Tag Archives: surfing

A sad day in surfing: Andy Irons passes away at 32

November 14, 2010:
Today thousands from the surfing world from around the world celebrated Andy’s life with a memorial paddle out in Kauai. Watch the video here.

Photo credit: surfglassy, Creative Commons

This week has been a whirlwind of emotion for San Franciscans. Our beloved Giants won the World Series, we exercised our right to vote on the midterm election, and then we lost one of the greatest surfers of all time, Andy Irons.
The news was first broken by the Honolulu AP and picked up by the Los Angeles Times.
As his family and the surfing world mourns the young surfer’s death, the mystery remains: how did this happen?
Irons left Puerto Rico with Dengue Fever. He never made it home to Kauai. Allegedly, some heavy duty sleeping pills and methadone (a drug used to overcome heroin addiction) were found at his bedside.
Did Irons battle drugs quietly before finally falling under the sword of overdose? Or did the virus he carried need hospital attention?
Some think it’s disrespectful to even ask such questions, but as a journalist I feel it’s important to know the truth.
The truth provides closure and gives meaning to senseless deaths. At some point over the next few weeks, toxicology tests will reveal this truth, and the last piece of the puzzle will be complete.
In the meantime, and forever, let’s honor the three time ASP world champion pro surfer for being what a friend of mine described in meeting him as “kind and humble.”
Irons leaves behind a big family, a soon to be mother and wife, and a surfing world that has idolized him since his early days as a teenage surfing prodigy.
Andy, we miss you. Those who knew you well, and those who only watched your skillful maneuvers from afar, hoping to one day give you props. May you rest in peace.

NorCal local Lara Novak with AI in Oz. Photo credit: Steve Sherman

A few more thoughts from Lara Novak, a surfer friend traveling in Australia:
“Andy’s passing is on everybody’s mind in Oz. I am on the Gold Coast, the epicenter of the surfing industry and all the flags are at half staff. He’s not even Aussie. I talked with Andy for a minute after his heat at the Quiky Pro. Chatted small talk and about the waves, he asked where I was from. Point Arena. HE KNEW POINT ARENA! I was blown away. I asked him for a photo after our convo, Steve Sherman was standing next to me (awesome photog), I asked him to take our photo. Steve didnt’ know how to work the camera of mine — It took 3 tries! Poor Andy. He was really sweet.”


Ocean Beach welcomes new surf shop to neighborhood

There’s a new surf shop in the neighborhood and it goes by the name of Sunset Shapers.
Located at 3896 Noriega St. (at 46th Ave.) and spearheaded by OB local James Mitchell, the shop not only retails surfboards from his own brand Las Olas, but also a variety of other Central Coast shapers, demo fins, wax and other essentials, and also houses a shaping room where Mitchell and other aspiring shapers can hone their skills.
Mitchell was generous enough to let me shadow him for a time while he embarked on the intricate and precise process of shaping a board.
Watch the audio slideshow here!

All photos by Lindsey Graham-Jones. “Get On Board” by Oneness, music courtesy of Creative Commons.

Save The Waves designates first WSR in Malibu

This last weekend, surfers and environmentalists joined together to designate Malibu’s scenic Surfrider Beach as the first World Surfing Reserve.

The ceremonial title was given to Malibu, the first of many to be officially recognized.

Save The Waves Coalition, based out of Davenport and spearheaded by Ocean Beach locals Dean LaTourette and Josh Berry, sent the crew down to educate, celebrate and fundraise.

San Francisco and Santa Cruz surfers joined the So Cal fun, leaving chilly central coast waters behind for a few days of ‘trunking it’ in warmer temps.

The day began with a traditional Chumash ceremony hosted by Chief Mati Waya at sunrise. The warm day began with burning sage and a native blessing of land that once belonged solely to the Chumash people.

Waya wore traditional native dress and as the vibrant sun rose, folks were led in a ceremonial procession that led to a raucous paddle out and a celebratory circle in the sea.

The afternoon speakers included local surfing legend and Malibu mayor, Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner, National Surfing Reserves program founder Brad Farmer, Dean LaTourrette of STW, various speakers of non-profits such as Santa Monica Baykeeper and Malibu resident surfers.

Some epic surfing legends attended such as Gidget, Mickey Muñoz, Allen Sarlo and Peter “PT” Townend.

And then, although the waves measured somewhere around six inches, many grabbed a longboard and flocked to the baby waves for some afternoon playtime.

A startling sight was the number of dead sea urchins washed up on the beach. Some speculated that it was the recent breakthrough of the Malibu lagoon to the sea, after the early rain.

Although the ocean appeared to be clean enough, many stayed on land, afraid of getting sick.

Overall the event was a landmark in the fight for surf break preservation as the local community, and many from afar, came out at sunrise on the weekend to voice their support for the WSR program.

What’s next?

They’ve got their eyes set on many different global surf breaks like Waikiki Beach and J-Bay.

Where do you think should become the next World Surfing Reserve??

See CNN’s iReport video here!

Castles in the Sky

Check out this newish movie by Taylor Steele if you haven’t yet.

It’s not Sipping Jetstreams, but it still has a lotta oomph.

Like his previous films, Steele has a way of creating surf films for surfers and non-surfers alike. They are adventures in life. With some really sweet surf footage too!

The cinematography, soundtrack, and cast are all incredible.

Rob Machado in Peru, Dane Reynolds in Iceland, and Rasta in India, are a few of the many sweet ass surf adventures.

Check out the trailer here….