Pulling Back The Curtain On The Fatal Flaws That Made Andy Irons | “‘Kissed By God’ a liberation from sickly lying.”
Kissed By God is required viewing for any surfer. It’s heavy and a great look into the like and mind of a never to be replicated individual. For many reasons, there will never be another Andy Irons. We also cannot recommend this article by Longtom, who is on top of the surf writing game right now if you believe in such a thing, as a side to the Andy movie main.
It is possibly the greatest piece of surf writing to come out this year.
They were strange days. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser had reported methadone found in the hotel room and the mainstream media was awash with the news that the death was being investigated as an overdose. I emailed the editor and he confirmed the paper was standing by the reporting.
Yet Nick Carroll* in the Sydney Morning Herald described rumours of drug overdose as “unavoidable but probably untrue.” In the same article Mark Occhilupo was quoted as saying he did not believe rumours that drug use was behind AI’s death and doubled down on the Dengue fever fiction.
In edition 308 of Surfing World magazine, devoted to Kelly Slater’s Tenth World Title and Andy’s legacy, veteran surf writer Sean Doherty* in a piece entitled Rainbows End which details the last days of AI and the days that followed (Doherty was on Puerto Rico at the time of Andy’s withdrawal from the Search event) fails completely to mention drug use or mental illness as contributing factors in Andy’s downfall.
Could both men, surf journalists for decades with deep friendships amongst the pro surfer ranks, really have plausible deniability about Andy’s rampant drug addiction and mood disorders?
The effect was eery, dissonant. Everyone, including the wider world, could see the Godzilla in the room, the drug use, the crazy mood swings, but in the surf world our most trusted journalists were still making soothing noises and telling us there was nothing to see here. That black was white: just a wayward mosquito bite.
What could cause this deliberate blindness? Of course a desire to protect a friend, a family member, relationships makes perfect sense. But maybe it goes deeper.