A FEW MONTHS AGO ANDY IRONS WAS ON THE COVER OF THIS VERY MAGAZINE THRASHING OUT ONE OF HIS PATENTED FOREHAND CARVES [OCT 2010] . It was the most feel-good cover we’ve ever had the pleasure to send you. The timing of it. The turn. The moment. It was all really powerful to our staff and it’s what led to me having the opportunity to meet Andy a few weeks later at the cover launch party for that issue.
The moment we got the image, the office was buzzing. “How sick is that Andy turn?” “So sick!” we all agreed over and over. It wasn’t even a question. Put it on the cover. We hit play on our favorite Andy sections at the office all month — everything from Raw Irons to his latest part in High Five and everything he did in between. Momentum: UTI. Campaign. 5’5” x 19 1/4”. The Blueprint. Still Filthy. Trilogy. Blue Horizon. It was the most fired up we’ve been in a long time. On surfing. On magazines. On video parts. On life, really.
We faced something very different this month. After sending this issue to print, we were hit with the saddest news the surf world has ever dealt with: We lost Andy Irons. It was devastating, surreal and sad. It was not news we wanted to deliver. We’ve had too much fun with Andy, enjoyed too many incredible moments to lay that on you. So our first instinct was to start remembering. We poured through our photo and video vaults and what came back was a flood of moments that have come to define us all.
He surfed with moxie; he surfed like Charlie Parker playing sax with Guns N’ Roses, just overflowing with spontaneity and energy and power.
I remember how he always made it so easy to get excited. His surfing was so emotional and passionate you couldn’t help but feel psyched when you watched him. He surfed with moxie; he surfed like Charlie Parker playing sax with Guns N’ Roses, just overflowing with spontaneity and energy and power. I always loved his forehand grab-rail reverses, and the way he used his front foot to navigate; how he’d flow and link turns together and how he’d hold his arms and say what he felt as opposed to just muttering another mundane sound bite. Remember when he said he wanted to crush Kelly’s pretty picture? Passion! He just couldn’t help himself. Much the same way I can’t help but remind everyone I know of all the seemingly minute details about why he was my favorite surfer. I’ll always love him for that. It’s funny how the nitty-gritty details of style and approach can fascinate us as surfers, but Andy is one of the reasons why. He had the ability to leave an impression that would stick with you. His enthusiasm for surfing and life was visible on every wave he rode and in every word he uttered.
This is our Movie Issue. A look forward to some surf films you’ll be seeing over the next year. But as you may know by now, we were able to do a last-minute-run of commemorative covers dedicated to Andy (which you’ll find on newsstands). For it we chose another timeless A.I. moment from our archive and hope you’ll add it to your shrine. It’s one of thousands on file, but one we feel captures Andy’s zest for life and surfing. It was shot during what is widely considered one of his most inspired sessions of all time, one you can see in Chris Malloy’s film, One Track Mind. So with this being our Movie Issue, and as we all mourn for our fallen hero, we hope you’ve all had a chance to settle in and remember your own favorite Andy moments. And while it’s tragic to think we don’t have him here anymore, he has left us with a vault of memories and inspiration that will keep him more than immortal to surfers around the world until the end of time. Thank you Andy, for everything. We miss you so much. —Travis Ferré