August Issue 2011 Surfing Magazine

posted by / Magazine / June 24, 2011

“Whoa. Nobody’s doing that.”

August Issue 2011 Surfing MagazineThis issue took shape around that reverent exclamation. Around unique and remarkable things that made us stop in our robot tracks for a second to actually think: Well, would you look at that? Hmm, how ‘bout that? Shit, check that out.

And then…whoa. Nobody’s doing that.

Nobody was turning heads at Pipe on a Monday and then back galloping toward art-world acclaim by, say, Thursday afternoon — except Danny Fuller; and nobody was caring less while quietly doing more than Josh Kerr; and nobody was even approaching whatever the hell Christian Fletcher has called day-to-day life for the past three decades; etc. There were more examples than pages in the magazine.

But then we realized: Nobody’s done Andy right. Nobody’s said what we think needs to be said about the man and his life and his death. Nobody’s spoken for us and for people who feel the way we did…do…about Andy Irons (and if you’re still picking up this magazine every month, you might well be one of those people). In the atom bomb of sadness and controversy and publicity-seeking that followed Andy’s passing last November, plenty has been said and whispered, written and blogged, assumed and speculated. So much noise. None of it striking quite the right chord. None of it leaving us with the feeling that we still have when we think of Andy.

That is until staff writer Chas Smith walked through my door, sat in my office — the very same office I was in when punched with the initial news of Andy’s death — and read, aloud, an early draft of his rather poetic ode to AI [Andy’s Way, pg 90].

As he read, I recalled things about Andy. Memories flooded back. Admiration welled up again, even in spite of many months in which the outside world has attempted to sully Andy and drag him through the streets and use his demise to push an agenda that was never his own. And I finally felt close to satisfied.

What Chas has written is not perfect and it is not academically exhaustive and it is not “investigative journalism,” but I assure you the piece hits its target. It is meant as nothing more than a reminder — for us, you and I, the ones who knew an Andy no coroner’s report can touch. The ones who remember him for being complex and sincere and amazing, the everlasting definition of passion and spontaneity in and out of the water — something we greatly miss and will always appreciate. No matter what.

The piece belongs in SURFING Magazine. It isn’t for those on the outside trying to sling mud or rubberneck, though Andy’s tragedy opens the door for plenty of that as well. It’s just for us: actual surfers who care to be reminded of the intense, fevered man who’s become, for better or worse, immortal.

Because we’re pretty sure nobody’s doing that, either. —Travis Ferré

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  • cody


  • Just me

    Awesome article about Andy – one of the best… sick of reading the trash! Well done Chas and Surfing RIP AI

  • Howard Mason

    Gotta tell ya Surfing Mag the Danny Fuller article realy pissed off some people. My wife for one who was an art critic and worked for an agency that found new art talent before 9/11. She read the article before I got to the issue and she was full on in flames when I got in from work that night. Long Beach really Ghetto, give me a break. For someone who is supposed to be a respected artist & surfer Danny Fuller can keep out of our ghetto. You don’t sh*t where you eat. From the sound of things you eat here quite often. As a life long resident of LB this ain’t no ghetto. Not all of us are lucky enough to have grown up in Hawaii or get to travel the world surfing. I do know a ghetto when I see one. I have travelled in Europe and scandinavia in rock bands and have seen and been in truly ghetto areas. Do you really know what it’s like to fear for your life on a street corner? Seems like you don’t know the definition of ghetto.
    Calling Long Beach a ghetto shows the true ignorance of Mr. Fuller. I am really trying to hold back here with my verbal assault on Danny. Dude, the low average homes go for 500g’s and the taxes are thru the roof. Beach fronts are in the millions.
    Is Balaram a ghetto child? Don’t think so. Seems our ghetto is able to produce a few rippers. Go to any public beach anywhere and you run the risk of having your poor little backpack ripped off. Make some friends on the beach and they’ll be glad to watch your stuff. Instead you just call us a Ghetto. I’ve heard all about the localism in CA & Hawaii. How safe is Mexico these days?
    You can keep your ass on the train…
    My wife, Myself and my 14 month old son will stay in our Ghetto and enjoy the lifes we have and will create. The ocean is our backyard and my son will continue to follow in dads goofy foot steps and surf and shred the ghetto.

