This is a really nice video tribute to 3x World Champion surfer, Andy Irons, who passed away on November 2nd of this year at the age of 32. Andy died alone in a Dallas hotel room, during a layover while en route from a professional surfing event that he had withdrawn from in Puerto Rico, to his home in Kauai, Hawaii. He reportedly had been battling with Dengue Fever, a viral disease that had left him too sick to travel further.
Like many others in the surf world, I was shocked and deeply saddened by this stunning loss. Andy was a first time father-to-be. His wife Lyndie has since given birth to their healthy son.
The qualities I admired most about Irons aside from his incredible surfing were his fierce competitiveness, raw energy and passionate personality. He wore his emotions clearly on his sleeve, so you always had a good idea about what he was feeling at any given moment, whether that was euphoria after a heat victory or anger and frustration following a defeat.
He was the only surfer to legitimately challenge the supremacy of Kelly Slater during his 15 year reign, winning three titles in row from him from 2002-2004. He did it with fearless surfing that was an exciting mix of power and finesse; that often seemed out-of-control, when it was anything but. He excelled in all types of surf and was equally adept above the lip and inside the largest pits.
There’s a great line in this video by former World Champ, Mark Occhilupo, who summarized Irons’ surfing style as, “like a cat on acid”. That’s incredibly accurate.
The end of the video is pretty powerful as several of Andy’s close friends and family (including his brother, Bruce), try to make sense of this tragedy and express what his loss means to them and the rest surfing world. Clearly, a lot more time is going to have to pass before anyone can really say, if ever.
R.I.P. Andy and prayers to your family and friends.