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Andy Irons Memorial Paddle Out

Thousands gathered on November 14, 2010 in Hanalei Bay on Kauai to remember local surfing legend Andy Irons. Besides his numerous professional surfing wins, people remember Andy for just being a nice guy and an ambassador of Aloha to the rest of the world.

Irons passed away on November 2nd after pulling out of a surfing contest in Puerto Rico, where many believed he’d be making a comeback after taking a year off from professional surfing. In September, he had won the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.

Irons leaves behind a legacy that is extends far beyond the surfing community. He and his brother, Bruce, hold a yearly surfing contest for youth in Kauai. His wife is due to give birth to the couple’s first child in December. The video below gives a hint at just how much he’ll be missed.

This video shows the memorial paddle out session held for Andy in Hanalei Bay on his home island of Kauai. Thousands gathered together to paddle out to his home break and to witness the family’s scattering of his ashes into the ocean.

A memorial paddle out is a common event here in Hawaii as a way to remember the loss and to celebrate the life of a loved one. Family and friends will grab surfboards and paddle together to scatter ashes, drop floral lei into the ocean, and to say a few words or prayers. As you see on the video, it often erupts into a celebration of life – everyone splashes up the water and smiles through their tears.