Surfers get together at Bells Beach annually for the Rip Curl Pro surfing championships.
The professional Rip Curl Pro event was first produced in the early 1970s and with the help of the Australian Bells Beach it has been part of life ever since.
The first event was amateuristic, with competitors barely getting compensated.
However, when surfing legend Michael Peterson took home the prize, professional surfing was indeed born.
Sponsorship didnt come until 1974, when Coca-Cola and Rip Curl got involved.
The prizes were better and Bells Beach became a revered site for this event.
The power and height of the Australian waves proved just as formidable as Hawaii.
Rip Curl Pro Legends
The early days of these contests produced many surfing legends. They rode the waves with amazing turns and slashbacks, such as Simon Anderson did in 1977. Anderson continued to impress with truly amazing displays that today are considered more commonplace. The Rip Curl Pro attracted the likes of Jeff Hakman, Terry Fitzgerald, Rod Brooks and Jack McCoy to test their ability with many others. Jack McCoy went on to open a restaurant called "The Summer House" and produce films, but his first love was surfing.
Rip Curl Pro Through the Years
The twenty fifth anniversary of the Rip Curl Pro in 1997 had the best surf possible, and the crowds swelled to match the surf. The Rip Curl Pro is considered to be one of the six "Hallmark International Sporting Events" in Australia. The surf at Bells Beach still is one of the most popular surfing spots for the pros and is part of the World Championship Tour. The beach on its own is a popular tourist stop whether you are a local or travelling from afar. The right hand reef break is what has made this beach one of the most formidable surfing challenges.
Rip Curl Pro Winner Kelly Slater
The winner of the Rip Curl Pro, Kelly Slater, proclaims Bells Beach to be one of the most difficult to surf. The two distinct sections break atop two reefs. These are known to surfers as "Rincon" and "The Bowl". If you are looking for bigger waves they will be found in "The Bowl". This area is where there have been some of the toughest competitions of the Rip Curl Pro. The surf tends to be smaller at "Rincon" and this is where the surfers can show what they are made of in terms of showmanship. They will coax the very best surfing out of those small waves to capture the prizes.
The combination of getting to see first hand the remarkable pro surfing event will leave you begging for more.
At the end of the surfing day you will find that there is all manner of entertainment to keep you busy until the pros are back on the water.
There are events that may coincide with your trip to the Rip Curl Pro Championship. Whatever you decide to do with your free time, you will enjoy your visit to Australia and one of the best displays of talent in the surfing world.