Rip Curl Pro Early Forecast

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

The Quiksilver Pro's done and dusted and we look ahead to the Rip Curl waiting period which kicks off next Wednesday, the 17th.

The Surf Coast has had a great start to the year, with consistent surf through summer and large, good quality swells into the start of autumn. In fact, one such swell just peaked across the state, but once it eases later this week, the region will go quiet.

For the Torquay region to pump we need Southern Ocean frontal systems to be steered up from under the Australian continent, onwards across Tasmania. When it happens with back-to-back systems, Torquay receives consistent size and favourable north-west to south-west winds with each passing front.

This generally happens when the Long Wave Trough - an upper atmospheric steering mechanism - strengthens over Victoria (see explanatory article here). Later this week through early next week we'll see one such node of the Long Wave Trough strengthening across Western Australia. This isn't ideal for the Surf Coast as Southern Ocean storms will be directed up and into Western Australia and onwards to Indonesia.

This pattern is too far away from the Victorian coastline to generate large swells, and the more northern storm track through our swell window results in a very westerly swells, which further reduce wave heights along the Surf Coast as the swell has to refract in harder around Cape Otway.

Instead, we'll be looking at smallish and inconsistent long-range westerly groundswell energy from day one of the waiting period (next Wednesday) through until the start of the Easter Long Weekend. 

With the swell-generating storms being distant, local winds will take a more easterly bias instead of from the west which is also not ideal at all, creating devilish chops and bumps up the face.

The Easter weekend shows more promise swell-wise, though not wind-wise as the Long Wave Trough starts to move east towards Victoria aiming the storm track more favourably towards the state.

It looks to stall over South Australia directing undesirable winds across Victoria from the east along with some stronger groundswell energy.

So all in all it's not shaping up as classic Bells with patchy windows of swell and winds to sift through.

We'll keep you updated on the forecast outlook in the comments below and another article closer to the event.

16 day Torquay surf forecast graph
16 day Torquay WAMs

Comments

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 12:47pm

I hope Johanna pumps the whole time while they surf 2foot crumbly bells in front of the VIPs.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 12:51pm

Gonna have to tweak my FS team.

Shame, I really like watching the pros surf big Bells.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

barrytheblade's picture
barrytheblade's picture
barrytheblade commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:07pm

Lost some interest after the snapper debacle and the scoring from the finals day , that 16 day forecast not helping.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:27pm

Very average looking forecast. They've had a good run down here for the last handful of comps.

Anyone remember the last time they went mobile?

tack616's picture
tack616's picture
tack616 commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 8:33pm

The last one I can really remember was when Trent Munro beat AI at Woolamai Beach on Phillip Island

choobpig's picture
choobpig's picture
choobpig commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 6:33am
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:34pm

Looks good down MP way been a while since we had good surf over Easter. Last mobile time I can remember they went to Philip Island in the early 2000's.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:57pm

Trent Munro won at Woolamai in 05.
They went to 13th and Johanna a few more times since then at least up until 2010.

Body slide's picture
Body slide's picture
Body slide commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:36pm

Hi Craig,
we're headed to Margs for Easter and are back to the surf coast on Sunday the 28th. Does this mean I'm likely to cop the same LWT twice! ? What's the chances....

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 2:16pm

Not the same node as this node is moving through from this weekend through next week.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:43pm

After the Snapper VIP debacle they will be extremely reluctant to move.

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 7:31pm

Well, it looks like Huey is having his say on the whole VIP scheme.... they will be unwilling to move it, but it’s a false economy. Another reason the wozzle needs to understand surfing before trying to shake it up.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 1:55pm

Small and dribbly Bells would make for a shitty comp.

Tonnes of infrastructure up already.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 2:01pm

Bet Kelly is pumped.....not.

2 last place finishes in a row might see that foot injury flare up.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 4:28pm

I’d rather see Kelly get a real good result, even two, then begin too bomb and play the foot card.

I am the bone

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 4:44pm

If Kelly pulls the 'oh my foot' gag for any event this year he is dead to me.

If he can win just one event then he will be idolized once again.

Need a lot of stars to line up - really good waves at one of his preferred venues, judges to look past the fact he can't do modern airs and a string of his best performances to get through all the heats.

