Whether it works for him or not, Andy Irons always wears his heart right out there on his sleeve. Pride, pressure, love, loathing…there’s no mystery to what he’s thinking, because for Andy, spades are spades, friends are family, and actions continually trump words. The problem is all those attributes play right into the spin cycle of the press, and his candid words were used time and again against him.
So you’ll have to pardon Irons today for declining offers from mainstream magazines, TV networks, and casting directors of cheesy lifeguard shows. He’s no longer interested in taking the media bait because he’d rather do his promoting of the sport in the water.
Yes, Irons is more fallible than surfing greats of the past, and he knows it. He lacks the aura of Richards, the mystique of Curren, and the gloss and polish of Slater. And he’s misunderstood because what he lacks in holiness he obviously makes up for in attitude. Not the ultra cocky dancing-in-the-end-zone variety, but the “Nope, that’s bullshit” kind.
In the end, as each of us comes to accept Irons’ reign, it’s his attitude that we should respect the most. Considering how “mainstream” surfing has become, we’re in need of a champion like Irons, because it’s high time pro surfers back away from the dancing bears routine. They should just be true to who they are…surfers. That’s been Andy’s plan for some time now, and he’s got more than three world titles that prove his plan is working—he’s got his life back.