September 1, 2022

Swell ridden

A lack of opportunity has meant for the fifth time in its six-year history, the Bells Beach 50 Year Storm surfing event will be postponed, with the hope the event will reach its great heights once again in 2023.

The surfing classic each year endeavours to bring 30 of the best big wave surfers from the country to the shores of Bells Beach and exists to pay tribute to local surfing icon Shaun Brooks, while acknowledging mental health issues in our society.

Unfortunately due to a lack of swell and unfavourable wind patterns, committee members this week deemed that the three-month winter running period didn’t hold enough, if any dates that presented a strong opportunity to run the event.

Current criteria around the running of the event sees the swell need to be predominantly around the size mark of four-to-six feet, while winds and tides must also be desirable for most of the day, a wish that hasn’t been granted in 2022.

Bells Beach 50 Year Storm committee member Carlo Lowden said while it was disappointing the event wouldn’t run, it was seen as the right call based on the last three months of ocean action.

“It’s obviously disappointing not to run the event, but we certainly want to make sure we get the right conditions like we had last year for the inaugural running of the event,” Lowden said.

It’s always tricky to forecast and hard to predict what is going to happen with the swell and wind patterns, it took us five years to run our first event last year and we certainly want to make sure we get it right."

We will be back bigger and better next year and are still committed to running some workshops and events in the backend of the year that surround what the Bells Beach 50 Year Storm is all about.”

The Bells Beach 50 Year Storm event committee will run an array of workshops and events surrounding the mental health themes of the event later this year, hoping that it will benefit people in the community.

The committee said if they can help at least one person with each event or workshop, then they believe it is totally worth doing, no matter how small or large the attendance.

Lowden said to stay tuned to the Bells Beach 50 Year Storm socials for updates on upcoming community engagements and events.

See more here at

Surf Coast Times story here.


Angela Ball surfs during the inaugural 50 Year Storm in memory of Shaun Brooks surfing competition at Bells Beach. Photo: JULIAN SMITH

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