I don’t do a lot of coverage of the surf scene here on the Adventure Blog, but even I was well aware of talented surfer Andy Irons and was surprised by his untimely death a few weeks back, something that shocked the surfing community and left many wondering what happened.
Outside Magazine has put together a great article about three-time world surfing champ and the demons he battled over the course of his career in the form of drug and alcohol abuse. Brad Melekian, the author of the article, spoke to many people who knew Andy, both in and out of surfing, to put together this compelling look at a true legend of his sport.
The article says that Irons battled addictions to both recreational and prescription drugs and was known to abuse alcohol as well. In one instance, he nearly drank himself to death while in Indonesia. Reportedly in that incident, he blacked out, and stopped breathing for as much as three minutes. It remains unclear at this time weather or not drugs or booze played a roll in his death, but the indications are that he continued to struggle with his addictions until the end.
The story is not an easy one to read, and it paints a picture of a talented athlete who struggled his entire adult life with his addictions. Sadly, when he died in Dallas at the beginning of November, he was on his way home to his wife, who is currently 8 months pregnant with their first child.
The surfing world has lost a legendary competitor, and my condolences go out to Andy’s friends and family, who are surely still dealing with his tragic death.
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