Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - Early Forecast
Expectations of good surf had been heightened for the upcoming Rip Curl Pro thanks to good early season swells and recent conditions across Victoria's Surf Coast.
However, the surf has gone off the boil the past week or so, returning to something more akin to standard summer fare, and the outlook for the start of the waiting period, which kicks off next Tuesday, looks to follow a similar pattern.
This weekend, the Southern Ocean will deliver some decent frontal activity with swell to follow, but local winds are tricky thanks to persistent high pressure intercepted by surface troughs. This results in a pattern of anti-clockwise winds shifting from south to north-east, but only temporarily shifting offshore out of the north-west before reverting back to the south as the next high moves in.
The weekend's swell will ease early next week, so for the opening day of the waiting period we're looking at small mid-period swell energy along with persistent tricky winds owing to a deepening mid-latitude low in the vicinity of Victoria. At best, this low will form west of Bass Strait, which will bring offshore winds from the north along with easing 2ft to occasionally 3ft sets at Bells Beach on the opening day.
Wednesday will be even smaller and a lay day regardless of the local winds.
From the end of the week, the leading global forecasting models diverge wildly and this leads to a drop in confidence regarding the swell and wind outlook for the middle to the end of the waiting period.
The ever-optimistic American model points at a flurry of mid-latitude activity pushing in late week which would provide plenty of contestable westerly swell energy along with generally favourable winds. However, the European version has the opposite, but come the following week it hints at more favourable swell-producing systems.
So while trying to avoid sitting on the fence too long, it appears the opening half of the waiting period is offering little in the way of quality competition days, while the second half is at least looking more promising.
We'll provide a more accurate day by day outlook once the model guidances starts to come more into alignment.
Thanks for the update Craigos. I recall this time last year and early forecast was looking like shit before it miraculously flipped and delivered not only quality surf for 4-5 days, but was the first decent swell & winds to hit the surf coast in ages. Let's hope the yanks win out here in the model stakes!
I can't wait for this event. I am not going to work if it is firing during the week. The pic above is just so good.
I can't remember the last dud year for Bells in recent times. There's been the odd day here and there where they've run in crappy conditions but it seems like Huey (Craig?) has delivered year on year.
The European model and the US model don't agree ? Sounds like a housewife episode not a surf forecast
The relationship has been increasingly strained of late
Ha yes, just trying to lighten the mood, you could cut the tension in here with a wax comb.
Pros break out the volume boards?
Westerly airflow from Thursday and then right through Easter period --- April /Mid-Autumn/No LaNinia --- reads good to me.....!??
I’m tipping pickles.. girls .. and a big call cal robbo men .. two Aussies .. will get the chocolates..
mmm every one keeps talking pickles up in the tubes so Simmers/Toledo to go back to back for me
Cal Robbo was looking really good out there on Sunday
I don't really care anymore because the title is awarded at Trestles
I was the same way in the first year.
What I really like though is the guillotine
Bring on the guillotine!
Looking at the current ratings and projecting forward - can you imagine Robbo doing well at Bells , winning Margarets , Win/final at Chopes , semis at J Bay , etc etc . He goes into fucking Trestles leading by 25000 points , and ...... it's 1 - 2 foot , Flippy Toledo comes from the clouds ( 5th ) and wins back to back titles - .... actually, thats not to hard to imagine .
If that happened, wouldn’t it be exceptionally joyful if the remaining 4 surfers in the top 5 refused to surf on finals day, acknowledging the absurdity of the system and thus Robbo wins world title. Probably some legal and WSL rules in place to prevent that though I assume.
WSL surfers won't rock the boat...they are beholden to their paymasters. Not 1 would have the balls to really speak out.
It is like Bethany Hamilton speaking out on transgender athletes...she spoke up and everyone else shut up.
Those far right happy clappy gronks are dogs whistling you hard champ
I can remember when the comp was held at Woolamai won by Trent Munro from Scotts Head.
Think it was 2004.
My Boss called me into his Office and said you surf don't you .......get down to Woolamai now and make sure no one is in the Sand Dunes and stay down there until it's over. There were at least 200 people up on the sand dunes. A quick call over the PA fixed that. Got to meet all the Pros and shook their hands as I signed the permit on behalf of the management body and then surfed the bank next door to the comp whilst keeping an eye on the dunes for the next few days.
