1. Bruce Irons’ moving speech at the Surfer Poll.
Along with SURFER’s amazing new video tribute to Andy (see below) Bruce’s on-stage appearance was the most compelling moment of this year’s prestigious awards show. It was his first public address to fans and the media since his Andy’s untimely death in November. Luckily this year’s Surfer Poll and Video Awards Show took place in Hawaii, where he was surrounded by an intimate crowd of friends and loved ones. A teary-eyed Bruce offered some moving words about his big brother.
“My brother loved surfing more than anyone I know…and all of you in this room…a lot of you guys getting awards, my brother idolized you…” To see more of Bruce’s moving speech click here.
Just in case you missed it, here’s Surfer Magazine’s tribute video, which was narrated by show host Sal Masakela and edited by Andy’s good friend Matt Beauchesne.
2. Andy’s final interview in STAB Magazine.
Two weeks before Andy died he was on the phone with Stab Magazine editor Derek Rielly, in very good spirits. The interview was supposed to be for an upcoming book, but Rielly decided to release it early in the wake of his loss. Among the subjects they talk about was failure, success, life…and death.
Have you ever truly believed you were about to die? Fuck, yeah! I’ve had some moments, even turbulence in an airplane, where I felt f’sure the plane might crash. I’ve even had planes crashing in my dreams and woken up on a plane. The other nightmare I have is, I’m on a plane and the bottom’s made of glass and it starts cracking. But, fuck, that wave in Tahiti where I got stuck in the lip and froze with fear and just made it? I really felt like I might be physically hurt then. That wave was, literally, a major moment in my life…
For the rest of this bittersweet interview visit Stab.
3. Kelly Slater vs. John John Florence at Pipeline.
This hasn’t happened yet, and you may not want to miss it. Slater and Florence are due for a head-to-head matchup as soon as the Billabong Pipeline Masters resumes. Now consider this. Slater earned his first world title months after John John was born in 1992. Slater may have even changed a few of John John’s diapers back in the day. But today, 18-years later, the two will clash at a spot where Florence — if all goes as planned — is likely to be crowned king some day. Let’s hope the conditions are decent for this one. Hey Billabong and Triple Crown dudes!…Wait for it!
4.Julian Wilson is headed to the big leagues.
Make no mistake. By this time next week (after the Pipe Masters) we’ll all be wondering who will and won’t be headed back on tour in 2011 Is Kelly headed for the golf course? Is Dane going to retire to Oxnard and take up farming? The rumors are all out there. But Julian Wilson doesn’t seem to care either way, because he has his mind squarely set on a world title. And given how he qualified during his first real attempt I wouldn’t put it past the young Aussie to make a run. He’s the number one headliner of those who threaded the needle this year (Josh Kerr, Alejo Muniz, Heitor Alvez and Raoni Monteiro also made the cut). I smell a Julian vs. Jordy rivalry ahead. And it might easily last until John John arrives.
5. Teahupoo is getting its ass kicked in the Billabong XXL.
So what’s the most remarkable thing about the early-season entries to this year’s Billabong XXL awards? Well, as far as we can tell it’s that Teahupoo — one of the event’s biggest staples for “Ride of the Year” and “Best Tube,” has barely registered on the radar. “It just goes to show you no two waves, swells or seasons are ever alike,” said XXL director Bill Sharp. The big surprise is the massive stuff from Tavarua, Fiji, and some more ridiculousness from Shipsterns’ Bluff in Tasmania.