The Surf World Mourns The Death Of Phil Irons - Stab Mag

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The Surf World Mourns The Death Of Phil Irons

The beloved father to Andy and Bruce Irons, and Grandfather to Axel Irons, has passed away. 

elsewhere // Sep 26, 2023
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tributes for Phil Irons – the father of Andy and Bruce Irons, and grandfather to Axel Irons – have been growing in number since news broke of his passing. 

California-born Phil moved to Kauai in 1970, where he lived for the remainder of his life. In 1978 Phil and his wife Danielle had their first son, christened Phillip Andrew Irons, Bruce Irons came the following year.

In 1989, Phil and Danielle divorced in a decision that would prove pivotal in the boys’ surfing careers. “89 was a tough year,” Phil told Stab in The House That Phil (Re-Built). “I’m not understating the situation when I say it was a pretty screwed up time for the whole family. I knew a local family who ran the Hanalei Liquor Store and they had a place that hadn’t been lived in for five years. It was very primitive but it was across the road from the beach and close to the school. The rent was $500 a month. I figured I could make it work.”   

Phil described Andy and Bruce as being “pretty tight as kids. They had each other’s backs and stuff but they were also brothers and they fought. Bruce was the little shrimp irritator with the mouth and Andy was bigger and a bit more clumsy.” Phil later built the boys a pod separated from the house to give them more space. “Dad was a carpenter, he was up for it,” said Bruce. “Living there was the best time that I can remember. Everything was so easy,” reflected Andy.

After his titles, Andy would later build a “super pad” nestled between his old man’s home and Quiksilver founder and ex-CEO Bob McKnight’s 20-million-dollar mansion, “I can see down the barrel at Hanalei Bay and I can see Pine Trees perfect from my living room, kitchen and bedroom. It’s unbelievable,” said Andy.

Phil’s eldest son, a three-time World Champion, left this world on November 2, 2010 in Dallas Fort Worth – a layover stop on his way home to Kauai from the Rip Curl Search event in Puerto Rico.

Outliving your son would be devastating. Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Phil Irons.

“Loved him so much. the ultimate crazy 8s partner” – Coco Ho

“One of the kindest humans I ever met. In ‘96 he took me under his roof for a month when I was only supposed to be there 5 days. The way he loved those boys was special to witness.” – Selema Masekela

“We’re at that age my dear where our elders are passing us the torch! Love to you and the rest of family!” – Joel Tudor

“So sad to hear Phil passed. Had some great chats over the years. Sending lots of love to you and Axel.” – Mick Fanning

“Rest in peace Uncle Phil! So many great times with you. Love to the Irons family we are thinking of all of you.” – Luke Egan

“I’m really sorry to hear. Had so many great memories talking with Phil.” – Damien Hobgood

“Our deepest condolences. Rest in paradise Phil.” – Pancho Sullivan


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