Easter-time on the Surf Coast means one thing - the Rip Curl
Pro. With the world's best surfers hitting town to tackle the
mighty waves at Bells Beach, it's the perfect time to visit Torquay
and join in the party.
As ever, the Surf Coast Shire is making holidaymakers feel welcome,
with Live Sites dotted throughout the region, streaming the action
live from Bells Beach and a new Torquay App delivering the latest
news and information straight to your phone.
In Torquay, designated "Pro Spot" venues will give fans the chance
to bump into their heroes and live music events keep things
This year, visitors attending the event will be joined by some
unlikely spectators - a team of scientists from Deakin University,
who will be watching the Pro's world-class competitors with
Researchers from the university's Waurn Ponds campus, just 15
minutes from the Surf Coast, are working to develop better, more
resilient wetsuits and boardshorts, in partnership with
Torquay-based surfwear giant Quiksilver.
The five-year, $350,000 research and development partnership
between Deakin and Quiksilver aims to create the next generation of
"In the lab we're doing a huge range of things," says Deakin's
Dr Paul Collins.
"We're quantifying material properties, looking at elasticity,
longevity, durability, things like the UV stabilisation."
The hi-tech board shorts and wetsuits look the same as regular
shorts on the outside, but inside a compression garment aligns a
surfer's muscles so they are perfectly positioned for the rigours
Haydn Davis, design manager for Quiksilver, calls the new
products the "Rolls Royce of board shorts", as they actually
improve recovery times for surfers giving it their all during
This should be a great boon for 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly
Slater, who has just turned 40. Slater, who has been sponsored by
Quiksilver for much of his career, is due to meet up with Deakin
scientists during the Pro to assist them with their research.
Whatever the outcome, and whether he wears high-tech shorts or
not, Slater is sure to provide high-octane thrills when he hits the
waves at Bells Beach next month.
The 51st Rip Curl Pro is on from April 3-14.