BY ALEX WORK­MAN

Tracks - - Champion -

It’s been 10 years since Bruce Irons nailed the last sec­tion of Tay­lor Steele’s 2005 flick, Cam­paign. At the time the video part so­lid­i­fied his rep­u­ta­tion as the best freesurfer in the world. His im­age forged by fear­less­ness in waves of con­se­quence along with a rad­i­cal re­bel­lious spirit led to many la­belling him one of surf­ing’s true rock stars. The mil­lion dol­lar con­tracts fol­lowed and at one point he was amongst the high­est paid surfers in the world. How­ever there have been lows. The in­escapable pain of los­ing his brother, Andy, in 2010 al­most trig­gered Bruce’s own demise. He dis­ap­peared from the main­stream and would ap­pear briefly; of­ten chas­ing a gi­ant pur­ple blob across the Pa­cific to places like Fiji, Tahiti and Mexico – his happy hunt­ing grounds. But the scar tis­sue has helped numb some of the pain and an un­wa­ver­ing re­solve seems more present than ever af­ter chat­ting to him fol­low­ing a re­cent Chopes strike mis­sion. The voice might have been a lit­tle more grav­elly but the words still flew out at ma­chine-gun-like speed, ev­ery syl­la­ble quicker than the last and the trade­mark hon­esty over­whelm­ing. Act II for Bruce Irons re­ally be­gan this year at 35. There’s a ru­moured part in John John’s much an­tic­i­pated up­com­ing film, nu­mer­ous hit and run trips to Mexico and he’s re­turned to the big screen, play­ing Johnny Utah’s stunt dou­ble for Hol­ly­wood block­buster Point Break re­dux. Buoyed by the knowl­edge that he’s qual­i­fied for the Pipe Mas­ters In­vi­ta­tional come the North Shore this win­ter there’s an energy be­hind him that’s been sorely missed. Bruce re­cently opened up to Tracks about the many roads he’s trav­elled and why he’s yet to de­liver one of the best per­for­mances of his ca­reer.

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