Ride the World - The outdoor blog
Scouring earth daily for healthy doses of fun and adventure. Edited by Chris Mauro
"That's nothing. I've seen bigger waves behind my Mastercraft on Lake Piru."
steve grier says:
"Shane Dorian and his homies, they all stand tall. What ever happend to Laird Hamilton? I thought this was his backyard, waves like this were something he trained so hard for. I can remember back in 1969, I was on a plane returning from Japan, stopped over in Honolulu, herd the north shore was breaking with waves over 25ft. I drove out there and was able to see Gregg Noll ride the biggest wave I have ever seen someone ride. These guys and ladies get better and better each year, the waves they ride are to awesome. Good on them."
Three-time world champion Andy Irons is back on the world tour after his year-long self-imposed exile from competition. Irons pushed the reset button in 2009 after years of running at full speed and burning the candle at both ends.
He spent the time off doing his best to recharge the batteries. But during his Round One heat at the Quiksilver Pro there wasn't a whole lot of juice flowing in those batteries.
Historically, Irons has never been capable of turning in a half-ass approach. He's either all-in or he's folding. When he was racking up world titles his own version of hell was that lackluster place where one simply goes through the motions. That's never been his style.
While mentally Irons now looks refreshed -- even care free -- after his time off, down at the Quiksilver Pro, the animal instinct was undoubtedly missing on Saturday. After finishing in last place in his Round One heat, there were no visible signs of distress or anger during his post-heat interview. In fact, he looked more stunned than angry, as if he wasn't exactly sure how he arrived back at this place.
And therein lies Irons' biggest challenge -- which, by the way, is the same one he's always had. Mastering impulses is key to his success and failure. Knowing when to unleash the inner-beast, and when to tame it, is everything. After a year of keeping his competitive beast on lock down, Irons now has to release it, and give it permission to feast again, even if things get ugly and messy. Mr. nice guy will be finishing last against the likes Fanning, Parko and an increasingly angry Slater. Whether he knows this or not will become clear soon enough.