For 50 years the Rip Curl Bells Pro has been a world class event that has shaped much of the way surfing and surf contests are today. We all know the allure of the Bells beach title and taking home the coveted trophy, but no one hears the Bell calling them more than our first four quarter-finalists. And realistically, they the only ones who stand a chance of lifting the trophy by day's end.
Mick and Parko have looked absolutely unstoppable. With very contrasting, yet equally impressive results, they are murdering every wave they ride. Parko with the most beautiful, drawn-out carves you could imagine on the big slopey walls. Mick with critical, high speed direction changes that he fits in perfectly at the precise moment the wave becomes steep enough. Barring a complete shocker, or Herculine effort by the likes of the one they call “Spartan” only Kelly or Jordy look to have a good shot at keeping a final between the two from happening.
Kelly and Jordy have both shown moments of brilliance but haven’t had as complete heats as the two Cooly kids, I mean Cooly men have had. What that means for Kelly is he most likely will peak at the perfect moment to snatch victory away from a more in-form surfer and leave them scratching their head wondering what went wrong. And Jordy, his surfing looks spot on, he also has the ability to stomp huge statement maneuvers that could be the difference of him taking the coveted Bell back to South Africa or not.
Of the other eight surfers remaining in the comp all of them have put on inspired performances to win some big heats and put themselves in position for a major upset. Tiago has improved his surfing dramatically this year and cannot be taken lightly in any conditions. Realistically though, the two surfers from this pack with the best chance of a win are Owen and Adriano. The precise and calculated surfing Owen displayed on the best set waves can put the pressure on anyone. And Adriano’s scrappy, hi-speed attack can make scores out of nothing. When it comes right down to it everyone is competing against the tricky Bells line up; as the difficulty of overcoming long lulls, tricky sections, and thigh-burning inside connections is equal to or greater than any human opponent. Now it's time to see what Easter Sunday and the 50th year of Bells has in store for all. I’m thinking it is going to be something special.