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Andy Irons dies: pro surfer was 32

Andy Irons, a native Hawaiian who grew up to become one of the best surfers the sport has ever known, died Tuesday at a hotel in Dallas.

He was reportedly diagnosed with Dengue Fever after a recent surfing competition in Puerto Rico. Police also found potent prescription pain killers in his hotel room and are apparently investigating the death as a possible overdose.

Mr. Irons was surfing's three time consecutive world champion from 2002 to 2004, and was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame in 2003.

He was known as an aggressive surfer who could cut through waves with tremendous speed and force. A lanky and sinewy figure, Mr. Irons had such incredible leg strength that he was able to propel himself off the lips of waves several feet into the air.

Check out these videos below of Mr. Irons and leave any memories you have of him in our comments section.

And this one:


By T. Rees Shapiro  | November 3, 2010; 11:39 AM ET
Categories:  T. Rees Shapiro  | Tags:  Andy Irons  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: John Olsson dies: Founder of Washington's legendary books and records store was 78
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Comments

A legend and innovator in the sport. RIP brother.

Posted by: neeko | November 3, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

A once in a lifetime surfer - we won't see his like again. A clarification though - he was definitely local, but I don't think he was a Native Hawaiian.

Posted by: Ronbo1 | November 3, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Andy Irons was a kauai boy. Born and raised there as a hauoli(white) always Hawaiian as his appreciation for the "kai" (sea). I too, a hauoli, raised on Oahu, Hawaii. Andy will be missed dearly. Always Hawaiian and always will be .

Posted by: vylkyl | November 3, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the tricky distinction between a "native Hawaiian" and a "Native Hawaiian." For Hawaiians to determine.

Blessed to be able to see him with some regularity between 2000 and 2006, and I don't use that word lightly. Marvelous surfer, and one whose ability shone from the wave and taught this novice how to recognize genius on the ocean.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | November 3, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

foo you washington people, you do not take drugs when you surf 30 feet waves, what do you know earthworms, you are just wanting to make an extra buck with your lies, go to the white house that is where all the drugs come from

Posted by: inkaneto | November 3, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

It’s so sad to find out that such a young and really incentive person as Andy Irons passed away. May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family and friends. For those who would like to contribute to his memorial wall, please, be welcome to visit http://andyirons.people2remember.com/

Posted by: estael_oscora | November 4, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

First of all, he never surfed in the Puerto Rico contest. He pulled out of it due to illness. The event is still going on as well, so there is no "after" the competition yet. Secondly, it was reported Ambien and Xanax were found in his room which aren't "potent prescription pain killers". Wrong facts aside, I'm also wondering if the article writer is actually a native english speaker.

Posted by: lostnvb | November 4, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Irons was a Kama'aina, born, raised, and life long residency in Hawai'i Nei. Mr. Irons however, is not of Kanaka Maoli decent...he does not have Hawaiian blood in his ohana (family.)

A Kama'aina, yes, a Haole (non-Kanaka Maoli), yes, Kanaka Maoli (Native Son of Hawai'i Nei by blood)...no. The Washington Post and "stevie_in_gp" who posted the 4th comment in this comments section, please please, be aware of the distinction between Haole and Kanaka Maoli, Native Son / Daughter, and Kama'aina.

To apply the term of Native Hawaiian so loosely, is to first, do a disservice to actual Kanaka Maoli, and second, it does a great disservice to the memory of Andy, as well as a great disservice to his ohana.

Cultural appropriation, with intent or not, takes away the true meaning of ones sense of self, be it as an individual or as a whole group of people and a whole ethnicity and culture.

"stevie_in_gp" may well have issues with his sense of self (as if there is anything truly wrong with being Haole), and thus, clamors over himself to be someone he is not, and to perpetuate other people to become someone they are not, and the Washington Post may be short sighted in it's colonialist assumption of who qualifies as Native Hawaiian, but please, from an actual Kanaka Maoli, stop doing this.

More importantly, cease from doing so regarding the memory of a champion surfer and a cherished Kama'aina of Hawai'i Nei. Hawai'i has lost one of it's more cherished and nobel Kama'aina's. The best to the Irons Ohana.

Posted by: sgko | November 4, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Please note, I mistakenly focused on just the 4th entry by "steve_in_gp" regarding identifying as Native Hawaiian, etc...the 3rd entry by "vylkyl" should have been mentioned as well...the issue regarding self ID'n as a Hawaiian v. Haole.

My apologies for this...and please "vylkyl", be happy with your being Haole and a Kama'aina...don't appropriate Kanaka Maoli, because Haole people are not Kanaka Maoli, they, and you are not of Native Hawaiian decent (your self acknowledged Haole status).

Aloha 'a Hui Ho!

Posted by: sgko | November 4, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Via Con Dios. DC Surfrider Foundation Mourns A.I.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | November 5, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

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