Staring At 17th

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Words by Chas Smith; Photos By Nate Lawrence

Andy Irons lost 30 minutes ago to Bobby Martinez. The surf today is strange. Some amazing waves come through but they are strange. Big enough but strange. Windblown. The sun is out.

Andy surfed well, but also lethargically. He attempted two carving 360s that were so languid and loose. If he could have pulled they would have been glorious. But he didn’t. Bobby ground out thick turns and hacks and whatnots. All aggression and energy. Andy tried. But he also didn’t.

And as time clicked down he needed a big score on a big wave. One came through but he miss timed the paddle and didn’t catch. Time continued to click.

Then a lesser wave appeared. Andy paddled in, popped to his feet and then did a chop hop right in the middle of the face. High and stylish but still a chop hop. He carved around and fell. Another wave came. He took off fins first and fell. The buzzer sounded.
From his water antics it appeared that Andy didn’t care. They said this is all just surfing and fun and a good time and winning ain’t everything and I am married to a beautiful woman and the sun is totally out!

But I saw his face as he neared shore. It said this is important to me and fuck losing and I hate fucking losing and losing is shit and I don’t care if the sun is totally out. His brow was furrowed, his mouth drawn tight. He killed people with his eyes.

Andy heads out to digest his bitter pill.  Photo: Nate Lawrence
Andy heads out to digest his bitter pill. Photo: Nate Lawrence