“This year is all about surf trips, and being anywhere but sitting on my ass at home. I want to chase swells all year long with my friends, and do a couple of select Billabong contests as a wildcard.” – Andy Irons, Freesurfer
The cat is now officially out of the bag. 3x World Champion, 4x Pipeline Masters winner, holder of 4 Triple Crown of Surfing titles, and one of the best all-around surfers to ever step foot on a board, Andy Irons, is stepping away from the ASP World Tour in 2009.
Whispers of Andy’s upcoming year off have been floating around for some time now. You could sense something just wasn’t right for the Kauai native as far back as his opening heat of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in ‘08. Something was missing, and the only surfer to put fear in Kelly Slater’s mind appeared to be a shell of his former self. For whatever reason, the passion and the fire inside seemed to be non-existent.
Riding a wave of support from the Billabong team, and following in the footsteps of little bro. Bruce, A.I. will relinquish his 2009 spot on the Dream Tour and pretty much just travel, blow minds while surfing the best waves throughout the planet, and stock up on endless amounts of fresh new material for our viewing pleasure.
“Bruce’s decision messed with me a little bit. Yeah! Imagining him surf perfect waves without me anywhere around is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. There is a big difference in retiring from the tour and taking a break, though.”
I absolutely love that Billabong is deciding to back Irons up on this move. I always felt like Andy slogging around some of the shitty surf that goes on throughout the course of the tour is kind of a waste. And it’s not like he’s retiring for good. In fact, if he actually does decide to return, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see a re-charged Andy Irons come back in 2010 and unleash hell on the rest of the tour.
Until then, we get to witness one of the all-time amazing surfers blow up on the types of waves he should be riding, waves that allow his aggressive, attacking style to be let loose on. And we’ll all be better people for it. You can count on it, Andy Irons is going big in 2009
Make sure you check out the full interview on Surfline.com.
Posted by Shaun on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 in Surfing.