Andy Irons "2008 Surf Champion"

Known for his fast, explosive surfing and a renegade attitude

PHOTO: Andy and Peter "PT" Townend, Surfing Walk of Fame inductee commentiong for ESPN, congratulates Andy on his first major pro wind in the 1998 US Open of Surfing.

PHOTO: Andy's dynamic style of surfing bred in the barrels of Kauai is highlighted by his aggressive tuberiding and manueuvers, and has led to three world championships.

When Andy Irons swept the 1998 O.P. Pro and the U.S. Open of Surfing back-to-back in front of thousands of Huntington Beach surf fans, it became clear that a new sort of champion was in the making. But winning events was nothing new to Irons. Aside from numerous amateur titles, he won the 1996 NSSA Nationals before charging onto the World Qualifying Series and ultimately the A.S.P. World Tour.

His first pro victory came in 1996, when he controlled the massive barrels at the H.I.C. Pipeline Pro. He then repeated his tuberiding greatness by winning 1997 Tahiti Pro at Teahupoo. After a rocky first few years amongst the world’s best, Irons found his stride with an incredible run in 2002. He won two of the first three tour stops and capped his A.S.P. World Title campaign with a Pipe Masters win as well as earning Triple Crown Champion honors. He defended his World Title two consecutive times before falling second to rival Kelly Slater in 2005 and 2006. He is a four-time Triple Crown Champion, proving his worth year-after-year in the Hawaiian waters.

Irons was born in 1978 in Lihue, Kauai, the son of California-transplant Phil Irons. He began surfing at eight-years-old, and was followed quickly by his younger brother Bruce. 

Known for his fast, explosive surfing and a renegade attitude, Irons’ popularity as a surf star was confirmed by the public with two Surfer Poll Awards (2002, 2003). Each winter, he’d consistently ride the best waves on Oahu’s North Shore. From mammoth barrels, to freakish aerial wizardry, to a rock-solid mental state during competition, Irons seemingly had it all. Sadly, he succumbed to a back-and-forth battle with prescription drugs and died of an overdose in 2010. A tell-all, biopic film Andy Irons: Kissed By God was released in 2018.