My History With Andy Irons

Good times with AI. Photo: Carl Steindler

Good times with AI. Photo: Carl Steindler

I had a very interesting relationship with Andy Irons. One minute we’d be best friends, the next minute he’d want to punch me in the face, and actually did on one occasion. I think it was Andy’s unpredictable nature and electrifying personality that made him who he was, and in turn made him so much fun and/or scary to be around. It was exciting to hang with Andy cause you never knew what was going to happen, could be the best night ever or a scary walk on the dark side. As a preview of new episode’s of Cote’s Cube to come, I thought it would be nice to start with one of my favorite Cubes ever. I did this interview with Andy Irons in January 2010, on the North Shore of Oahu. This was the year that Irons took a break from surfing the World Tour, citing personal reasons for his need for a sabbatical. I was honored to have Andy announce his return to competition right here on Cote’s Cube!

Andy went on to win the Billabong Pro Tahiti 2010 in spectacular fashion, making his comeback legitimate. Andy’s win in Tahiti would be his swan song, later that year in a shocking and heart-breaking turn of events, Andy Irons died at the young age of 32.

Andy Irons proudly waves the Hawaiian flag just after winning the 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Andy Irons proudly waves the Hawaiian flag just after winning the 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

When I heard the news that Andy died, it broke my heart, and while we had our ups and downs, I will always remember the good times we had and the memorable experiences we shared together. I miss Andy and would gladly take a slap from “bad Andy” if it meant I could spend a bit more time with the Andy Irons that showed be love and friendship.

Andy on Superbowl Sunday, 2004. Photo: brianbielmann.com

Andy on Superbowl Sunday, 2004. Photo: brianbielmann.com

I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but along with being a good friend, I think of Andy as a major catalyst to my personal career as well. He was an integral character in the success of TransWorld SURF Magazine, he used my band, Kut U Up, is his amazing section in Taylor Steele’s, Campaign, and he busted his ass for me in the filming of his last video part ever in TransWorld SURF’s, High 5, a vastly underrated surf movie if I do say so myself.

Here’s a teaser for A Fly In Champagne, a documentary I co-wrote with, Sal Masakela, about the volatile relationship and rivalry between Andy Irons and Kelly Slater.

Me, Andy, and Sal at La Paloma theater in Encinitas, Ca. Photo: Boardistan.com

Me, Andy, and Sal at La Paloma theater in Encinitas, Ca. Photo: Boardistan.com

A FLY IN THE CHAMPAGNE – TRAILER from THREE ARCH MEDIA

on Vimeo.

If we’re talking about good times, making Learn To Surf With Andy Irons was a good as times get. Andy and I laughed the whole time while shooting over a four day period on Kauai.

Andy Irons is survived by his wife, Lyndie, and his son Axel, a happy, vibrant, and wonderful kid that is the spitting image of his dad.