Stab Magazine | Will Occy Dominate Tom Curren In The Bells Heritage Heat?

Will Occy Dominate Tom Curren In The Bells Heritage Heat?

His new training regime and fresh Bells quiver have us thinking yes. 

style // Apr 20, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Let’s be honest – Bells is an old man’s wave. 

Sure, you can throw an air or chuck the fins in 2019, but Bowl performance peaked in 1997 when Occy won 11 straight heats in the skins event. Seriously, have a look at their surfing in this comp. It would beat most guys today.

Occy’s first wave is at 13:41.

And lest we forget when Brendon Margieson eviscerated Winki with his patented frontside hack.

My point is that Bells is a rail-first kinda joint, and nobody buries foam better than 20th-century leadfoots. That’s why the Occy vs. Curren Heritage Heat will be a highlight of the 2019 Rip Curl Pro.

And while we can’t be sure of what Curren is gonna wear, ride, or if he’ll even show up for his heat, we know for a fact that Occy is here to win. 

At the other night’s Aint That Swell live-airing, Occy looked trim, lucid, and drank nothing but lemon-tinted water. Even Kelly remarked on Occy’s current health status, noting the vast disparity between now and the “dark periods”, when Occy, in Slater’s words, was at “the depths of his soul.”


On the podcast, Occy revealed that he’s recently been bodyboarding (with flippers) to his increase his leg strength in preparation for this week’s Heritage Heat. He also picked up a brand new quiver of Jason Stevenson surfboards to prepare for every possible condition he might encounter between Rincon, Winki, and Bells. 

Screen Shot 2019 04 19 at 2.00.48 PM

Old as one may become, picking up your board(s) at the factory never does.  

Here’s some more intel from the crew over at JS:

Occy’s spent the last 12 months on an intense training and surfing regime, getting him in the best physical condition we’ve seen in years. Last winter, he started spending extra time working with JS on an updated quiver, then he jumped on some Billabong trips to WA and Hawaii, throwing down some of his best performances in recent memory. 

In honor of the great man’s return to form, we’re updating his original Raging Bull shortboard and Bullseye step down. This quiver includes a beautiful 6’5” channel bottom that’s a throwback to what he rode during the infamous Bells domination at the skins event 20 years ago. 

With JS riding similar, generously proportioned dims in his own boards lately, he’s managed to dial in exactly what Oc needs to keep performance surfing easy at 52 years young. And considering how much Occy and Jase have loved these last two batches, it might be the only type of shortboard that gets Parko out of twin fin retirement and back onto a thruster.

Screen Shot 2019 04 19 at 2.00.36 PM

Curren’s gonna need a wide variety of skimmers if he wants to keep up with the Oc.

 Occ dims (5’9” & 198lbs / 90kg)

Raging Bull

(round pin channel bottom)

6’5” x 19 3/4” x 2 3/4”  x 36.8L

(round tails)

6’3” x 19 3/4” x 2 3/4”  x 36L

6’2” x 19 3/4” x 2 3/4”  x 35.5L


6’0” x 20 3/4” x 2 13/16” x 37.2L

JS dims (5’11” & 194lbs / 88kg)

Raging Bull

6’0” x 19 3/4” x 2 9/16” x 31.7L


5’10” x 20” x 2 9/16” x 33L

Screen Shot 2019 04 19 at 2.01.20 PM

Occy has done a number on his “training sandals” over the past 12 months.

While we caught a glimpse of Curren at last night’s Rip Curl media party, it’s hard to know if he’ll be able to match Occy’s ferocity at this year’s Heritage Heat. While there have been whispers about a few Black Beauties waiting for Old Tom, we’d be just as thrilled if he paddled out against Oc on a skimboard. 

So, who’s your money on?


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022


You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

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…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

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.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022