Photo: Jason Reposar
“I remember finding him on the mattress, barely alive,” recalls Lyndie Irons, wife of the late three-time surfing world champion Andy, pain etched on her face. “I’d go to Foodland and act like everything was fine and I had a dying heroin husband at home.”
Harrowing scenes like this spill from Andy Irons: Kissed By God, a new documentary currently touring Australia that charts the irrepressible surfer’s life, drug addiction and struggles with bipolar disorder, which culminated in the Kauaian’s 2010 death in a Texas hotel room, aged 32.
Promotion for the film promises the “true, untold story” of the once-in-a-generation surfer, whose brazen yet stylish approach to terrifying waves saw him wrest three consecutive titles from Kelly Slater. It partly delivers on that promise, featuring extensive interviews with friends, family and sponsors – many who’d previously been tight-lipped – to paint a fuller picture of Irons’ battles with prescription opioids and bipolar.