Page One: Mark Mathews
By Russell Ord
Bruce Irons: Betting On Black
By Alex Workman
t’s been 10 years since Bruce Irons nailed the last section of Taylor Steele’s 2005 flick, Campaign. At the time the video part solidified his reputation as the best freesurfer in the world. His image forged by fearlessness in waves of consequence along with a radical rebellious spirit led to many labelling him one of surfing’s true rock stars. The million dollar contracts followed and at one point he was amongst the highest paid surfers in the world. However there have been lows. The inescapable pain of losing his brother, Andy, in 2010 almost triggered Bruce’s own demise. He disappeared from the mainstream and would appear briefly; often chasing a giant purple blob across the Pacific to places like Fiji, Tahiti and Mexico – his happy hunting grounds. But the scar tissue has helped numb some of the pain and an unwavering resolve seems more present than ever after chatting to him following a recent Chopes strike mission. The voice might have been a little more gravelly but the words still flew out at machine-gun-like speed, every syllable quicker than the last and the trademark honesty overwhelming.
Filipe Toledo: Young, Wild & Free
By Alex Workman
The first thing you notice about Filipe Toledo are his eyes. They appear wild, yellow and bloodshot red – battered by the sun, saltwater and wind. Look closer and they give way to light hazel. Then there are the tattoos that are as common as Instagram followers for pro surfers. A combination of tribal, neo-traditional and religious work decorates his arms, hands and legs. With ink and airs this quintessential gen-y poster boy has run riot in 2015. He blew minds on the Gold Coast with a win he seemed predestined for from round one and then did it again in front of the biggest home crowd ever recorded in Rio. World Title wasn’t a phrase you’d associate with Filipe twelve months ago, but the aerial whiz kid has silenced the naysayers with his impenetrable focus and insatiable appetite to win. He’s become the flag bearer for the Brazilian Storm guiding them towards another title and is every bit comfortable with the attention the role brings. Tracks spoke to Filipe midway through the year and discovered the boy from Brazil has no plans on coming down from the clouds without a crown.
Right Place Right Time
By: Dave Rastovich
I went to Nias to connect with the SurfAid organisation that is doing amazing work there. I first connected with Doctor Dave and SurfAid way back in 2001 and to see them still going strong and helping so many people, shows that they are doing something right. If people want to help out others who are suffering then supporting SurfAid is a great option.
When we came out of the villages in the hills, the anticipated swell arrived and lots of different crew came to the island…