Ring-a-ding-ding! The Rip Curl Pro Bells is about to start chiming its hooter for the first time since 2019 and we’re all foaming like mentos on coke.

Get ready for mad cut-downs, savage hacks, and the occasional air on sections you’d normally float the boat on. Exciting news is that 4 x event champ Mick Fanning is coming out of twin-fin retirement to see if he can slay some wannabe surf princes to cement his crown as King of Bells. Even better if he did it on a thruster minus a back fin.

For all the insights and possible upsets, here are your best fantasy surfer picks Bells 2022. And, by best, we really mean, not the worst. 


This pick is a piece of piss.

If you’re an American wondering what on earth that means, it’s Aussie slang for ‘easy as pie, mate’. Way more core and hilarious, don’t you think? But, I digress.

Carissa. How could you not choose her at a wave that she’s won 3 times? Lakey’s best finish here is a semis (so she’s your next best bet), while Brisa’s best effort is quarters. Yes they could go better, but I’m still thinking Carissa will regain her #1 jersey after Bells. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.

In: Riss
Back up: Lakey


There are no fewer than four Bells champs in tier A for the mens, so that makes narrowing the field hard. We’ll count out Kelly, unless it’s 8-10ft Hells Bells territory (which is unlikely).

That leaves Double John, Italo and Jordy. I’m going Jordy as my first pick. He’s hungry to stay in the world title discussion and this is one wave that suits his heavy-foot power game to a tee.

Italo is the next guy I’d expect to hit the podium here. He beat Mick in 2018 under massive pressure to take his first ever WT. Special memories make for confidence and a confident Italo is a highlight reel waiting to happen. He’s my power guy.

That leaves John as my back up, with a definite mention to Filipe Toledo too. Fil is hot off his Portugal final and rips Bells like a butcher in a blood frenzy. Hack, hack, hack. Gotta be some big points coming from that.

In: Jordy and Italo (power)
Back up: Double John and Filipe


I’m gobsmacked that Tyler Wright has never won Bells (she’s had two 2nds). Seriously, punch me in the face like she punches the lip there. Pow, pow, pow. She’s made her career on her forehand jam and the Bells Bowl is the perfect canvas to show it off. I saw Tier B and picked her before even checking the stats. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feel and my tummy is telling me she’s a chicken dinner.

After that it’s Tati Double W. She’s had a runner up here too and has her confidence running high. Click, click, my team’s loaded. If I dig deeper into the options then Joanne Defay is a possible start, as is Malia Manuel. Both are in great form and could continue that run.

If you’re in for a rookie, India Robinson is a long-time local here and knows the wave like a barfly knows beer. Still for me, it’s Tyler and Tati. TnT, it’s dynamite.

In: Tyler and Tati
Back up: Malia and Johanne


Men’s B is looking like last drinks at the Torquay Pub – a bunch of desperate blokes pushing to get in before cut-off. Still, there are a few who could easily get lucky when the lights go on.

Nat Young made his rookie final debut here and went all the way to 2nd with his backhand sangers. Since power surfing like his doesn’t age, he’s my first stalwart in the stable. Zeke Lau is another who loves Bells and could jostle to the top. Remember when he ruffled John John’s feathers here with his ‘excessive hassling’? So epic. I’m putting him in just for that fire and ice.

Kolohe Andino is another one whose carve game is top notch and I’m expecting big things from. He’s my dark horse for a title win at the end of the year. This could be his maiden event win to set off that chain of events. You heard it here first, people.

Finally, Conner Coffin is someone you watch at Bells that makes you involuntarily grunt as he hits the lip. That visceral surfing is so great to see, so I’m stamping him into my team for that. Maybes are Freddy or Leo who have done well before, plus Jacko Baker to throw his heft around for an underdog surge.

In: Nat, Zeke, Kolohe, Conner
Maybe: Freddy, Leo or Jacko


You’ve won a Bell, and you’ve won a Bell, and you’ve won a Bell. Women’s Tier C is like some kind of Oprah winners bonanza. Sally Fitz, Steph Gilmore and Courtney Conologue have all been able to ring that thing on multiple occasions. All would be red hot options for your best fantasy surfer picks at Bells even if they were in higher groupings. You only get to choose one of them though.

For me, it’s Steph. She ripped in Portugal beyond my expectation and is rock solid on right hand walls. Courtney feels like the next best option. She’s won more Bells than Sally (and more recently). CC just looks ready to tear people’s faces off if the Seatiger doesn’t get paid her dues soon. A definite stand by on my end, depending on how rounds 3 pans out with match ups.

In: Stephanie
Maybe: Seatiger


As someone who loves backing Aussie surf legends, this tier has me both excited and confused.

Do I go Mick? Equal most winningest man at Bells and all round corelord?
Do I go R-Cal? Luke Egan incarnate and all round nice guy.
Do I go Morgs? Aussie surfing’s white-toothed messiah?
And, dear lord, which one is the right Wright Brother to choose? Owen has let me down repeatedly this year when he’s been in my team, so maybe it’s time to pick Mikey and be disappointed by the other brother.

For now, I’m going R-Cal and Mick, but that may change. If I take my Aussie goggles off for a second I spy Caio Ibelli in the draw too. He’s insane at Bells and could continue to crush dreams and sail into the top 6 by year’s end. Probably the best fantasy surfer Bells pick of the lot. 

In: Mick and R-Cal
Maybe: Caio

That’s it. Good luck. Remember to shuffle them up after round 2 and go with your gut. Bring on Bells!