I tell people I got paid to surf once.
And permit for the event to run at Woolamai?
I surfed a nearby mainland beachy that day.
Funnest little shorey barrels.
No PI kids went to school that week. I think they have removed the moveable option. Ha Ha.
Are they still allowed to go down south?
No, but it's less a case of being allowed to do it then being restricted by technology. Improvements in webcast quality (among a few other things) mean the comp is largely anchored to the spot.
Shifting from Bells to Winki is max movement these days. Last few years the Portugal comp has sat through days of onshores while the northern side of the peninsula, only a few kms away, is offshore.
Hope bells fires, don't like the comps anymore, but still read the forecasts and Steve's daily write ups... keep it up SW... A question Could mason Ho get a wild card? I ask coz Rip curl people were down south (SA) Last week .. Fanning ,Medina, mason Ho was there too. I was over yorkes, and heard it was a bit of a circus following em over at E.P
It's happened before but won't be the case this year as Owen has already taken the sponsor wildcard. The trials wildcard will be decided this weekend (only open to Vicco surfers anyway).
I notice Dylan Moffat is in the draw, and he's also a Rip Curl surfer, however I think he's there courtesy of placing 11th, the first surfer after the cut, in last year's CS.
EDIT: Correct. DM is the next highest placed CS surfer and is taking the injured Jadson Andre's spot.
Mason def in town for the circus. He's doing one of those "Ain't That Swell" things with him and Parko the guests. Be great to see him surf.
What these f*cking clowns have done to the world surfing tour to is akin to vandalism. I have lost all interest.
The gig started in Australia, and ended in Hawaii. The Gold coast was the Hot dance number to start the concert. Bells was the first ever breakthrough hit. The concert was then filled with an array of different tracks, ebbing and flowing. And the finally, Hawaii was the ultimate encore.
Now it's a fucking bin fire. And I just don't care.
The forecast is good for a little left / right combo at a place near the Tulla airport. Waves every day for the whole waiting period I hear. Gee, I hope it never eventuates.
American forecast starting to look better for the easter weekend?
Slater and JJ surfing Burleigh a couple of days ago.
Dawn, it's actually gotten worse..
Was out surfing Bells yesterday during the SE swell and watched Tyler Wright just blatantly burn a guy and even actually surf around him. If not for mere mortals buying surf products these people would be going to work like the majority of the population. Pretty poor form.
Not doubting what you saw, but I’ve surfed with Tyler a few times in the northern rivers and she has always patiently waited her turn.
Can't stand her entitled woke attitude. Like mate your just a surfer calm down. A mate in the industry had to deal with her last year and she was a rude entitled turd. Hope she gets smoked
Nice when it suits, jackass's when it suits. Never understood the moop masses fawnication and andulation for these entitled elites
Southern Ocean looking pretty sleepy to me once this last storm system moves out of the window.
March over here has been like November normally is.
Pretty damn miserable.
A shame that the Surfers go to top spots that get big and heavy then the final is at a skate park so should be renamed the small wave surf champ
Hey Scott .. what the hell is that in the profile pic you caught ?? It’ looks rare ??
Outlook for the second half has gone backwards.
The models are still quite divergent but what they are agreeing on is a mostly poor outlook with no real quality swell due through the early to middle part of the waiting period. Plagued by onshore winds as well.
Hopefully something develops for the end of the period..
possible sneaky little swell. Probably get a few womens rounds done
Yeah that'd be due Thursday, 3ft or so but winds look terrible.
Dammit Craig, give us something!
There's a nice moderate swell in there for a day or two but with the southerlies on top it looks like you're forecasting a good old fashion skunking Craigos. Not a highlight of your job I'm sure
Is that a fetch aimed at Tahiti?
The dream tour would follow the surf.
Is it the damned infrastructure bolted down to one spot that's become the main consideration for surf comps?
We all know Huey doesn't work that way.
"What trophy do they give him ? A penguin?"
Who said this about the contest in 2004 ?
Parko won it that year, but can't see why another surfer would say that.
Was it a non-surfer talking about surfing in cold conditions?
Maybe he means 2005 because of the Phillip island penguin parade.
My error. It was the 2005 event.
Which surfer said that quote ?
I'll go with Jake Patterson.
Trent Munro won it.
