di Erika Scafuro
An intense life, entirely dedicated to surfing. The untimely death of Andy Irons, who arrived at the age of only 32, did not tarnish the fame of this pro surfer always remembered as one of the most talented and competitive surfers ever, together with his younger brother Bruce, a pro surfer too.
Born in 1978 in Kauai, Hawaii, to a skier mother and a surfer father, Philip Andrew Irons soon discovers his gift for surfing. Endowed with incredible skills that made Andy tame the craziest waves, he entered in the pro surf world tour in 1997.
Andy Irons is the idol with which the new generations of surfers have grown up. He won three world surfing Champion titles in 2002, 2003 and 2004; he earned three Quicksilver Pro France titles for three consecutive years from 2003 to 2005 and two Rip Curl Pro titles in 2002 and 2003 and he was crowned at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo in Tahiti on September 2010.
Irons’ skill and winning have made Kelly Slater’s scepter precarious. The rivalry between Irons and Slater is well known to all. Pressured by the media, the two never hid the competition that distinguished them in the water, both determined to win over the other. Despite this Irons and Slater, outside the competitions, have always respected each other.
Andy did not have an easy personality and his wife Lyndie Dupuis has been very close to him, helping in his battle against bipolar disorder and drug addiction. A suffering that led Andy to death.
In November 2010, after retiring from Rip Curl Search event in Puerto Rico and stopping in Dallas-Fort Worth airport on his way back to Kauai, Andy was found dead in his room hotel.
The hospital certified that Andy died for a heart attack, caused by a mix of drugs. The untimely death of Irons was a blow. A few days after the tragic event Kelly Slater won his tenth world title that he dedicated to the to the friend who was just passed away. Andy’s tragic death occurred when he was about to become a dad, Lyndie gave birth to their son Axel just a few weeks later.
Into 2018 documentary Andy Irons Kissed by God family and friends told Andy’s story, to show not only the glow of his career, but most of all the dark side. with the aim of helping people who suffer with mental illness and addiction. This is the purpose why also the Andy Irons Foundation has been created.
We can’t stop talking about Andy, the Governor of Hawaii even set up Andy Irons Day on February 13. Andy left an incredible legacy for all those who still look at his surfing skills and he never ceases to inspire new talents.