Just before bed last night I got a text message from a surfer friend in New York City.
"Did you hear about Andy Irons," she text.
"Nope?" I replied.
The following news was the kind you never want to hear. The kind that makes it hard to go to sleep.
The 3-time World Champion and only surfer ever to defeat Kelly Slater when he was in his prime has passed away. And apparently of dengue fever??? All I could say was 'what the f*ck?' I guess we'll find out for sure when autopsy reports are released, but initial reports saying he got the virus in Puerto Rico and died in Dallas while trying to get back to Hawaii are mind blowing to me. Having traveled to Africa, India, South America and other places where dengue fever is a risk, I personally have learned to take precautions (insect repellent), but also was always under the belief that dengue kills the young, old and weak. NOT an elite athlete.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Irons family. Andy will be remembered as one of the greatest surfers ever! Mahalo Andy for all the inspiration and aloha you gave to the world of surfing!