It wasn’t long ago that Caio Ibelli – on the road to recovery from injury – was the victim of circumstances beyond his control. As the 2018 WSL Championship Tour came to an end, the League was faced with an impossible choice. With two injury wildcards to dole out for 2019, the WSL had three surfers banking on them to stay on tour: John John Florence, Kelly Slater, and Caio Ibelli. Ibelli made his case, saying that Slater had flouted injury conventions by, among other things, surfing Cloudbreak instead of competing in Bali. Suffice it to say, Ibelli lost that battle.
Without the official injury wildcard, though, Ibelli’s been in the heat draws for the first two events of the season so far. And after a bad result at the Quik Pro Gold Coast, it looks like Ibelli is hungry. Case in point, the raw footage above from a recent free surf at Bells before the event kicks off later this week.
Caio Ibelli is the clear standout. Kanoa Igarashi also looks to be on a tear, and then there are a handful of other waves from other recognizable faces.
If Ibelli isn’t on your fantasy team for Bells, consider this: the man made the final against Jordy Smith in 2017. Might be a solid bet.