I don’t need to remind anyone of Andy Irons’ molecular intensity. How ravenously he attacked life. There was no spectacle on earth like AI and Kelly’s gutter brawls.
Andy walked an edge.
But what drove Andy, what made Andy so compelling and so polemic, mostly loved, sometimes hated, eventually killed him.
Filmic? Yeah, it is.
And, coming early next year, a successful Kickstarter campaign willing I suppose, is the documentary Andy: The Untold Story of Andy Irons.
From the release:
This is the life story of three-time world champion surfer Andy Irons who died at age 32 from a heart attack with the secondary cause being an acute mixture of drugs. Andy and his brother, Bruce, came from humble beginnings on the small Hawaiian island of Kauai.
The film chronicles Andy’s struggles with dyslexia, bipolar disease, self-medication, addiction, fame, success, and failure. Andy was a blue collar people’s champ who dealt with the same issues millions of people around the world struggle with every day. He died on November 2, 2010. His wife was eight months pregnant with their son, Axel, at the time.
The Andy Irons Story is a documentary film that focuses on the true, untold story of one of the world’s most prolific surfers. The intent of the film is to show the unfiltered life of Andy Irons, one that was filled with energy, passion, success, and challenges. Challenges that pushed Andy to the brink and were both the best parts of Andy and the hardest to handle. The filmmakers, Steve and Todd Jones, wanted to create a film that captured the true essence of Andy Irons – his family, his friends, and those who later realized a friendship that at times was hard to understand.
The film features in-depth interviews with Andy’s brother Bruce Irons, his wife Lyndie Irons, Joel Parkinson, Nathan Fletcher, Sunny Garcia, and Kelly Slater. Andy’s friends, family, and competitors share their stories of intimacy and fire with Andy Irons throughout the film. The unabashedly honest testimonials compel the story and reveal the very real side of Andy. This is not a film about surfing; this is a film about a person that lived life to its fullest at the top of his industry, but did so facing insurmountable internal challenges. This story is about everything that made Andy Irons the man he was. The filmmakers invite you to be a part of this project and see it through to its fullest extent. The teaser presented here showcases the film’s intent. We’ve shot hundreds of hours of interviews and principal cinematography is wrapped. With your support we can make this film better. The additional support will go towards the finishing touches, including sound design, archival footage remastering, color enhancement, and the soundtrack.
And, god it’s a tearjerker. Still, if you get a little weepy, remind yourself of AI’s words from his last-ever interview. Andy…lived.
“Everything’s a learning curve. There’s a couple of things (laughs) I’d like to take back, but fuck, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today. You gotta go in the mud sometimes to figure out who you are. I’ve had my fair share of hills and valleys, but life’s been radical and exciting. Stuff that kings would die to do. Straight-up, fuckin A. The lifestyle we’ve got and the lifestyle I’ve led since I was 17, I couldn’t even tell my friends. I try and tell stories and they think I’m making it up or I saw it in a fucken movie. Straight up. It’s the life I wanted since I caught my first wave.”
The Keanu Asing story! An underdog adventure that will leave you breathless! In theaters soon!
And is you heart still fluttering over Keanu Asing’s World Championship Tour victory? How could it not be! I think one of the greatest sporting stories of all time. The little Hawaiian, plugging away, slashing here, bashing there, down a champ, down a champ, everywhere a down champ!
Oh I love great sport’s sporting stories, especially the underdog sort, and I love when Hollywood makes them into emotionally powerful films.
Hoosiers, Rudy, A League of Their Own, Remember the Titans, Slap Shot, The Bad News Bears, White Men Can’t Jump, Major League, Million Dollar Baby…
I could go on all day and I CANNOT WAIT until Death in the Afternoon: The Keanu Asing Quiksilver Pro France 2016 Story comes out.
Did you know the leading roles have already been cast?
Our hero Keanu Asing will be played by the one, the only Hervé Villechaize obvs.
John John Florence by the emotionally diverse, facially compacted, Evan Jones (seen here in Jarhead).
Gabriel “Gabi” Medina by the very theatrical Billy Zane (in wig of course). Just think of the claims this thespian will be able conjure! Just imagine how life-like the hot tears rolling down his cheeks will seem!
Kelly Slater will play himself.
Keanu’s corner man, Fox marketing manager and world’s best person Frankie D’Andrea will be played by Khal Drogo.
Joe Turpel will be played by a bar of natural, artisanal handmade soap.
And Martin Potter by the world famous Grumpy Cat.
How long will you wait outside the theater to get your tickets?
And, FYI, there is already early Oscar buzz for the natural, artisanal handmade soap. A few critics who have seen some dailies claim that the essence of Mr. Turpel is captured effortlessly.
Is Keanu Asing the most obscure contest winner ever? Matt Warshaw says, "No!"
