SAN FRANCISCO, California/USA (Wednesday, November 2, 2011) – A year ago today, we lost a champion, hero, brother, husband, son and legend. Andy Irons, three-time ASP World Champion, passed away en route from Puerto Rico to Kauai on November 2, 2010, and the world is still reeling from this loss. This morning, the world’s best surfers honored the fallen icon with a paddle out in the chilly waters of Ocean Beach.
While no words would ever do justice to what the loss has meant to our community, an even greater impact has been the legacy Irons left through a life that was uncompromisingly phenomenal. A life that saw him rise to the pinnacle of professional surfing and go head-to-head with a sporting icon, coming out on top and claiming the ASP World Title three, consecutive years (2002, 2003, 2004). A life that, in addition to scalping 20 elite tour events, cemented his reputation as one of the most complete surfers ever – Irons simply dominated in all conditions from two-to-20 feet.
The impact of this life is seen every day in water. Surfers, young and old, inspired by Irons are pulling in deeper, pushing their turns harder and vaulting their airs higher. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the ASP World Tour where Irons is a noted and often cited inspiration of everyone from Dane Reynolds to Jeremy Flores to Julian Wilson, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Adriano de Souza, Kelly Slater and on. There isn’t a day that goes by on the ASP World Tour where one or more of the world’s best don’t say, “Would love to have seen what Andy did out there.” He simply drew different lines and saw waves differently. His surfing was very special.
In addition to his sensational feats in the water, Andy proved to be one of the more relatable and charismatic icons our sport has ever seen. In a culture where lack of effort for fear of failing is embraced by the marketing savvy, Irons bucked this concept and wore his emotions on his sleeve. Andy tried. Andy tried and he wasn’t afraid of failing. And he did fail. And we saw the pain this caused him. However, this very human thing is also what made him seem super human when he got back up and succeeded. Because of Andy’s losses, and because he cared, his wins immediately became the stuff of legend. We are all better people for having had him in our lives.
Andy left behind a beautiful wife and son, loving parents and brother. Our thoughts are with them every day.
Gallery of Andy available at http://www.aspworldtour.com/andyirons/