When you hear Jan Bruun’s story, you immediately think of Richie Vaculik, the Big Wave surfing Cagefighter. Only that Jan, apart from being by far the hardest bone on the new continent, is at the same time a fine spirit and an incredible comedian.
If you watch Jan from the beach and see him slit his cutbacks into the faces of the waves, you may not believe that the man is 54 years old. He surfs with the energy of a teenager, the experience of a pensioner and the cunning of a fox.
But no wonder: Jan Bruun’s Homespot with Manly Beach in Sidney is probably one of the most competitive line ups on this planet. If you want to assert yourself here, you should be washed with all waters.
Big Wave Surfing
The Danish Australian was already on the board at the tender age of 3. In his youth he surfed some contests, could have achieved more, but soon realized that surfing in an organized environment was not his world. In the immediate vicinity of his hometown was the Bigwave spot Queenscliff Bombora, Jan was on fire and surfed almost every monster swell that rolled in from here.
That Jan has already surfed with greats like Kelly Slater Tow In Sessions he does not hang on the big bell, but the story how he dropped Kelly Slater into the wave in Dead Mans and the American still sneaked into the barrel he tells with a smile, Kelly and Jan appreciate each other and despite the drop in there was no bad blood between the two.
Motivated by Sean Gilhooley’s surf movie “Indo”, which appeared in 1968, Jan set off for Indonesia for the first time in 1982 at the tender age of 18. Although many waves were already surfed, the lineups were mostly abandoned and many waves on the Bukit, Uluwatu region, were not even discovered. Also the way to Uluwatu itself was not easy to reach via concrete stairs but Jan climbed down the cliffs in a 1-hour mission towards the cave, into which a rope ladder of bamboo shoots hung down.
Jan is not only a damn good surfer, but also a bon vivant, so it’s not surprising that one or two drinking stories paved his way, like he shot overdressed European women in his ragged surf shorts in the first clubs in Kuta or how he fist fights with the Indonesian mafia.
Australian Kickboxing Champion
When Jan came back from a surf trip at the age of 28, he was looking for a balance to keep himself fit away from surfing. A friend took him to a kick boxing dojo and Jan was on fire. At that time he had no idea that Jan’s talent here was even greater than in surfing, but the man was endowed with good genes by Mother Nature, he had his first fight 9 months later, which he won through knockout.
At 35 the Manly Local had his first title fight: Jan knocks out and wins. He then had several title defences, but his age became noticeable and Jan ended his career at the height of his career.
Jan does many things differently and we would have been surprised if he had chosen a traditional way of marrying.
Jan married his wife on the Fiji Islands in traditional costume, not completely unselfish, because he surfte on his honeymoon of course what the stuff holds, among other things Cloudbreak.
Knee Injury SUP
Due to a bad knee injury he got in a fight, Jan could not surf any more, his knee did not like the take-off load. Since he did not want to do without water, he began to surf with the SUP bombs. He became the laughing stock of his friends and even he himself smiled at his SUP career. Today he found his way back to his shortboard and is damn glad that he doesn’t have to paddle into the waves with his boat anymore.
Where is Jan today?
Today the landscape gardener lives in Manly with his wife and two children. His son, an excellent surfer himself, regularly takes Jan on surf trips with his buddies, the grey eminence is in no way inferior to the young Australians in terms of surfing technique and also interpersonal, the father of two is an absolute enrichment for a round of any age.
We hope you will meet this living legend sometime in the lineups of this world. And if so, have a beer with the man, put your smartphone aside and listen to his stories, which is better than combining Instagram, Facebook and Tinder.