Lay Day No. 1 for the Rip Curl Pro Bells and the activities that ensue
By Travis Ferré
Photographs by Jimmicane
Take CJ Hobgood and Brett Simpson as an example: They're professional athletes who surf for a living. They are fit and healthy. Living the dream etc. The waves today, however, didn't' support such activities. They were atrocious. Both small and sideshore. Cold and frustrating. Hells Bells. Both the men and women were handed a lay day. Dream Tour nightmare. But instead of hitting the bottle shop, Brett and CJ hit the tennis court and logged three hours on grass before dark (it wasn't grass, but grass is so much sexier when talking tennis).Fanning and In Surf News’ Andrew go for a rip.
We all realized it would be a lay day at about 7:30 a.m. (a time still shrouded in darkness in these parts). After long, arduous hours of chitchat at the scaffolding (no offense to those involved), we — Jimmicane and I — decided to hit Maccas (McDonald’s) because most food in Australia is similar to Maccas anyway: Fried and fast. Debilitating and unsettling. No offense, Australia, but my stomach hurts.CJ reaches for the sky and gives Brett a little tennis lesson.
We then drove to the most en vogue surf spot in the entire world right now. It's a beachbreak. It's super similar to what you surf every single day. Yes, you! It's onshore, white-capping out the back and completely frustrating. The railing when we walked up read: No Exposure. I felt sorry for whoever wrote that. We stood on the bluff looking at the waves with Coco Ho, Bruna Schmidt. Nage Melamed and their coach, tour guide and my hero, Dave Riddle. We all decided to go out after Mick Fanning (of World Champ fame) and Taylor Knox (of Arc fame) beat us to the punch and paddled into the worst surf this world has ever seen, with smiles on their faces. A myriad of photographers, local grommets, filmers, ASP interview crews and their friends followed. No Exposure, kooks!Birdrock.
"How about we go to the mall?" Coco asked while staring at the tragic surf, in between singing verses of Beyoncé out loud while listening to her iPod. To me, shopping actually sounded amazing considering the caliber of surf in front of us. But instead, the rest of the Rip Curl empire arrived, along with several other 'CT shredders including Owen Wright, Matt Wilkinson, Blake Thornton, Ben Dunn, Kekoa Bacalso, Stuart Kennedy, Adam Melling, etc. etc. So we paddled out. Dusty Payne and Dane Reynolds drove by but left only middle fingers for us. It was packed and terrible. I had a blast.Pick up your passes already.
After lunch and an afternoon of Internet connectivity, Rip Curl's latest addition, Dillon Perillo, came by the SURFING Magazine compound. We went for another surf, joined by Kieren Perrow and friends. It was terrible, but as usual when the surf is bad, we had fun. The Kolohe Andino arrived; he's here to compete in the Rip Curl Gromsearch finals.
The day ended amid rubber. Rip Curl rubber. A tribute to wetsuits at The Sands Hotel. It's where Kolohe Andino is staying too, so you know it's good. Once things settle down, Jimmicane and I found ourselves at dinner with the sons and brothers of legends, and legends themselves. Patrick Curren (Tom's 13-year-old son) Kolohe Andino (Dino Andino's son) and Dylan Slater (My old boss and mentor Evan Slater's brother) all sat with Davey Cathels (Chris Davidson reincarnated), Dillon Perillo (best Whipped page ever) and Nick Greeninger (SDSU Aztecs and Santa Cruz dude, now with Rip Curl) for pizza. Tom Curren came and picked Patrick up and we all got stoked. Pat is a goofyfooted Curren…litererally. It's awesome.Twins who win.
From there, we sped home listening to Gucci Mane and are now in bed. The chances of the event running today are 99.9% not happening. We're sleeping in. But then we're going to the Rip Curl Media party, which is tonight. Stay tuned for the slide show. The Bells Bucket List is ours!Dillon Perillo makes the most of the layday.