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Bruce Irons on the scariest moments of his life

Bruce Irons at Cloudbreak moments before one of the scariest moments of his life; frame grab courtesy of Surfer magazine.
Bruce Irons at Cloudbreak moments before one of the scariest moments of his life; frame grab courtesy of Surfer magazine

Kauai pro surfer Bruce Irons has led a radical life marked by triumph and tragedy. He's won on surfing's biggest stage, yet had his heart ripped out in 2010 after the death of his older brother, three-time ASP world champion Andy Irons. In the recent Surfer magazine video below, Bruce shares the six scariest moments of his life in a manner only he can—meaning the video is chock full of f-bombs and the craziest wipeout stories you've ever heard …

You should definitely watch the video, but in case you don’t have time, here are Bruce Irons’ six scariest moments.

1. The death of his brother

"The scariest moment I've ever had," says Bruce on the untimely passing of his brother.

2. Massive Cloudbreak wipeout

"That was the closest I've ever been to drowning. I don't know how deep I was, but the wave bottomed out and I went straight to the reef. After four huge swims I was still not up there [the surface]. It felt like forever getting to the top. If there was another wave I would have been smoked—I was about to black out."

Bruce Irons at Teahupo'o on Tahiti. "
Bruce Irons at Teahupoo on Tahiti. "That was the heaviest wave I've ever been on,” he says. Frame grab courtesy of Surfer magazine

3. Teahupoo, Tahiti

"That was the heaviest wave I've ever been on. I couldn't see how big the wave was. I was just trying to keep my nose above the water—and I nosedived. Of all things, I nosedived. I went over the falls backwards and upside down in the lip. I remember saying to myself, 'This is the worst situation I've ever been in in surfing.'"

4. Daughter's health scare

"A doctor on Kauai said my daughter was epileptic. We couldn't get a cat scan on her brain for two to three months so that drove me absolutely f—king crazy. We ended up getting one on Oahu and she wasn't epileptic, but that was a very scary moment in my life."

Bruce Irons talks about his daughter's health scare in this frame grab courtesy of Surfer magazine.
Bruce Irons talks about his daughter’s health scare. Frame grab courtesy of Surfer magazine

5. Waimea Bay, 2009

"I was in the lip going over and remember sitting there going, 'Oh my God, what the f—k did I just do?' Through the chaos I hooked someone's leash and I was not letting go. It comes out to be Kala [Alexander]. I was like, 'Kala, you saved my life!'"

6. Hanalei Bay

"Another scary moment was me and Kala again. We were at Hanalei Bay and it was humongous. I remember going on the first wave of this set, kicking out, and Kala was just snapping at me. These 20-foot waves were coming in and they were square and just draining. I was barely popping over every one and when I finally got back out there, I was like, 'Kala, what's going on?' He was like 'Brah! Don't f—king scare me like that!'"

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