Andy And Me
"You have to remember someone that inspiring as just inspiring."
My first vivid memory of Andy was at his dad’s.
I used to go over and stay with his mom, but his mom and dad lived on the same lot in different houses. So I’d stay at his mom’s and play cards all night with his dad.
We were playing crazy eights, and I’m a ruthless card player. I will cheat to win. I had a big brother, and Mason made losing suck! Haha, so I’d do anything to win and Phil, Andy’s dad, would get so frustrated with me. I remember Andy came in and Phil told him, “She cheats. She beats me every time, but she cheats.”
I remember being like, “Oh no! What’s Andy gonna think?” And, Andy just gave me hug and goes, “Hell yeah! Anyway you can win!”
Andy and Bruce had obviously been coming to the North Shore for a long time when we were young. But my first real connection was through Dave Riddle. He used to manage and coach Bruce and Andy, and once they made it to the big leagues, Riddle took me, Dusty and Zeke under his wing. He was the first to introduce us and when people would ask me who Riddle was, I’d be like, “Oh, that’s Andy’s coach.” That was my claim to fame way back.
As we got older, like around 11/12 years old, me and Mason were already aspiring to be pro surfers. When we were surfing, we’d always pick what surfers we wanted to be and we’d call each other that. I would be Rochelle or Lisa Anderson and Mason would always be Andy. Burger always wanted to be Bruce, but we wouldn’t let him because he’s a goofyfoot! But that’s how big Andy was to us growing up. Mason would literally pretend he was him.
I think the most special thing to me about Andy was he’d always give us his time. Like me, Mason and Burger used to show up to whatever house he was at and try to hang out. In retrospect, he was probably a little tripped out, thinking why are these kids just following me around. But, we always wanted to be in his presence.
And, Andy would always make time and ask us how school was going, who we were hanging out with; just questions beyond what the usual pro surfers who came around would ask. Then he’d put on the jersey and surf contests and he was this triumphant superhero.
He was larger than life.
It was during a time where there had been a big gap between Hawaii having a World Champ. Like we had my uncle Derek, then we had Sunny and then it was Andy. He was the pride of Hawaii when he won his first world title, and beat Kelly. It was so good! Andy would talk shit, he was the best ever and we all rode his coattails so hard. We were so proud, it was like he was the best thing to happen to Hawaii.
The shows that used to go down between him and Kelly were unlike anything we’ve seen since. Yeah, there’s still a couple heats that standout, but when Andy and Kelly were going at it; it was like the world stopped. There was nothing more important as a surfer.
When I was young, I was pretty oblivious to his problems and demons. I actually learned more in the documentary then I ever knew personally. Whenever we’d be together, Andy always had time for me and was never… I dunno, I would’ve never guessed all that was going on. Like you could see when he was frustrated, or over competing. I loved that about him, you don’t see that in people anymore.
Andy was so pure, passionate and hardcore.
But my first real connection was through Dave Riddle. He used to manage and coach Bruce and Andy, and once they made it to the big leagues, Riddle took me, Dusty and Zeke under his wing. He was the first to introduce us and when people would ask me who Riddle was, I’d be like, “Oh, that’s Andy’s coach.” That was my claim to fame way back.
When Andy died, I was on tour. I was in Puerto Rico with my dad. We found out right away, and I just remember my dad went over to the Hawaii boys’ house to console Freddy P and Dusty. They were all just broken, crying. It was hard. Lyndie’s business partner at the time, texted me and asked if I’d seen him. Wondering why he went the route he did. I just remember I didn’t want to know anything. It was really sad.
I remember hearing how he was found with with his sheets pulled up to his chin. I don’t know why, but that one little detail has always stuck out to me. I could never get it out of my head. We had a layover in Dallas, where he passed away. It was me and my dad, and I remember looking at him and being like, “Dad, just don’t pull your sheets up to your chin.”
It was just such a vivid picture.
Coco goes into orbit on her AI tribute sled.
You have to remember someone that inspiring as just inspiring, though. Everyone has their demons and anytime anyone would say something bad about Andy to me, the little pit bull inside me would come out in argument because he is still a god in our eyes. It’s cool how you can remember positives in a tough situation like that. That’s how I feel with him.
After he died, I wrote his name on my boards for the whole next year. There are still moments where, if we’re surfing, Mason will be like, “Oh, that looked like Andy!”
Andy was just so cool to me, Mason and Burger. The same way Mason loves Bruce Lee, we loved Andy. But, we actually got to know him, and talk to him and just watch him.
I’ll always remember him in a positive light because he was nothing but a positive influence on my life.