177 posts and counting, that Bruce Irons is trending so hard right now!
The WSL don't care about the power of social media
Words by Morgan Williamson
Sound the alarm; we’ve got a social media hailstorm raining down! Maybe not a hailstorm, but if you’ve been swiping your greasy fingers through Insta recently, and you have; you've taken notice to the mouthful of a hashtag: #Bruce4pipemasterswildcard. The masses are speaking, and not just the needy thumbnailed patrons of Instagram who are busy trading likes for likes and following back. Don't get me wrong; those people are doing it too, but it's alongside cats like Strider Wasilewski, Kolohe Andino, Kalani Robb, Jeremy Flores, Shane Beschen and the list goes on. And who better of a wildcard for Pipe than Bruce? He’s the man out there; already racking up what people have been calling the best waves caught at Pipe so far this season. Not to mention the contest's held in honor of his brother, but Bruce being grandfathered in as the wildcard because of social media's not how this story's going to unfold.
Last year Bruce wasn’t included, and he wasn’t too happy about it. He posted on his IG: Today is one of the lowest days of my surfing career because Billabong told me that there is no room for me in their contest which is in memory of my brother; who is on every poster, T-shirt, hat and banner for this contest. There were 28 people in the trials but for some reason there was no room for me. Today I lost all respect for Billabong. I guarantee my brother would be disappointed in the decision Billabong has made especially after how much money my brother brought this company along with three world titles. The least they could do is put me in this event as long as it’s called Pipe Masters in loving memory of Andy Irons.
That was last year, and we’ve yet to hear any word from Bruce on this year. But the people are speaking, and people have power or power to the people… something like that. The WSL released a tweet in response to the trending hashtag a few hours ago: We're pleased to see Bruce Irons in the Pipe Trials, where the sole 2 wildcards at #BillabongPipeMasters are awarded to the top 2 finishers. Hmm, I guess the WSL has the power. Which I must say makes sense. They aren’t going to just throw off their set format because of a trending hashtag conjoined with a photo of Bruce throwing double shakas above his Eric Arakawa rising sun sled. So, Bruce will have to surf his way through the trials and we’ll sure as hell be pulling for him.
Something very similar to this has happened in 2011: #putbruceinchopes. And the WSL back when it was the ASP had a comparable response: “ASP would love to have Bruce in the Billabong Pro, Tahiti,” ASP Intl CEO Brodie Carr told Stab back then. “Unfortunately, we cannot change the event format to allow an extra person to compete and ASP has already allocated our spots to the top 34 in the world. We hope to see Bruce at Pipe and possibly Fiji in 2012.”