Has the thrill worn off today’s Keanu Asing’s World Championship Tour victory yet? It hasn’t for me. The just under three-footer popped off John John Florence and Gabriel Medina in back to back heats to take Quiksilver Pro trophy and hold it high high above his head.
But it made me wonder. Is the Li’l Frangipani the most obscure contest winner of all time? And you know what that means…
Surfing’s living treasure and I happened to be talking on the phone when the question arose and right away he said:
“No. Ricardo Tatui won… I think it was the same contest in 1994. I was not known as a real contest coverage guy but for some reason I was at that one. There were these tiny little sand bar lefts. It was a dumb little contest and won by a complete nobody.”
Jamie Brisick, maybe the best surf author ever, fills in the detail:
There’s not a hell of a lot to tell. The waves were small and meek. The tide was high so it was inconsistent. Booth surfed with power and style. Tati surfed at the edge of himself — more flick and less composed. Nothing to really sink your teeth into. Tati was supercharged, Booth too mature for the conditions, and the trinity of Australia, America, and Hawaii that’s been making all the noise for all these years has to move it on over. The winner was announced and the samba music played.
I ask Matt, “Was he Brazilian?”
And he responds, “Brazilian but with blonde hair.”
Later, after we hung up, he emailed the following bit:
Tatui beat Slater in Round Two, in decent head-high Grande Plage surf. In finals against, Jeff Booth, surf was tiny left-handers. Also worth noting: One week earlier, at Rip Curl Pro Hossegor, event won by Flavio Padaratz. So when Tatui won, it was the first time EVER that Brazil won two events in a row. Also looks like poor Ricardo totally haired out at Pipe.
Matt wrote in a 1995 Surfer magazine top 44 review:
The Quiksilver result probably saved Tatui’s professional career. Had a shot at the Top 44 at the end of 1993, but haired out of the Pipe Masters and fell to 45th. Ridiculed in Brazil. Channel-sat in this year’s Masters as well, but already had the magic win in France and a fresh start.
Does a Brazilian hairing out at Pipeline surprise you?
Do you think the Li’l Frangipani will enter our gilded history as a strange footnote or do you think this is the start of a new dynasty?
Also, did you like the lesbian kitsch Russian band Tatu?
The meditative nature of yachting! It's beautiful!
Briefly, brave little Hawaiian Keanu Asing is the toast of Hossegor and of world surfing. And let’s sing and do little dances on the spot and praise Jesus and so forth because there is nothing more edifying than watching a man defy the longest odds in sporting history.
But, if we zoom out, we must concede that there is one surfer, above all, who matters. And that is, of course, and obviously, John John Florence. His seven-part web series Twelve, made by Bill Ballard, and peerless I believe in its ability to strike a narrative, continues its excellent form in episode four.
We sail with John John along the Hawaiian coast, cut to a narration by John on the meditative nature of yachting, and of surfing, of their essential, and complimentary, simplicity.
“Surfing and sailing, it’s doesn’t seem like there’s any limits. You’re trying to learn about a natural force that’s never the same. It’s going to scare you at times and it’s going to be the most beautiful things at times. But. The most exciting thing about the ocean is you don’t know what’s coming. It’s all being an artist in your own way and being creative in your own lines.”
Finals day of the Quik Pro! Carissa Moore won the battle, but Tyler Wright won the war! Champion of the world! Campeon del mundo! I don’t speak any other languages.
Good for her. I can’t properly express how much I love the lady and the power she’s brought to the women’s tour. It’s always kind of a bummer when the title doesn’t come down to Pipe, but the ladies don’t compete at Pipe, so that was a stupid thing to write.
Plenty of excitement on the men’s side too. Finals day saw fun looking surf. A little disappointing, we’re all hoping for sandy brown dredgers. But it was competition worthy. Shoulder-high to a grown man, glassy, the type of surf that’d have you salivating at your local. It’d be jammed packed to the gills crowded, and you’d probably leave the water angry, but in those few blissful moments before you paddled out you’d be on top of the world.
Keanu Asing has been on fire the entire event. Surfing smart, surfing well. Doing what it takes to win these days. Doing it flawlessly.
His semi-final heat against the tour leader was busy busy busy. Twenty waves between the two surfers, split down the middle.
The conditions handed Asing a pretty hefty advantage. His diminutive size meant that, while Florence was surfing slightly weak shoulder high lefts, Keanu was going top to bottom on overhead walls.
Asing grabbed the lead early, Double-J snatched it back with a double tap to kick slide reverse. A paddle battle for priority ensued. Florence won it, grabbed the first wave of the set, left Asing out the back to pick up the better one.
Florence grabbed the lead, but he wasn’t surfing as well as he could. Asing was surfing the best he ever has, within the confines of a heat. I’ve never seen him freesurf.
I’m writing it off to the the size advantage Asing enjoyed, but they looked like they were surfing on different days.
