How to surf Bells Beach

Surfing
Bells Beach: find your spot | Photo: visitgreatoceanroad.org.au

Bells Beach is one of the best surf peaks in Australia. The cold water spot located 100 kilometers southwest of Melbourne offers a long explosive right-hander that will test your rail game skills.

Despite being a crowded peak, Bells Beach has plenty of waves for all levels of surfing.

On a classic day, all you've got to do is run down the stairs, paddle out, and get lucky. You may very well catch the wave of your life.

Bells Beach will force you to draw different lines, from wave to wave. At the Australian gem, you'll learn something from every ride, and you'll test different attacking strategies.

If you're an aerialist, leave your arsenal at home. This is an official carving center. And by the way: beware of the tricky rip currents and always stay triangulated.

"Bells is a full power-carve venue, that's what makes it unique. You might say it's similar to Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, but J-Bay is more down the line," explains Simon Anderson, who won the Rip Curl Bells Beach in 1977 and 1981.

"The faces at Bells are bigger and that requires a lot of strength to hold your carves off the bottom and off the top."

Bells Beach never loses its core qualities. Whether you're being tested in 12-foot waves or simply having fun in two-foot surf, this place will always keep you pumped.

Bells Beach: a world class right-hand reef break | Photo: ASP

Sections and Winkipop

And if you're not pleased, try Winkipop, a right-hand reef break located a few hundred meters east.

Winkipop is a challenging puzzle. It is a very fast, down-the-line barreling wave that will force you to drive your board in the top half the wave at full throttle.

How was for you? Felt great? Want to get back to Bells Beach?

"[Bells] it's just one of those waves you have to put a lot of hours into to get your head around," adds Joel Parkinson, who won the Bells event in 2004, 2009 and 2011.

"It's a tough wave to just turn up and surf it well. Even though it looks really lined up, it's still a hard wave to surf well and put your turns in the right place and make it all flow."

Bells Beach's three surfing sections - Little Rincon, Outside Bells, and The Bowl - will not wait for your mistakes before peeling down the line.

And if you feel your drop was relatively easy, just keep maximum attention to your left shoulder and plan your upcoming maneuvers on the wave face.

The corduroy lines of Torquay are waiting for your dreams and skills.

If you're a beginner, don't paddle out in overhead surf; if you're an intermediate wave rider, don't try your luck in double overhead monsters.

Otherwise, your bells might not ring again.

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