Good luck

knB

Ensea's picture
Ensea's picture
Ensea commented Saturday, 13 Apr 2019 at 2:55am

wasnt ks the first to do a 720 years ago? and the first to introduce the rodeo clown 20 years ago? why all the ks haters? wasnt he also the first to bring the full rotation at bells & show everyone modern airs at bells is possible? you guys either have memory problems & or jealousy issues

rob tas's picture
rob tas's picture
rob tas commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 2:22pm

i reckon friday next will be pumping at bells

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 3:02pm

A bold call at this early stage, given the flukey models. But, props for putting it out there nice and early.

Though, it's worth qualifying what 'pumping' Bells means.

For some people it's gotta be 6-8ft with light NW winds. For others, straight 3-4ft lines at low tide Bowl hits the mark. Even 2-3ft high tide Rincon on a stiff nor'wester can be super fun.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 3:10pm

Gotta be Bells Bowl, surely?

Everything else is just a novelty wave.

sharkman's picture
sharkman's picture
sharkman commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 4:09pm

ya don't think Weds with a very south swell , might be interesting?

x

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 7:44am

I can't see any source of south swell sharkman?

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 6:20pm

Pumping Bells = 5+ low tide Bells with light NW........in February (water temp around 19-20º).

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 3:09pm

Latest GFS update is looking good for Bells next Friday, but around that it's a bit of a mess.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 2:51pm

Now that’s shithouse

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 4:58pm

After Snapper, it's like Huey is dropping hints...

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 7:34pm

Damn, you beat me to it! Exactly what I was thinking ... should have read the whole thread before commenting!

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 3:00pm

As long as things get back to normal after the weekend of 27,28 April when the pros and all the sycophants, surf 'fans' etc. that hang around them are gone, no worries.

Happy to have a few grovelly surfs and get other shit done over the next 2 weeks if it means May and beyond are gunna pump. Give us some decent long wave troughs then and the WSL can have the piss trough now.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 3:01pm

"Give us some decent long wave troughs then and the WSL can have the piss trough now."

Haha, post of the week right there Ringy.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 5:35pm

agree - 5 stars for ringy

NickT's picture
NickT's picture
NickT commented Saturday, 13 Apr 2019 at 9:49am

I agree. Excellent comment 5/5

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 9:56am

I feel the same way after JBay comp every year.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 4:41pm

Anyone got the word on how much they can or are prepared to surf Winki ? It is a hands down better wave, works more often and a better canvas for high performance surfing even on smaller days when Bells is just fat and slow. Its also right there - leave the VIPs in their tents with screens and just swing the cameras. The bloody "infrastructure" blocks out any view of Bells from the car park anyway for the average punters and the view from the beach is not great.

knB

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 9:52pm

Gary's not into Winki as much as a comp wave.

At Bells, Gary enjoys watching the pros come off the bottom and line up each section with singular intensity (see post below). At Winki it's all wham-bam-thank-you-mam: no one holds their turns as long as they're all looking down the line at the next section.

Winki makes the everyman feel like they're surfing well because they can just race it and go super fast; much harder to surf Bells well.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 8:53pm

There’s plenty of full on high performance stops. Bells is a bloody great wave to surf and rarely do we get to see such a tricky wall showcase those with the ability to link a long wave with good old fashioned rail surfing.

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 9:44pm

Gary loves imagining himself Bells Deep in the thick of the action when he watches this particular webcam broadcast.

Fit men and women throwing their bodies at those generous, plump lips. Dicing with the button when they've extracted every last bit of pleasure from the conventional part of the ride. Every upward thrust and connection met by gasps and cheers from the audience in the amphitheatre.

It's the stuff Gary's dreams are made of

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 10:14pm

Good clip on YouTube
Bells beach freesurf 2019.
Good camera angle IMO.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 7:52am

Yeah nice..

dch87's picture
dch87's picture
dch87 commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 12:24pm

Silky seas but poor bloke on the blue board gets burnt to buggery

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 6:43pm

Enjoyed the rawness if that vid a lot. What a wave!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 7:46am

The outlook remains very average, but mainly due to local winds. Any decent swell looks to be spoilt.

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 8:41am

Gary would like you to refer to these bitter local winds as ‘Vic-Local winds’ from here on in please Craig.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 9:18am

XOXO VL ;)

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 2:20pm

I like it Gary G. Don't mind the occasional Vic Bitter.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 4:52pm

Vic Bitter! Gary wishes he'd thought of that one.

We should probably agree on a forecasting protocol for these winds.

If Craig forecasts Vic Local winds at 15kt, on observation are you likely to call them closer to 10kt or closer to 20kt?

