Bells Beach represents a unique challenge for surfers, to win there you have to defeat the best surfers in the world and confront the physically testing power of the Southern Ocean. To win Bells once is a dream for most, only surfing’s greats have won it, many world champions have only won it once. Sydney surfer Simon Anderson won Bells in 1977, then again in 1981, in the process he ushered in pro surfing’s modern era riding revolutionary equipment. This exhibition celebrates Simon’s wins at Bells.
The exhibition is in two parts with the story of Simon’s win in 1977 being told through rare archival images that had been lost for forty years. These never before seen black and white images look at the contest and characters from 1977 highlighting the loose and carefree atmosphere of the early years of surfing’s pro tour.
For 1981 we have gathered together ten surfboards, actually used during the contest at Bells that year, to highlight the technological change that was taking place as surfers/shapers looked for any competitive edge. At Bells in 1981 Simon demonstrated the performance potential of his three finned ‘Thruster’ design, dominating the contest held in giant six metre waves. Simon’s design has gone on to become the most popular, copied and long lived design in modern surfing history. To this day most pro’s still ride boards based on Simon’s original three fin concept.
A unique character, a revolutionary design, a spectacular surfing exhibition.