That Wave: Happy Birthday A.I.

Photo: Tom Servais/ Rider: Andy Irons Loc: Teahupoo, Tahiti

July 24, marks a special day. No, not because it was the day in 1969 that Apollo 11 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean after returning into our atmosphere. Certainly not because it was the day “Tricky Dick” Nixon surrendered the watergate tapes to the Supreme Court. But more importantly, because on this day back in 1978, this guy took his first breath.

Today we honor that guy for everything he left us with — all the laughs, all the exclaimed jaw drops, all the nail biters, all the face-offs with Kelly, all the pre-surf psyche ups and all the movie sections. But also, for teaching us that professional athletes possess humility, for achieving the impossible over and over again and especially for leaving us with the memory of this one wave at Teahupo’o, known as “That Wave.”

One of those waves that made the hair stand up on your neck, while your nails dug into the arm rest on Uncle Gary’s recliner; watching in awe on that DVD player you had to give a smack every time it had a glitch. You might have seen a few waves of this caliber coming in from Tahiti on the web this week, and we took that as even more of a reason to share this certain clip with you in celebration of the legend himself, Andy Irons.

There are a couple of days throughout the year that we celebrate his life in particular, and today is one of them. Andy would have been 37 today. We can’t believe he’s been gone for four years, but what will never die is the legacy he left behind. Thank the lord we have a whole bunch of evidence to look back on.

Happy Birthday Andy. Cheers to changing the surf world forever with moments like this.