Five Things We Learned From Chapter 3 Of ‘Andy Irons And The Radicals’
Photo by Brian Bielmann

Five Things We Learned From Chapter 3 Of ‘Andy Irons And The Radicals’

A revolution in backside tube riding.

cinema // Mar 15, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Watch chapter one of Andy Irons and The Radicals here.
Watch chapter two of Andy Irons and The Radicals here.
Watch chapter three of Andy Irons and The Radicals here.

Episode 3 of ‘Andy Irons And The Radicals’ dropped last week. I don’t want your excuse for missing it; just catch up below. And stay tuned for the fourth and final episode, airing this Thursday.

The Battle of Andy Irons and Taj Burrow.

The duo bumped heads publicly in contests and privately in a complicated friendship. They went head to head for a coveted Taylor Steele film spot. Then, the two were forced to play nice when Andy signed to Billabong. Taj says, “He was such a cunt to me, but I couldn’t help but love him.”

You have to learn the game.

A cocky 18-year-old AI fell off tour quickly. He came back the following year by leading a competitive crusade, with an “I’m going to win three world titles in a row,” kind of vengeance. Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, and Joel Parkinson all felt Andy’s wrath, as did Kelly Slater in their historic 2003 Title showdown.

The crew had money for the first time.

Prize purses for surfing contests increased dramatically at this time, and the majority of checks were going to Andy Irons or Shea Lopez. The boys learned how to blow most of a $12,000 US Open check in one night…in San Clemente.

Backside tube riding; specifically, ass dragging.

Did they invent it? It depends on who you ask. There’s no doubt they perfected it. Backside barrels became an advantage— they were deeper and showcased knifing drops instead of standard bottom turn to barrels. They also allowed you to regulate your speed more easily.


The wave wears the boys pushed their boundaries. Late take-offs, airdrops, and tail slides all converging over one of the world’s shallowest shelves. The best way to learn a reef break? Pay your dues and get dragged across it. You’ll piece the puzzle together eventually.

You still reading this? Just watch the damn thing already.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022


Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022

Does The 1-to-6 Foot Surfboard Exist?

Pushing the Channel Islands NeckBeard 3 to its absolute limits in a new Joyride review.

Sep 21, 2022


Life Comes At You Fast — So Does This Hectic Indo Clip

Finn McGill and a full-speed stint in Southeast Asia

Sep 21, 2022

Interview: Afghanistan Surf Champion Afridun Amu

From refugee to constitutional lawyer to university lecturer to Afghan surfing icon.

Sep 20, 2022


Bong Make ‘Another Good Call’ By Poaching Stab Cinematographer For West Oz Clip

Shut up, is that Occy doing punts?!

Sep 20, 2022

Exactly Where, When, And How Stephanie Gilmore Won Her 8 World Titles

Steph has won 341 heats in her 15 years on the CT — let's revisit…

Sep 20, 2022

Footage Of “The Best Wavepool In The World” Leaks From Brazil

A private pool in the heart of São Paulo, brought to you by Perfect Swell.

Sep 20, 2022

WSL Unveils 2023 CT Schedule

Swapping G-Land for Surf Ranch is … something.

Sep 19, 2022

10 Things I’ve Learned, With Michael February

Pearls of Wisdom from Surfing's Most Sage Millennial

Sep 19, 2022

How To Live Rent-Free At A Mentawai Surf Resort

Dylan Wilcoxen knows the secret.

Sep 19, 2022

Who Makes The Best Wetsuits?

We asked. 5000 surfers answered. Now, let's break down the results.

Sep 18, 2022