The Irons family produced perhaps the most potent sibling force the surfing world has ever seen. While it was younger brother Bruce that would see competitive success early as an amateur, it was Andy that would fuel his own fire and rampage to unprecedented heights, dethroning King Kelly Slater and claiming back-to-back-to-back ASP World Titles. The events of November 2, 2010 sent shockwaves throughout the sporting world, but nowhere were they felt as hard as upon Andy’s family. Sam McIntosh of STAB recently caught up with Bruce on a boat trip to the Mentawais to get his first impressions on record since this tragedy. This…is their story…
WARNING: May contain inappropriate language.
Stab: Describe how you’re feeling right now?
Bruce: F**king – without the f’ing – really good. I’m actually doing really good right now. Here. Happy. I’m in a good spot. I couldn’t say that about a week ago. Well, y’know what, I have uh, I guess I was a little lost after my brother passed away. I just didn’t want to believe it. It’s still hard for me to believe. Feelings are a hard trip to deal with.
When I saw you at Pine Trees for Andy’s service, you looked like you weren’t even in your body.
Oh, hell no. I think back to those first couple months and I can’t even remember any of it. I had no feelings. I was trying to numb it. (Aggressively) It’s just a…f**king… I didn’t want to believe. I just thought, “Nah, he’s coming back from a trip.” My brother was everything. I looked up to him, followed him, did everything. Then, all of a sudden… it’s hard for me to even say the words. When I do stop and think about it now, I kinda go into depression. My whole life I never dealt with my feelings. Me and my brother never talked to each other about feelings. We never sat there and said, “Are you alright, brother?”.
Where were you when Andy died? Who told you?
That was the worst day of my life. I was at home and it was two weeks after the thing we did at the Canaries (Bruce did a trip with Stab to the Canary Islands last year). I remember we went to the fair the night before – me, Mia and Kaimelia (wife and daughter) – Halloween fair and my daughter was all psyched. I was at home. I was in a deep sleep and it was about seven in the morning and I heard Lyndie at the door screaming. I came out of a dead sleep and as I came to it (Bruce snaps his fingers) – I instantly knew it. I heard her voice at seven in the morning, very pregnant, and it that split-second, I knew it. I knew instantly it was what it was. It’s a f**king trip to wrap your head around it. Lyndie was very pregnant and I was trying to calm her down and it just didn’t register. I had to call the coroner. It worked me. It tweaked me out. I was frantic and then it was, like, “Aha, no way this isn’t happening.” I was calming Lyndie and she was very, very pregnant and I was trying to make sure she and the baby were alright. It was horrible.