The cofounder of Australian surf gear company Rip Curl used to surf here and made it part of their company's raison d'etre:
In the cool climate of Victoria, sanity prevails in design and technique, if not in the temperaments of the surfers. The cold, always a great leveler, has created a hardy breed of surfer who has no time for the hoopla and hype of the glitter beach capitals of the world.
And by 1969 these like-minded souls have begun to gravitate towards the equally no-frills seaside town of Torquay, just a couple of kilometers away from Bells Beach, home of some of the most challenging waves in Australia.
In homage, nearby Bells Beach plays host to the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival every April. We're not talking Beach Boys imitators here--a ticket this year (A$11; about the same in dollars) would have gotten you in to see an AC/DC cover band called "Acca/Dacca" and former Killers openers Wolf & Cub.