We've heard a lot about the Hurricane Bill swell, and partner-in-crime Jon Coen's been slaving away on the blog bringing you the latest and greatest, but this afternoon I was wondering what would an extremely jaded pro surfer think of it all. So I caught Andy Irons on the phone and we got to talking. I mean, who better, he's as jaded as they come. Funny thing is, I could hardly get him to stop babbling about how good it was. Somewhere in between telling me about his Billabong bus tour and his thoughts on the purposed "Rebel Tour, I was able to fire off the following questions. Below are the nuts and bolts of how a three-time world champion from Hawaii ended up at Manasquan Inlet:
Of all the places you go, why Jersey?
It was crazy. I was sitting in the airport with Peter Mendia in Johannesburg, he said the East Coast was going to be pumping, so instead of catching my connector to LAX I flew to the East Coast with Pete and ended up in Jersey. We'd been sitting there with Cory Lopez, who was on his way to France, and the two just convinced me it was the way to go. It worked out well. For like the last four weeks now I'd been on a Billabong bus tour and had hardly surfed, so this was perfect, just what I needed. Billabong shipped three boards out there for me, so I had boards waiting when I got there.
Had you surfed in Jersey before?
Not like this, that's for sure. The waves were really good, I was surprised. The day the swell really started to hit there were some solid sets. The first session we had was at Manasquan, and it kind of was like this long Uppers right with a wedgy Sebastian Inlet thing going off on the take-off. It was a lot of fun.
Where'd you stay during the swell?
I'm at Sam Hammer's house. The guy's a legend. His family owns the most unreal seafood restaurant, so we've been surfing and eating...a lot. It's a pretty good lifestyle, I'd say.
So overall, how would you rate the scene out there?
Everybody's really surf stoked. It's cool to see so many people come out and be at the beach. I mean, I guess this swell got a lot of hype and that attracted some people, but there's a definite love of surfing back here.
And what's next?
After this I'm home for 10 days, then out to California for the Surfer Poll, a wetsuit shoot, and a bunch of other stuff. I'll see you there.