Stab’s First Interview With Andy Irons - Stab Mag

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Stab’s First Interview With Andy Irons

Something that felt more than right to resurface on what would be Andy’s 39th birthday.

style // Jul 25, 2017
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

On the 24th of July, 1978, Andy Irons was born. If he was still with us, he’d be celebrating his 39th in Kauai today. Chances are, you grew up with Andy and fondly recall your first memory with him. Maybe it was the first time you saw his part in Campaign. Or the first time you plucked a pair of Billabong’s Rising Sun boardshorts off the rack. It could be any part of his three World Titles.

To remember Andy on his 39th, we dug deep into our archives and found our “first.” It’s a short interview conducted before he headed over to Teahupoo for the 2005 Billabong Pro Tahiti. Discreet and tucked away on the back page of Issue 8 of Stab, it’s what readers were left with before they closed the back page. Enjoy below…

andy irons joli TQD4913

Photography

Brian Bielmann

Andy Irons
Interviewed by Jet, Tahiti May 13, 2005.

What was your first impression of surfers as a kid?
I remember being on the beach with my brother and my friends watching my dad and uncles riding waves. They made surfing look like the coolest thing in the world to me. Surfing back then was so raw. I remember my dad telling me about California when he was a grom chainsin’ big south swells down the coast to Mexico. Him and his buddies would camp out and get these crazy waves with no-one around. The old-school days, no wetsuits, no leashes.

Can you remember the first wave you ever surfed properly; where you thought you could get pretty good at this sport?
One of the first waves I caught down at Pinetrees. It didn’t even really break, just rolled in, but I was so small and so light that it just picked me up. I got to my feet and went left, then right, then back left. I was super young, like five or six, but was already thinking that it was the best thing ever — that feeling of gliding on a wave.

Describe the taste of winning.
You struggle through all these heats and then you get to the final and it all comes together. You don’t know how or why, you just know that it feels insane and you want more. I love winning. I loved it the first contest I ever won, when I was like 10 or 11, out at Pine Trees. Beating the best surfers in the world at a spot you like to surf, that’s the icing on the cake and for me it’s highly addictive.

What surf movie are you watching at the moment?
I haven’t watched a surf move in a long time. The last one was probably Campaign. That’s movie’s sick. I love watching my brother’s part, Shano’s part, the Hobgood’s part is pretty sick, Taj’s part’s good, Parko’s part… there’s a whole bunch of good surfing on there. 

When was the last time you wanted to throw a punch in the water?
Last time my brother dropped in on me. It was like a week ago, just the usual everyday burn — I wanted to go and he shoulder-hopped me, I got washed onto the reef and he got barreled. I blew up on him for a bit, but there’s always payback when stuff like that happens.

What’s the best piece of surfing you’ve ever witnessed?
Watching Sunny win the world title in Brazil was pretty special. He wanted it so bad and was coming back from a lot of bad shit. He’s always been such a cool guy and someone who’s helped me out, so it was cool seeing him surf for that win. You could totally see the determination in his surfing. Other than that, watching Shane surf out here [Teahupoo] the other day will stick out in my mind forever. He’s by far the best tow guy for mine, him after Laird.

When do you love surfing?
Any time I’m at home surfing good waves and my friends have to go work and I’m left out there doing my job. I know that I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

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