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

Live Now: Episode 3 Of Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino

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

Why Did Sawyer Lindblad Get A Paddling Interference Today At Sunset, If Jack Robbo Didn’t In 2019?

A critical analysis of WSL judging past and present. 

Feb 21, 2024

Brisa Hennessy Has The Best Sunset Rizz, Caity + BLSJ Sample New Sticks

Day three recap of the Hurley Pro.

Feb 21, 2024

Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino, Episode 3

Four boards face off for two Finals spots and Jon Pyzel infiltrates the set to…

Feb 21, 2024

Can We Reverse Engineer The 100-Foot Wave?  

We calculated the buoy reading for the surf to reach triple digits.

Feb 20, 2024

Stab High Site + World Surfing Reserve Playa Hermosa Is Under Threat

What’s happening in Costa Rica?

Feb 20, 2024

Brazil + San Clemente Crumble, Florence Puts The Mandoline To Work

Ewing, Slater and Medina sliced on day two of the Hurley Pro @ Sunset.

Feb 19, 2024

Soupy Sunset Skewers Three Wildcards, Jordy Smith Nicks Top Score Donning A Single Bootie

Day one recap of the Hurley Pro.

Feb 18, 2024

The D-Bah Session Heard Around The Internet

Cue the arrival of Dane Henry.

Feb 17, 2024

What The Super Bowl Taught Us About Filipe, Carissa, And Steph

And how the WSL Finals may cost us even more champions.

Feb 16, 2024

Nathan Florence, Matt Meola, Rob Machado Start All-American Light Beer Company

"It's cheap, it's light, and you can drink it all day if you want. We’re…

Feb 16, 2024

Stab Edit Of The Year 2024: Sierra Kerr In “Pre-Kerrsor”

Plus, we ask Sierra if World Titles belong exclusively to Gen Z now.

Feb 16, 2024

Watch: The Emphatic Progression Of A 21-Year-Old Australian Surf/Skate Talent

Oscar Berry floats lofty rotations, compares boardsports, and reflects on the Melbourne wavepool contest.

Feb 15, 2024

A Pipe Hangover, A Mega-Swell, And An Old Guard Desperate For Validation

This is your 2024 Hurley Pro Sunset preview.

Feb 15, 2024

Full Frame: Two Nearby Spectators Ended Up On Kook Slams Shortly After This

James McKean tail taps Shippies’ bottom stair, image by Paul Hoelen. 

Feb 14, 2024

Post-Pipe Predictions: Millennial Women Won’t Win Another World Title + If It Swells (XXL) The Woz Is Riding It

The Stab team waxes prophetic.

Feb 13, 2024

Breaking: Filipe Toledo Withdraws From 2024 CT

“Competing at the highest level for the past decade has taken a toll on me,…

Feb 11, 2024

“Pipeline’s For The Fucking Girls” — Caity Simmers And Barron Mamiya Win First CT Event Of 2024

In undeniably top-tier Pipe/Backdoor.

Feb 11, 2024

Rewatch: ‘Toasted,’ By Pipe Pro Winner Caity Simmers

The 3x SSOTY directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Feb 11, 2024