And Kuta Wept

posted by / News / November 7, 2010

Another Andy Irons Memorial in Bali

By Nathan Myers
Photos by Seewah Chou

It was the largest paddle I’ve ever seen…so far. But I suspect it won’t be for long. We’ll be heading to the North Shore soon, and the ghost of Andy Irons is coming with us.

More than 500 people assembled on Kuta Beach, Bali yesterday to pay their respects to the tragic passing of our three time champion. All the Bali pros: Rizal, Tipi, Garut, Mega, Marlon, Lee… All the usual ex-pats: Snake, Mikala, Machado… Local industry. Visiting bros. Random Germans. Hans Hedemann and Evan Slater. It felt like family.

We tossed flowers. Splashed the water. Observed a silence.

It was a paddle-out. It was emotional.

“I was just talking to him the other day,” local pro Betet Merta told me. “He was talking about coming over here and how excited he was to get back. When I see his surfing on TV now I almost cry. I feel like he’s still coming. I just don’t believe it.”

After the ceremony, people convened by at Un’s Hotel, where Andy’s boards and photos still hang on the wall. Brian Bielman’s touching slideshow tribute played. Machado jammed with legendary street artist Banksy. And everyone shared their memories over Bintangs and arakaritas.

Andy touched a lot of lives here. He was more than a hero in Indonesia, he was a friend. A kindred spirit. He was happy here. When his plane landed on Bali, people got excited. Andy was in town.

There’s a common thread to all these memorials. Andy Irons was the People’s Champ. He is mourned as much by drivers, doormen and ding-repair dudes as his fellow pros and rock-stars. And that says a lot.

Night fell and the Bali sky wept. It’s been like this all week.

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  • Bob

    So crazy that Kelly and Andy are both leaving the sport in the same week…both in such opposite ways. They’re wierdly synched, those two.

  • DaveO

    What’s with the Hurley banner of AI’s memorial. No respect.

  • Loligagger

    Isn’t this a scene from The Drifter?

  • betinho

    Some more pictures about this beautiful event here http://www.indosurflife.com/surfnews/356-bali-farewells-andy-irons.html

  • haha

    It was Jim Banks, legendary surfer. Not ‘Banksy’, legendary street artist haha

  • sean

    still can’t watch this without crying, amazing song for an amazing guy, enjoy flyin with da angels Andy, gone but never forgotten

  • jake camarena

    I hope AI is stoked on the fam/fan support. He is a legend and whatever blissful spot God has him on, he is rippin for his fam/fan/friends. It would be an honor to support the efforts of AI in Bali, the pictures are a true blessing. Thanks Surfing Mag, Rob Machado for keeping the fans aware of this tragic memory that will never be lived in vein.

    The efforts in HB, CA were a blessing as well.

  • Tony Wodarck

    DaveO –

    I was fortunately at this event in Bali and work for Hurley and I can tell you Hurley was in no way meaning to be disrespectful towards AI. This party was planned before AI’s passing as a Hurley party hosted by Rizal with music by Rob Machado, both Hurley surfers. We all paid tribute to AI’s death at the paddle-out and brought the memorial poster (separate from the Hurley banner) and AI’s surfboard back to the Balcony where we collectively watched Brian Bielman’s slideshow before Rob’s movie, Melali. Everyone at Hurley has tons of respect for AI and are greatly saddened by his passing.

    Nathan -
    As far as Banksy being there… Was he the beatboxer with the murse? Or was this a mistake? I thought Banksy’s identity is still a secret. Were you referring to Jim Banks?

    Regardless, I’m truly saddened by AI’s passing and wish his family the best. He was truly an inspiration to all of us.

    Tony

  • Sebastian

    Ya man, that Hurley banner needs to move.

  • seanjohn

    the drifter sucked… poor machado his life is so rough…