

Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.50.49 PM

Sometimes I think that Conner Coffin is maybe not a World Tour-caliber surfer, but then I watch him cauterize a righthand wall and realize that he is, without a doubt, on Tour for good reason. Do you remember that time he smoked Jordy and Mick at pumping Bells in 2016, stamping his youthful authority on the CT power elite? I do. Conner lost with a 16-point total last year but I hope he won’t be so unlucky in 2018.

Griffin Colapinto:
While it’s true that I’ve become an unbiased observer of Griffin’s heroic ascencion, I believe he’s proven, both through his Snapper performance and recent Instagram uploads, an indisputable deservingness of praise. As far as I’m concerned, at solid, bumpy Bells, Filipe is the underdog in Round 1 Heat 1.



Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.39.37 PM

There is only one necessary selection on the female side of the draw: Caroline Marks-Occhilupo. I will be absolutely gutted if her low-seated hammers don’t eclipse the field in 2018. 


Notable omissions

Mick Fanning:

Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.43.24 PM

Yeah, it’s Mick’s last event (maybe) ever, and yeah, he does have the most victories of any surfer at Bells, but after a disappointing 2017 and mediocre performance at Snapper, I just don’t foresee the fairytale ending for White Lightning. This doesn’t take anything away from his legacy nor the fact that he’s still one of my favorite surfers; I just don’t feel like Mick will perform especially well at Bells. Worst case scenario, he proves me wrong and we have the sickest victory/retirement party ever. (Note: We’ll probably have that party regardless of his finish.)

John John Florence:
Using an incredibly effective hair-of-the-dog method, John was able to postpone his post-title hangover for the entire 2017 season. The thing is, no matter how long you try to fight it (see: Slater), you just can’t stay at the top forever. John looked disinterested at Snapper and was exposed by Mikey Wright, and, as ridiculous as this may sound, the recent clip of his backflip at Bells didn’t inspire much confidence for the upcoming event. Bells is won on clean rail surfing, and that pre-flip bog was no good omen.

Filipe Toledo:

Screen Shot 2018 03 23 at 4.42.40 PM

It’s difficult to bench Toledo at any non-barreling CT stop, but adding Filipe to my squad would totally throw off their humble, power-first ethos, thus killing morale and disrupting my plan for a flannel-and-overalls team uniform. Get to steppin’, flyboy. 


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