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 6:09pm

hahaha! Vic forecast notes have become one of the best parts of the internet

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 1:23pm

"You've got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them.
Know when to walk away, know when to run.
You never count your money while your sitting at the table, the'll be time enough for counting when the dealing's done........."

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 1:24pm

That's for the contest organisers and Gary g .....

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Saturday, 13 Apr 2019 at 10:24am

I'm sure Gary G knows when to hold them and when to fondle them.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 3:07pm

Well the equivalent would be setting up at Johanna or Woolamai and then moving back for sub-optimal Bell's bowl on finals day when the beachies really hit their straps. It really was a farce!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Saturday, 13 Apr 2019 at 10:34pm

How's it looking for 13th ? / Mornington?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 10:48am

No banks anywhere on the peninsula

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 11:51pm

Stop spooking me, ill be over at sunset to sea if that's gunnamatta?

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 12:09pm

what are the actual alternate venues they have a permits to run the comp at....

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 12:29pm

Any updates Craig?

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 2:06pm

Thursday looks like they could run but it'd be too small for Bells to be that interesting (looks to be 3-4ft and a fair bit of W in the swell). Maybe Winki, Then not much until Sunday arvo. Winds look a bit suss for early the following week. Maybe morning offshores.

How'd I go Craig?!

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 4:25pm

My 2 cents worth.
Possibly Wednesday arvo 17th bells.
Joeys Friday 19 th Full day.
Wednesday arvo 24 th through final day back at bells reefs. For small but fun waves.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 5:47pm

Joey does look good for Friday but do you think they’d do the move for one day?

Too bad for anyone down there having a quiet weekend of camping over Easter.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 5:54pm

Actually Saturday would be the day for Joey. Too big Friday.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 at 11:54pm

The Rincon classic (women's ) followed by the Willy winkypop / hippy (valley mens).

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 7:13am

@Thermalben
Has anyone from the wossell contacted you for advice?
How they handling the news....
Two scrappy forecasts ......?
What days do you think they will run or moreover where will they run?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 2:39pm

Time to bring out the old double decker bus (with the judges on the top tier) for an old-school mobile contest.
The forecast looks absolute poop.
There's bugger all swell and the wind is predicted to shift all over the place. About the only direction not forecasted is NW.
If Pat O'Connell fell under a bus, and the WSL called Vic Local in as a replacement commish, I would run the early heats on Thursday in onshore Bells and then shift the whole show to PI for three days. Maybe shift it back for the following week.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 2:47pm

Yeah it's terrible. When any swell shows up winds go onshore and then when it does swing offshore it's only for less than half a day. The first half is a write off with a touch more potential later in the period, but it's not great at all.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 2:51pm

Craig, reckon they will get a start in the first couple of days?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 3:05pm

They might have to run Thursday even though it will be onshore, inconsistent and west. Other than that no.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 3:31pm

Huey deals out his immediate karma for the Quik pro debacle.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Monday, 15 Apr 2019 at 4:31pm

Reckon they'll have to go to PI - not bad banks on the beaches there and good for the Easterly direction and the swell - although that fucks up my holiday :)

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 10:57am

Chance of a few heats sunday early? I'd start at first light. No houses around to complain to the council about noise.

Sheepdog

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 11:13am

thats what I'm seeing SD but I'm terrible at understanding Bells.

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 12:52pm

Literally, or philosophically?

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 11:31am

Yep the'll probably run Sunday with a building long-period W/SW groundswell and a period of morning offshores, followed by workable W/SW-SW winds.

Standingleft's picture
Standingleft's picture
Standingleft commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 12:25pm

We had outstanding surf in Vicco while the pros were rotating their asses off at DBar. Good surf in WA this week while Bells is flat?! They should make the Aussie leg freestyle & surf where & when the epic waves are happening. Bugger the VIPs

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 1:25pm

I actually like that idea Standingleft. Big grandstands mean FA if the surf is poo. Time for the WSL to focus on the surfing and spend less time on product launches, VIP packages, and merchandise.
If Vic is crap, the East Coast and WA often fire up and vice versa. How hard would it be to have all the pros rock up to Australia and make a b-line for Snapper if a cyclone parked itself off the coast. If Bells fires, put those blokes on a domestic flight to Avalon. Stuff the grandstands and get everything done light and fast.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 1:15pm

Yes looking rubbish and nothing in the foreseeable future. Weather is lovely though 29º today and good waves on the various beachies along the Victorian coastline. Life is good.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019 at 1:51pm

The latest update is live here: Rip Curl Pro Forecast: Update