Kissed By God, a Film about Andy Irons

Andy Irons

Surfing, bipolar disorder and drug addiction the film Andy Irons: Kissed by God could have easily been written about practically anyone that grew up in a surf culture, myself included.  However this film is not about your average every day surfer, instead Teton Gravity Research dove deep into the life of professional surfer Andy Irons who passed away at 32.

Iron’s mother was a skier from Aspen, Colorado and his father a surfer from Torrance, California.  The two met and quickly feel in love in Hawaii. Shortly after Andy was born followed by his younger brother Bruce.

This movie does as good job of exposing the realities of being a pro surfer. Some people may be surprised by the amount of drugs and alcohol consumed by professionals at this level.

When AI (Andy Irons) died of a heart attack traveling home to Hawaii it was of no surprise that his death was drug related to everyone in the industry.   Surfers like to party, especially after surfing big waves and here’s why:

We all know people who are “addicted” to sports. Exercise can boost dopamine levels in the brain in the same addictive cycles that drugs and alcohol produce. However, exercise creates positive, pathways with the ability to counter negative addictive behaviors.

The problem becomes what do you with yourself after the exercising is over when dopamine and serotonin levels start to drop?

Have you ever had a hard time coming down from a big powder day or a gripping surf session? This is the flip side of all the dopamine being released and one of the main reasons action sports athletes turn to drugs and alcohol, if anything to slow their mind and body back down to a some what normal operating speed.

For those with Bipolar disorder (myself included) it’s even tougher to balance out the highs and lows. This is why mental health should not be so stigmatized in our society.

Take Aways from Andy Irons: Kissed by God

Bruce Irons is sort of a dick.

Nathan Fletcher essentially killed Andy Irons (the first time) in Indonesia by putting out a line of Morphine? If you’re going to surf waves like the ones below, the come down IS NOT easy.

Kelly Slater may be hated on by professional surfers, well of course he’s really good at surfing and is sober.

Overall Impression

One of the best parts of Andy Irons: Kissed by God is the backstory on the Kaui boys moving to the North Shore and taking over.  It’s one of the reasons Andy and his brother Bruce were able to get waves at Pipeline early on.

Teton Gravity Research asked hard hitting questions and did great research to put this film together, a story about the life of Andy Irons deserves nothing less. Although the surfing footage my not be new the interviews TGR put together were very emotional.

Andy Irons: Kissed by God is an roller coaster ride showing the beauty of the ocean and it’s users and abusers all in one.

For more information please visit:

Wednesday, May 2nd. The Los Angeles – World Premiere

Special premiere screenings and events in Hawaii on May 6th and New York on May 10th.

Andy, Travis Rice and Kevin Jones go snowboarding at Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding and join the Freeride World Tour. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

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