A Day In The Life – Andy Irons

A Full Day Of Filming With Some Fun Stuff Mixed InBeing the world champ, Andy Irons’ time is very valuable. Luckily for the world of beginning surfers, Andy was nice enough to take some time out of his schedule to film an upcoming Billabong/TransWorld SURF Learn To Surf With Andy Irons video. Here’s what a day on the set (Andy’s hometown on Kaua’i) was like during the 24 hours a crew of filmmakers and photographers and I spent with him.-Chris Cotà‡

8:30 a.m.-Call time for the first film session. This is Andy’s truck-it looks brand new, but it’s five years old. Because he’s hardly ever home, and Kaua’i is a small island, his truck only has 20,000 miles on it after five years. Andy had it shipped over from the mainland, and yes, it’s all trick inside and out with wood trim, big speakers, rims, big tires, and leather.

9:00 a.m.-The first scene being shot here is of Andy telling us about his days of being a beginner. The dude next to him is an obvious beginner (me), so I’m probably pointing at a piece of reef that I’m scared of hitting; or a big local. We filmed the Learn To Surf movie near Andy’s house on Kaua’i. There’s usually no waves whatsoever here during the winter but this day we got one- to two-foot wedges-perfect for learning how to surf.

9:45 a.m.-First surf shot of the day goes down. Filmaker Mike Pricket duct tapes a camera to a softboard, and Andy goes for a rip. Some local guys who didn’t know Andy was the one making the video starting getting a little crazy on us for a minute, then they saw the champ surfing the softboard and it was all good.

10:30 a.m.-Hollywood has a saying that goes, “Hurry up and wait.”

That’s what you do on the set: hurry up to film something, and then wait an hour or so for the crew to set up the next shot. Luckily, Andy has some friends to hang with in between takes.

11:00 a.m.-Footy check. The crew makes sure Andy looks cool on a softboard. The crew making the film used both 16mm film and digital cameras. The digital cameras were mainly used to see what the shot would look like on film, so we would shoot everything on digital, then again on film.

12:30 p.m.-In between takes again. Andy decides to go for a quick session on a brand-new, unwaxed longboard. Of course, he finds a section and tries a big backside air. Remember, he’s got no wax, no leash, and he’s riding a nine-foot board, and this spot is some warbled peak that’s only about two feet deep over reef.

2:00 p.m.-Andy goes to his local shop, Tamba, and picks out some shirts and hats. Tamba Surf Shop is a tiny little core shop owned by Andy’s friend Tamba. All the bros on Kaua’i can usually be seen wearing Tamba hats and every car there has a Tamba sticker.

4:20 p.m.-This is why most of us hate pro surfers. We all drool as Andy unpacks a fresh shipment of six brand-new boards-they all look perfect. In his garage, Andy has well over fifty boards, half of which are brand new. Andy rides for Billabong surfboards, meaning he can get boards from some of the world’s best shapers, like Chili, JS, and Timmy Patterson.

6:00 p.m.-That’s a wrap! The film crew is done, so we all celebrate big jumping off a bridge. Andy’s the one doing the backflip-the rest of the kooks just jump straight. This is the river that Andy learned how to swim in when he was a kid-I wonder if that helped him be able to hold his breath while getting smashed on giant waves?

8:00 p.m.-After a nice dinner of fresh ahi caught by the “Killaz,” Andy and some friends relax with a friendly game of poker. Andy loses early but sits at the table and heckles people ’til the bitter end. One thing you’ll learn when you hang out with Andy or Bruce is that you will be heckled. Just heckle back; they appreciate wit.