When you’re used to surfing in Australia or California or New Zealand (okay, the French are used to it), you forget how much the tide affects the swell and conditions. Today, at Lance’s Rights in Indo, with a building tide, three footers grew consistently to four footers, with the odd six foot sets. Then, from nowhere, a solid four-wave eight foot set hammered through. When Bruce Irons took off late on the biggest wave of the day, Jamie O’Brien paddled over the lip freaking: “Brah, I don’t care what you say, that was eight feet!”
As it turned out, Bruce fell with the lip and the thing unloaded behind him, washing him across the reef. When Jamie saw Bruce’s pounding, he asked: “Did you think Bruce was gonna get the tube of the day and get spat out into the channel, even though it’s onshore, just cause he’s Bruce Irons and that’s what he does?”
Bruce and Jamie, along with many others, are in the Mentawai’s for Red Bull’s Minor Threat Boat Trip, the footage of which you’ll soon see via a Kai Neville-created webisode four-pack. As the eldest and most charismatic of our crew (and since this is his first big trip since Andy’s death), Bruce unintentionally commands the rapt attention of all those around him. Between bouts of laughter, everyone on the boat listens to his stories intently. As I type right now, there’s eight people surrounding him as he tells one of his many amazing tales.
Today in the water, he was in classic form. “I’m just mind-fu#*ing the shit out of sections out here!” he said. “I’m channeling good thoughts. I’m throwing it out to the universe. I want to do airs like back in Loose Change. These are the conditions. This is when you need to take to the sky.”
Anyways, long story short. If Bruce wants a wave over the groms on the trip, he usually takes it and the groms are kinda thrilled. When this wave came through, he let Connor take it. “I was gonna stuff you in that thing. Thing is, after those cocktails you made me last night (Connor was working the bar for Jamie’s birthday), I couldn’t do it.”
Oh, right, so, back to the tides. The tide ran out this evening at Lance’s Right. The ocean went dead. Adriano De Souza paddled back to the boat after waiting for 40 minutes. From eight feet to one foot in three hours.
To check out more of Ryan’s photography, head to his site.