John John Florence just clinched his first WSL world title. In doing so he became the first Hawaiian to claim the prize since the late Andy Irons. Last year TGR had the privilege to talk to Florence about what influence Andy had on his surfing and growing up in Hawaii. The interview was conducted for our upcoming documentary film, "Andy: The Untold Story of Andy Irons". Here is a short excerpt from the interview, that now, especially after his win is a thoughtful insight into surfing's history.
"Andy to Hawaii, to all my friends, and me, he was the guy who grew up here. He was winning world titles against the best surfer in the world at the time, and that was Kelly Slater. For Andy to come out of Hawaii, and put it to Kelly and just show him what’s up was pretty cool. That was our guy who was going out and winning.
Andy showed being from Hawaii was like one of the coolest things. It showed that you could grow up and surf kind of any kind of wave and you could surf big waves, small waves, and you could take all your knowledge of surfing in Hawaii and bring it around the world and win. And so that's what Andy showed me. What Andy did was revolutionary."
If you wish to support the film please check out our Kickstarter page. We have a ton of rewards from a custom Andy Irons Hoodie to a week stay at the Pipeline Billabong House.