I'm gonna go with Joel Parko said it.
Gold penguin indeed!
Fantastic Stunet .
You've won yourself a pair of Webb Gloves and a bar of mad wax!
Is Huey trying to kill off the Woz?
i love this event so much!!
taking my 80 year old father- we haven’t missed it in 30 + years…have many great memories of taj, parko, fanning, slater etc but jjf last year was beyond anything i’ve seen
hoping the oz lads bring home the bacon- go ee!!
That's awesome 3vickers!
So is there a back-up contingency or option to move the comp away from the Bells Reserve if the surf is to small, or is that off the table now with the massive infrastructure investement and sponser requirements ? Not to mention all the permit requirements these days to gain access to other locations..
Totally mobile. ask the Wsl.
On paper yes, in reality no, for reasons you stated bluey. Also not looking to good anywhere else at this stage imo.
Of course its alllll about $$$$ Ka-CHING and vested interests
Yeah the coming two week period is looking very, very bad!
This year might be the last straw for the Woz!
My feeling is that they are gonna get skunked pretty much everywhere this year except Punta Roca in El Salvador.
you seeing anything at the end?
Even if they could move the comp to the beaches for a few days, the forecast doesn't look that flash for them either. Probably still better than Bells though.
@Craig, you are on fire with the optimism
Haha, just telling it like it is ;p
hi cb whats LWT forcast look like...
Looking like a possible big deep swell producing low....will bring swell a few days after waiting period.
Crazy tethering your swell waiting period to a religious celebration each year.
Early April always going to be hit and miss in Southern Ocean.
Bums on seats!
I would have thought eyes on screens were more valuable than bum on seats. No bums at all at many contests
Yeah thought so LD.
So they're still using the same pro surfing model that they used in the 80's.
It's gone backwards actually.
No more mobile events, condensed two draws into one waiting period and shortened the waiting period of the mid 2000s from 14 days back to 8?
Just had a fb memory pop up from 2015 of Slats warming up pre comp. I remember that was a shitty year too..early april.
I had a surf in the pre comp dawn darkness with just 2 surfers and Sally Fitz out and she burnt me on every single wave I caught.
Early rounds were run in solid 5ft wonky onshore shit
I was there on the beach when MF won, against Desouza.
Probably the worst Bells conditions for a final, Onshore 2foot. Just looked up date and it was April 8.
At least the sun was out!
Can't see this year being much different.
Can't see the format changing any time soon.
Rough time for vico surf fans and surf fans worldwide.
Looks like Eugene will be about town though......
As much as we all like to hate on the woz, farkin disappointing it'll be shit for the comp as I love the buzz around town when it's on and pumping, not to mention getting good surfs in myself. If it doesn't pump for the comp, hopefully it really kicks off just after it. Give us something Huey/Craig.
The last straw. Two of the models showing an okay swell producing system to arrive in the final few days of the waiting period perhaps. Local winds unknown, possibility of happening is uncertain but there's hope.
How does winki look for the conditions that are likely? Obviously shit winds are still problem but does it seem like the more favorable venue?
Winki's better if it's small but it's no good for the punters as you can't see anything (whereas Bells can have a big crowd on the beach and in the stands).
Might see Italo getting through heats going left at 1-2ft onshore winki doing air revs
How's the forecast look for Joanna ?
Maybe there is a god, do i detect a swell on the horizion?
The only positive seems to be that the forecast will change, for better or worse.
That low forecast in the bight next week looks a bit up for grabs.
Although Easter wknd on the north coast looks like it’s got potential so hopefully doesn’t change not too much :))
...week 2 of the period looks good -- autumn, west airflow, cooler weather already....waves.
We have a glimmer of hope for the last two days of the waiting period. I'll provide an update tomorrow.
I’m surprised they didn’t kick it off this morning. Yesterday would have been good if it was available. And some size around on Saturday (but the wind was into it).
Yeah today would have been nice but the waiting period starts tomorrow.
Right you are Craigos. I thought it was today.
C'mon Craig, do us all a favour, get that magic forecasting wand of yours out and bend some storm track into our swell window.
How's it looking now forecast wise?
Surely they could go to johana?
Too lowfi for the wiz?
Winki looking sweet on the cams atm. Very consistent and contestable - if only it was a day later. Love Bells as an event - hope something materialises.