Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Irons’ death brings surfing community even closer together


SURFING/Surf culture has always been a fairly close-knit community, and competitive surfing even more so.

In surfing there are no billion-dollar franchises, huge television contracts, or teams of agents and lawyers. There’s barely any press at even the biggest surf events, no monster stadiums, or multi-year contracts. No trades. No playoffs. No paparazzi or rumor mills.

And the truth is, surfers prefer it that way. Not many kids will ever get the chance to shoot hoops with LeBron. And not many will ever kick a ball with Ronaldo. But any surfer can journey down to Florida’s Sebastian Inlet for a chance to share a wave with Kelly Slater.

And any kid can head to the Pinetrees on Hawaii’s North Shore for a chance ride with Andy Irons. Or at least could. The three-times world surfing champion was found dead on Tuesday in a Dallas hotel room.