Slater, the 11-times ASP world champion, grabbed the highest heat total of the day - an 18.07, including a near-perfect 9.70 on his final wave - to blitz Adam Melling and Jacob Wilcox.
“I switched my equipment back to the Weirdo Ripper which I rode in the early rounds on the Gold Coast and it seemed to work really well in those slopey Rincon waves,” Slater said.
“I drifted in towards the end of the heat and that wave (9.70) wasn’t very big, but it looked like it was going to run a bit better and it just allowed for a good amount of turns.”
Reigning world champion Parkinson - a three times winner at Bells - took advantage of his familiarity with the venue to ease through his opening heat at the year's second stop on the ASP World Tour.
“Bells is comfortable place for me,” Parkinson said. “It has so much history and I’ve been surfing the waves, Rincon and the Bowl and Winki, my whole life.
"I love coming back here to compete and feel very at home. Kelly (Slater) set the pace at the first stop on the Goldy, but there are a lot of crew right in the mix."
Wilcox opens up the second round when competition resumes with an all-Australian round two heat against Taj Burrow.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach round one results
Heat 1: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.60, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.33, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.64, Kai Otton (AUS) 14.43, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.83
Heat 3: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.06, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.33, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 8.16
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.83, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.34, Oney Anwar (IDN) 7.60
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.20, Brett Simpson (USA) 10.20, Jack Perry (AUS) 8.87
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.03, Adam Melling (AUS) 15.50, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 10.17
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.33, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.60, Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.10
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.06, Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.20, Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.87
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 16.43, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.90, Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.20
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.47, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.67, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.23
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.26, Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.77, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.73
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 17.14, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.90, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.76
- Sports & Recreation