Bruce Irons: “I’m Going To Do Whatever It Takes To Get Into The Pipe Masters.”
After nearly a decade BI is back in the Triple Crown.
The Bruce Irons’ saga continues, the man’s returned to the Triple Crown. “Sheez, it’s been a while,” he tells Stab. “Over seven years, maybe eight since I’ve done all three events.” And after much discussion last year on a comeback and return to form, the gent’s back and next week he’ll surf the inaugural North Shore jewel. “I’ve been travelling and surfing a bunch and I got a mean batch of Mayhems,” he says.
“Recently, I’ve been hanging in California with my kids and waiting for winter. It’s here. I’ve been watching the Pipe cam and I can see that big ocean. That’s what I miss, the smell of salt water in the air when that first big swell hits.”
At 36, Bruce is heading into the Triple Crown as part of the “older generation”–you could call it Momentum. “Yeah, I know I’m older” he laughs. “It’s a trip; I don’t feel old. It’s funny, the North Shore’s gnarly, it’s testosterone fueled. You can’t let your guard down; you gotta keep that fire lit. But I’m still looking up to guys like Sunny Garcia (six-time Triple Crown winner) and Derek Ho (four-time Triple Crown winner). It’s cool, there’s still the OG’s, but when I’m sitting in the lineup and looking around, I’m like I guess I’m the older guy. But then there’s Kelly, but that guy’s not even real,” he laughs. “He’s 45 and still psyched, I like that. You see Kelly and you’re like I’m fucking good; it doesn’t make you feel bad about getting older.”
Big airs and deep pits have always been the a trademark of Mr Irons.
Bruce had to jump back into the QS to qualify for the Triple Crown, and only recently tallied the points to enter. “I had to grind it out just to get into the one-star events,” he says jovially. “When you’re on an alternate list for one-stars that shit sucks. If you don’t have any points you ain’t surfing any events; you have to start from the bottom, put on the jersey go out a little rusty.”
“I’m stoked to come back,” he says. In avoidance of another trending #Bruce4PipeMastersWildcard he surfed a few events this year. His best result being fourth at the Volcom Pipe Pro–Kelly won. “Hopefully Billabong just puts a slot in for me,” he says. “Especially if they’re going to keep running my brother’s name with the event; that’d make things a lot less stressful. However, whatever it takes to get me into the Pipe Masters is what I’m going to do. That’s why I was trying to get myself into the Triple Crown. I did the Mad Hueys comp at Keramas–that was a sick event. And I did this little one-star at Ala Moana to make sure that if I didn’t get a spot from Billabong, I’d at least be able to make it into the Pipe Trials.”
A wandering pupil in the swirling iris of Keramas.
Going into the events this year, Bruce is taking it in stride. “It’s just not as much pressure in my situation,” he says. “Like as far as the pressure I put on myself. I’m still competitive, once you put a jersey on, it’s on; that will never change. Once a competitor, always a competitor, in life and everything; that’s still there. But, now I just relax and go with it.”
I ask Bruce a rhetorical question. “Come on,” he laughs, “That’s a no-brainer. Pipeline, it’s the holy grail! I like Haleiwa when it’s not two-foot; it can get really fun and rippable. Sunset’s hit or miss. You’re either in the flow or you’re lost at sea and baffled. I just hope there are good waves. That’s the point you know? Regardless you got to what you got to do, but it’s always nice to surf a contest in Hawaii with some real surf; it feels good.”
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