Stab Magazine | How Andy Irons Smoked the Momentum Generation
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How Andy Irons Smoked the Momentum Generation

Andy steps from a Fountain Valley Pharmacy and puts his arm around his girl Lindy as she takes slow cumbersome steps toward the car, pillow resting on her stomach. She looks fragile – as if walking on eggshells – and Andy opens the back door and helps her to the back seat alongside Taj Burrow. He […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Andy steps from a Fountain Valley Pharmacy and puts his arm around his girl Lindy as she takes slow cumbersome steps toward the car, pillow resting on her stomach. She looks fragile – as if walking on eggshells – and Andy opens the back door and helps her to the back seat alongside Taj Burrow. He gets in the front pas­senger seat, “We need to find somewhere that sells the heavy shit,” he says, meaning painkillers. His girl Lindy is fresh outta hospital after southern California’s favourite operation: the breast implant. Lindy was sick of sitting in the hotel room and thought the 40-minute drive to a surf shop for a Billabong/VZ promo would ease the boredom of her recuperation. In the car, she explains the pain of moving any limb, the difficul­ties of sleeping on your back (you don’t want your new friends to be misshapen) and the heavy strapping and swelling associated, Andy leans back every few minutes, rubs her leg and makes sure she’s cool We share illegal refreshments provided by the driver who has found a loophole in California’s drink-driving laws. See, in California you can be fined for driving under the influence if you have an obened bottle of alcohol of any kind in your car. Doesn’t matter if it’s been there for months and you’re a nun on the way to the convent. Get caught, you’re toast. Out of a small esky in the boot he has Coronas on ice, along with sliced lime. We fill paper Coke cups with beer and drink… and drive… with impunity!

“Let me get this straight,” asks Andy. “You can drink while you drive in Australia and if you’re pulled over and not over the limit, you can get off?” Well, yeah.
“Oh, you gotta be kidding me!” he howls.

Andy wears a black tee, baggy-fit Billy’s denim, a black trucker hat and sports Etnies shoes. For the first time in five years, his hooves aren’t covered in DCs. After recently closing his deal with DC, Etnies seized the oppor­tunity to flow him a heap of product during the US open, product being the first steb in the courting process. He explains that in a week of staying in California, he’s doubled his cargo and that everyone’s always trying to give him something. “Magazines, videos, tee shirts, anything you can imagine,” he says, “Dude, our room looks like a fricken surf shop.” He’s also picked up 22 boards between recent{{content-banner}} deliveries from Mayhem and Al Merrick. At the signing, Andy positions himself second in line behind Taj, “Dude, I let Taj do the names and the notes, I just sign,” he says, scribbling his rank cursive, “You should see him, Guys come ub with his wild names and he writes ’em down with the right spelling and I’m just like, WHAT? Where’d that come from?” During the drive back to the Hilton, we’re at a red light when a car speeds down an empty lane to our right. Andy jumps back as a cob car follows just seconds behind, straight through a red light. Our car’s dlive with speculation, about the millimetres between us and a side swiping, about a real-life car chase and the stupidity of thinking you’re gonna get away from the cops. “What goes through your mind when you’re that confident?” says Andy, “If that dude’s not wrapped around a pole, they’re gonna have him with the choppers in a second. That dude’s gonna be on Cops, for sure.”

The next day at the shoot, Andy arrives after a loss for the West Coast team (he’s a wildcard) in the X-Games. Since the loss, he’d had his mobile turned off and the phone in his hotel was off the hook. It took photographer Steve Sherman to get him out of his room and get him to the shoot. Andy inspects the cigar and the shoot takes place in the underground carpark of the Park Hyatt hotel. He looks fit (“Man, I’m so fat right now”) and tomorrow he’ll leave for a boat trip to the Mentawais to shed his supposed girth. He smokes the cigar like a pro, sucking and puffing and blowing on the red embers on the tip. “Dude, lucky I was a smoker before this. Me and Lopey smoked so many cigars in the Bahamas,” Andy muses. He takes. Suddenly, “HOLY FRICKEN HEADRUSH! I LIKE IT, I LIKE HEADRUSHES. GIVE ME A GLASS OF RED AND I’LL GIVE YOU ANY QUOTES YOU WANT.” “We’ll feed you red wine and cigars all night long if shoot your mouth,” we say.
“Bring it on!” he says, but that’s the problem with interviewing the modern-day Andy Irons. He’s become too diplomatic. Too experienced, A politician who coughs up press releases. The kid with the fiery mauth from the Billabong junior videos all but washed away. As soon as the tape recprder is put in front of his face, everyone’s a world title contender, everyone rips, everyone’s a potential threat, he’s just had good luck.

Full article in Stab Magazine Issue #04 – 2004
Story by Sam McIntosh

Portrait photos by Steve Sherman
Action photo by Fieden

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