Stab Magazine | Bruce Irons, Cloudbreak, Fiji. Wednesday July 13.
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Bruce Irons, Cloudbreak, Fiji. Wednesday July 13.

It’s been a little over 12 months since the island of Tavarua had exclusive access to the waves of Cloudbreak and Restaurants in Fiji lifted. Just 12 months ago the Fijian government stepped up, opening access to the wave for anyone, not just guests of the resort. Tavarua also dropped their prices just a touch, […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by Glenn Duffus
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s been a little over 12 months since the island of Tavarua had exclusive access to the waves of Cloudbreak and Restaurants in Fiji lifted. Just 12 months ago the Fijian government stepped up, opening access to the wave for anyone, not just guests of the resort. Tavarua also dropped their prices just a touch, so the island’s steadily been at capacity since. This also meant that the latest swell the island’s been pounded by was ripe for anyone with enough braves to get a piece of it.

The first to arrive for this highly-anticipated swell were Reef McIntosh and Dane Gudauskas, who had to post up on the mainland. “The key to getting the best waves is to take the waves that look like closeouts,” said Reef, who is in Fiji for the third time this year. As the swell rose, he typically found himself on the best waves of the day.

Kelly Slater, the eternal surf nazi whose temple-like body is never subject to the poison of drugs, alcohol or even caffeine, showed up after an overnight flight, with a neck-tan from long sessions in a wetsuit back in California. When asked how big this swell was gonna get, he replied: “Big enough that most humans won’t want a part of it.”

Most humans, sure, but certainly some. As is the way with men who concern themselves with such things, the surrounding hotels were quickly flooded with surfers like Garrett MacNamara, Mark Healey, Kohl Christensen, Dean Bowen, Nathan Fletcher, Alex Gray, Dave Wassel, Nick Vasicek, Ryan Hipwood, Jamie Sterling, Ian Walsh, Jon Roseman, Fergal Smith and more. Oh, and Bruce Irons.

Bruce (pictured) was a part of the final teams to roll into the swell on Monday afternoon. He posted up at Radisson hotel on Denarua Island, on the Fijian mainland. And, after riding a borrowed board (Nathan Fletcher’s big red rocket) the first day, he continued the following day to repeatedly throw himself into heaving tunnels like this. Would you expect anything less from Surfing’s original rockstar?

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