A half century of huge swells, competitive milestones and legendary parties at Bells Beach have combined to establish the right-hand reef on Victoria’s Surf Coast as one of Australia’s signature surf spots.
Facing southeast, Bells is exposed to powerful, long-period Southern Ocean swell, yet is offshore in the northwest winds often associated with these weather systems. Combined with a defined reef and deepwater bay, Bells has gained a reputation as one of the country’s big-wave spots. And while there have been plenty of big years in the history of the event, Victoria’s varied coastline offers plenty of backup venues for quality surf if the wind or waves aren’t cooperating.
Check out the different breaks at the bottom of the page
Bells Beach Surf Spots
The attractive girl-next-door is a long right-hand reef break, that hits two distinct sections – ‘Uppers’ (the top section of the break) and ‘Lowers’. Winkipop wants a straight swell and NW offshore winds.
The infamous Button is a marker for surfers paddling around to Winkipop and a spot where you don’t want to get caught on a big swell day.
The Bowl feeds on big Southern Ocean swells and will hold waves up to the 15ft range in the middle of the beach. Long drawn-out carves and steep turns are the way to tame the Bowl’s powerful walls.
The point section under the famous orange cliffs is called Rincon and this is the first part of a Bells wave to break. Rincon breaks close in when it’s small and will be the spot to watch when the surf is in the 2-to-4ft range.
Centreside is a quick-breaking right hander that fires across shallow rock just south of Bells’ main breaks. It’s not always consistent, but definitely worth the wait when it’s on and will always have an emptier lineup than Rincon and The Bowl.
The most southern break in the Bells Surfing Reserve is aptly named Southside, which is a quality left that breaks over a shallow weedy rock ledge. Lefts are hard to find on the Surf Coast, so goofy-footers take note!