Bells Preview

Shea Lopez on who to pick for your Fantasy Surfer team

| posted on March 27, 2012

The long wall of Bells tends to favor those who can pack some power into their turns. Photo: Joli

Hells Bells is coming. Snapper didn’t deliver, but we can already see the Indian Ocean storm charts are predicted to brew up a one-two punch of solid swell for the Victorian coast during the waiting period. For the second year in a row, it looks like Bells will be the highlight of the Australian World Tour leg.

When Bells is in classic form on those special contest mornings, no environment is more charged. You can feel it just walking down those very famous steps, parting the always intoxicated and frenzied crowd, then finally jumping into the pounding shorebreak as AC/DC’s famed anthem blares over the event sound system. As a rookie, that was enough to leave me weak in the knees, guaranteed to blow my first wave of the heat. But I wasn’t surfing anywhere near the caliber of the two rookies I have on my Fantasy Surfer team for Bells: John Florence and Kolohe Andino. John is molten hot after winning at Margaret River and destroying Kolohe with a near perfect 19.70 out of 20 heat total (an obvious choice here). Kolohe, on the other hand, hasn’t had the best go in heats or with critics (everyone’s a critic) since Snapper. If Kolohe wants to get anywhere near the top of the ratings this year, Bells has to be a great result for him. Because, like everyone says, Tahiti, Fiji, and Pipe are not his ideal venues—Bells is.

My next four Fantasy Surfer picks are all very well-rounded surfers and all regularfoots. The only goofyfooter that would be a sure pick for me would be Occy, but sadly, we will not have the pleasure of watching him at Bells as we did at Margaret’s last week (where he finished third). Similar in size and power to Occy, but also capable of matching anyone trick-for-trick, is Jordy Smith. I remember watching AI grow from despising Bells and surfing sub-par there to focusing, learning, and destroying people once his talent could be properly channeled in the many different faces of Bells. Jordy will have a heat or two, and possibly even an entire event that will stand the test of time at Bells. The other three picks for my team are Julian Wilson, Brett Simpson, and Mick Fanning, as they are all more than capable of putting up Slater-stopper levels of performance—Slater still sets the pace everywhere with real waves. It’s a bummer that I couldn’t work his hefty 12 million dollar price tag into my Fantasy Surfer budget. Taj and his $12.5 million price tag was too high for me as well.

Finally, I saved my last two spots for specialty location surfers Taylor Knox and Adam Melling. These guys are incapable of doing a proper air, but the rest of the world is incapable of surfing as powerful, precise, and on-a-rail as them. When the Bells bowl turns on, there is no canvas in surfing better suited to huge, arcing carves that expose a surfer’s weakness, literally.

Pick your team now on Fantasy Surfer

  • Ben

    Is that seppo shea lopez off his head.melling can and does do amazing punts on a regular basis. i agree with.him when he says mello has a nice rail game but he is tripping saying he can’t punt. seppo poof

  • Seppo

    Yea, I love Shea but he wrong on Melling and airs.

  • Pete

    Everyone on tour can do airs but comparative to a lot of the other guys on tour melling and Knox fall into the same category as fanning. Yeah they can do an air but their arial game doesn’t even compare to guys like Julian, Jordy, or Kolohe.

  • JakeFOOS

    anyone but kolohe… unless you want someone to avoid the sets and take the lil midges

  • dirt

    @ Shea, how could you leave out Parko. If Bells fires, Parko’s surfing will be untouchable.

  • Greg

    I can’t change my team. When I click save a window appears that says: Your changes are being saved. Please wait…’ It stays like this for hours and nothing happens. Tried a dozen times…

  • Brian Twittowler

    Brett Simpson. Ha Ha, I get it. That’s a good one Shea.

  • dave

    @greg I had the same problem and all I did was change my password. try that


    Shea, what about Adriano!!!!! and Parko!!!!!!

    i think youre tripping about some guys…….

  • japa

    one word: LOL

    how about Parko, ADS, Medina?

    Taylor Knox? K-Lo? Are u kidding?

  • Hey kooks

    Shea said a proper air. You know like the ones Julian Medina Kolohe Owen Kerr etc all do. Melling has done how many sick airs in WT? Medina will lose. ADS is a crab. Parko could win again. When I pick my fantasy surfer team there is plenty of guys I try to fit within my budget but it just doesn’t work out. Looks like Shea went with Julian and Jordy as his two high dollar surfers.

  • abster

    Not one goofy… i will go with hobgoods, owen, and also parko and kelly.
    i could see knox kicked out of the 1st round – lack of repertoire.
    quite hyping the “rail game”….
    the wave will be about experience, not flair.
    k-lo and j-flo can sit their a$$es on the beach and learn something.

  • nath

    its gonna a round for the experienced……..drawing GOOD LINES and consistent. the new school doesn’t really and hasn’t shown its advantage at bells fat wave. hobgoods , slats, parko, etc…..

  • Morty M. Mortenson

    John John is the MAN! He’ll be top five at year’s end.

  • drew

    yeah shea, parko and fanning can´t do carves. where was your head buried last year?

  • abster

    look at my comments… all my predictions were correct.
    what? oh yeah, i thought about the wave vs the surfers… any questions?