  • michael

    Andy… When I was younger he was my inspiration, I wanted to surf just like him. I still do and I’ll always will. Nothing can change that.

  • ImLovinIt

    a whole piece on “nobody’s doing that” and no mention of Zoltan’s kickflip, the first ever… come on

  • true

    imlovinit, good point.

  • Debbie M.

    I too was disgusted when reading the article by Danny Fuller. Is he kidding me calling Long Beach ghetto!?! We have beautiful beaches, homes worth a lot of money & an awesome community. I hope you are not going to try & come & get some shots at the internatiional surf competition, Quicksilver Pro New York in our “GHETTO” in September. We don’t need any ignorant/negative people like you here in our BEAUTIFUL home! We are thrilled & honored to be having the competion here & have been nothing but supportive and hospitable.

  • Don Stine

    The purest surfboard shaper I know is Tim Phares.The man has absolutly sacrificed his whole life for the art of shaping.Over 50,000 custom boards built since ’67.No wife,kids,parties,drink,drugs,recreation since Ive known him.Just surfboards.Invited to the Sacred Craft.Super opinionated and eccentric,he offends alot of people .His forte is his big wave guns.I make my living in repairs and restoration of boards.He taught me everything I know.No one seems to show much respect untill he gets around other shapers.In an indusrty that favors labels over accuracy,its hard for a fella like Phares.
    Your mag has become the best in the world.How about printing a story about the most underrated surfboard builder of all-time.Hes story should be told.At He’s got enough stories to fill a year’s volume.Keep up the good work guys.

  • David Blanco

    The Insight51 picture has a girls nipples showing…I think this shouldn’t have happened

  • Lori

    I would like to preface this by saying I highly enjoy your mag (btw, great job on the AI story) and always look forward to receiving it. However, last month’s issue features an interview with Danny Fuller that left a horrible taste in my mouth. As someone who was raised in beautiful Long Beach, NY, I was highly offended by his comments that LBNY was “really ghetto”. At first, I thought it would perhaps be a great tool to keep people away, as the secret has gotten out to our dismay as to what a great place LB is. But then I realized that I must respond because it is just plain old disrespectful. Mr. Fuller, you afford yourself the luxury of spawning your photography career in NYC so that you don’t have to count on surfing to take care of your family? We’re sorry that we aren’t as high-end as your beloved Hawaii, but we’re quite proud of our city by the sea. Feel free to set yourself up on those surfing trips to Mexico as you mentioned. You kind of wore out your welcome here!

    LBNY is one of the true gems of the east coast. This tiny but mighty barrier island is bombarded every year by folks coming to get their beach and surf on- mostly at the detriment to our “backyard”. They come and throw their trash, are disrespectful to locals, blow through stop signs endangering the kids and residents, have bad attitudes and worst of all, cause congestion unknown to any other city. To have Mr. Fuller call it a ghetto shows you the level of ignorance LB residents are inundated with on a regular basis. Not to mention, this small city (with only ONE hotel, I might add) is about to get bumrushed by a surfing competition that will cripple the flow even further. I wasn’t aware that the surfing industry books their biggest events in “ghettos”. Anyway, now we all know who Danny Fuller is and what he looks like and I feel confident in saying that he might be on the receiving end of ghetto treatment- good luck getting in your next line-up, dude. You might find that you made a grave mistake making any of your unfounded comments. Granted we are all entitled to our opinions, but your sense of judgment as far as what a ghetto is is beyond inaccurate. Please do us a favor, stay away and keep your opinions of LB to yourself. If you don’t like it here, DON’T COME HERE TO SURF!!!!

  • Howard Mason

    I see I’m not alone. We’ll see how this event goes.

  • TF

    Dude I second that, Tim Has shaped me some of the most amazing surfboards I have ever had the pleasure of riding. He shaped me a copy of a CON “Iron Butterfly”. I watched him do it, without templates by memory. I then saw an actual con iron butterfly at a surfboard yard sale, and I was shocked at how utterly perfect of a job he did, not one angle was off. The man has to be some type of genius. I love arguing with him and getting him all red faced angry. The dude is a treasure to the world of surfing.