SURFING magazine didn't run one shot of Bruce Irons in 2011. Not one. Allow us to save you the trouble as we ask ourselves, What the f–k? Consider the ball dropped. Apologies. We're picking it up now. I phone Bruce to catch up. What has he been up to this past year, beyond Code Red Tahiti, big Cloudbreak and surfing Pipeline at dusk? He's fresh off the plane from Australia and watching Pipeline break from his perch at the Volcom house. And he's been busy. Grieving. Coping. Growing. Weathering lows and riding highs. Meditating. Working through his brother's death and aligning himself to once again own the surfing spotlight. The SURFING spotlight, too. —Taylor Paul

Photo: Mosqueira

BRUCE: Todd Morcom is over here with me and he's a really positive, good guy. I like surfing with Nate [Fletcher] a lot 'cause he's always super psyched to surf. All the boys are here so I've always got a house full of guys that want to surf. There's a lot of testosterone — a lot of heavy energy — good and bad. I just try to stay on the positive side. I trip out every day that I'm here sitting in Gerry Lopez's old pad. When I was a kid, never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be sleeping in this room.

When I'm out in the water, that's when I talk to [Andy] — when I'm all by myself. The reason I started surfing was 'cause of him, and so everything I associate with surfing is because of Andy.

When I get depressed I really seclude myself, but I realize that I gotta take time for myself, watch videos of my brother, cry, let it all out. It feels good. After 31 years I've learned that holding it all in and not expressing it is unhealthy.

Axel [Andy's son] looks just like my brother and when I look at him…it's my brother. It's really nice. That kid is…thank God for him.

I've been getting spiritual and all that kind of shit in the last year or so. I just try to stay positive and meditate and breathe, surround myself with positivity and talk about positive shit. Through meditation I see my brother's eyes all the time, and that's something I can do every single day if I want. Eye to eye with him, nose to nose, every single day.

A year and a half ago, if someone would have told me about that stuff I would have been very narrow-minded, but it took rock bottom to build myself back up. I went to a place where…I don't know, a lot of things happened. I feel like I've come out of that place really well and I'm still moving forward and still have a lot of goals to accomplish.

I'm going to try and be in the public eye more, and be in the magazines. I'm fortunate enough to get paid to surf and that's the least I can do for the companies that pay me. It's a dream come true — I'm living in my dream.

I feel like I'm coming into a really good time in my life. That was the best summer I've ever had. The best barrels and biggest waves I've ever caught in a summer. It was all in this weird string of events of people and conversations and it ended with a lot of positive energy. The law of attraction, you know — whatever you put out you get back and I've realized that it's totally true. If you want to put out negativity then that will be around you, but put out positivity and good things will come.