Keanu drove the first nail in JJF’s coffin at the midway point. Grabbed one outside, put everything he could into each turn, hopped across the flat section and smacked the oncoming lip pretty hard. 8.67. Backed it up immediately with an 8.1 on his next. Put John John in a hole he couldn’t dig himself out of.
Florence didn’t lay down, gave it his best. Found an 8.4 with roughly three and a half minutes left. Solid backhand smacks, a cool little lip clicker backside ollie 180 halfway through. But the judges aren’t really rewarding that level of kinda-aerial surfing these days. Nor should they.
Florence needed an 8.38 as the heat wound down. Twenty seconds left and a likely number rolled through, but Asing played smart, used his priority, and surfed it to the beach. Extended his lead, and grabbed the second best result of his career so far.
Sucks for John John, but still… third place is pretty solid. He retained the tour lead going into Portugal. With only two events left, and one of them being Pipe, you know Florence can taste the trophy.
Up next was Kolohe/Medina. Another busy heat, another twenty waves ridden.
Asing dropped a classic quote during his interview with Mel.
My body’s little. Running up the sand and stuff, it’s hard.
The swell delivered a nice pulse early on, both surfers put it to use. Kolohe with two solid turns and a fall on the end lip climb/floater thing. Medina tore the bag out of the following for an 6.33. Andino got the better score, a 7.33, which was confusing. But totally inconsequential as Medina’s next wave put them both to shame.
It was an impressive display of tactical confidence. Medina dropped out mid paddle battle, spun around on a crumbly left, left Kolohe to grab priority.
Two okay speed taps, the second off balance. It lined up, he pumped hard and boosted a big lofty alley oop. Stomped it perfectly. Then he did something I loved. He didn’t claim shit. He kept surfing! Tossed three nice little maneuvers onto the end. Put a stamp on it. Took the lead. 8.83.
The pulse disappeared and the next twenty-odd minutes saw the pair do their best with what the ocean offered. Which wasn’t a hell of a lot. Kolohe put in work, caught another seven waves, but couldn’t find anything the judges loved.
Holding priority with two minutes left, Andino took off on a bigger wave that looked to hold the potential for the score he needed. But he chose poorly, it fattened up like a freshman college girl, ending with Medina out the back holding priority as the clock wound down.
Twenty seconds left, Medina grabbed an inside puppy that stood up for him, top to bottom combo’ed it all the way. Finished with a go straight, “I’ve won” chop hop. Nine point zero. I wonder, if he’d fallen on that, would the judges have deducted points? Mysteries abound.
Kolohe caught one more wave, but Medina’d put him in a combo with his last, and that was all she wrote.
I’m not good with numbers, but this puts Kolohe, theoretically, in the title race, yeah? I mean, he’d pretty much have to win the next two events, but…
The men went on pause while Carissa and Wright paddled out for the final. As I’ve mentioned, Moore won it. By a wide margin. But that didn’t really matter because second place put Tyler Wright far enough in front of the pack to clinch her first title.
Asing and Medina. Tough draw for the Hawaiian, no way I’d bet on him. But you can’t script this shit! Right? Right!?!?
The surf dropped, neither surfer delivered anything magic. Asing continued to stay low and make it look like it was six feet rather than two.
Medina seemed rattled. Wasn’t surfing his best. Delivered a career highlight fuck-up with 1:38 left.
It was a small, closeout right. Not a good wave, but you never know with Medina. Two pumps and a backflip could be dropped, if he gets lucky.
So Asing played tactics, paddled in from the shoulder with priority to hold Medina off. Gabriel kicked out, clipping Asing with the nose of his board as he went.
Honestly, it looked like he barely touched Keanu. The Hawaiian could’ve probably made the drop no problem.
But this is sport. I’m not calling it a dive. Asing drew a foul. Masterful. Always delicious to see Gabby on the wrong side of a tactical blunder.
Interference! Though, unless I’m mistaken, it didn’t really matter. Asing had the scores he needed to win regardless. No asterisk needed. He used his talent, not tactics.
And that’s how Keanu Asing won a fucking world tour event. I didn’t see it coming. Did you? Yes? You’re lying.
Asing moves up to 21st, above the cutoff. I sincerely hope he maintains his momentum. I love the little guy.
Watch highlights here!
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1- Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.94
2- Gabriel Medina (BRA) 7.00
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Keanu Asing (HAW) 16.94 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.07
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.83 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.03
WSL Women’s Top 5 (after Roxy Pro France):
1. Tyler Wright (AUS) 67,700
2. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 59,400
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 54,400
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 48,400
5. Johanne Defay (FRA) 43,650
WSL Men’s Top 5 (after Quiksilver Pro France):
1. John John Florence (HAW) 48,150
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 45,450
3. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 38,250
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,700
5. Kolohe Andino (USA) 32,150