Merewether's Ryan Callinan impressed even quarter-final rival and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater with one of the moves of the day in pumping Bells Beach swell on Friday.
Callinan will take on Slater on Saturday after beating American Conner Coffin 13.93-9.93 in the round of 16.
The goofy-footer smashed the lip to finish on his backhand and earned an 8.6 with 36 minutes left in the 50-minute heat to set up the win in monster waves.
He backed that up with a 5.33 with 28 minutes to go, leaving Coffin needing an 8.51 but he never threatened.
Heats were held two at a time to make up for lay days and Slater was in the water when Callinan scored his 8.6. After beating Brazilian Peterson Crisanto 10.8 to 6.87, Slater said: "Ryan got a crazy one. How was that hit?"
Callinan said it was exciting to set up a clash with the four-time Bells champion.
"He's obviously a previous winner here multiple times but I love versing those top guys," Callinan said. "It could be his last time here so it's going to be a special one."
Callinan was in control throughout against Coffin in the wind-blown, bumpy and intimidating waves which peaked at 15 feet (4.5 metres) during the day.
"From the free surf, it feels like it's really jacked up a lot through the day, which it was meant to, but maybe I wasn't paying enough attention when I was watching or it just felt a lot bigger," he said.
"I copped a few sets on the head, but I adjusted and I was lucky enough that Peterson missed one and Conner was next to him and that was my big score.
"It just felt like a lot of whitewash out there and paddling so it was good to get through."
Asked if it the conditions were like Third Reef at Merewether in huge swell, he said: "It's just big and actually quite fat at the moment.
"Merewether has a similar style when it's this size. Big take-offs and long drawn out turns, so I felt pretty comfortable."