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How Opioids Were Widely Misunderstood By The Surfing Community

One of the most troubling aspects of the opioid crisis is the general lack of understanding surrounding the issue. This is most exemplified in our perception of the biggest culprit: Opioids themselves. From the surface, Oxycontin (or Oxycodone) seems like just another prescription drug, and that misperception has only amplified the crisis. Unfortunately, for so long, we’ve assumed that since they’re so easily obtainable from the doctor or the pharmacy, they can’t be too bad for us. Otherwise, why would doctors be prescribing them left and right?

RELATED: See Andy Irons: Kissed By God on Tour Worldwide

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, an opioid addiction specialist, explains how that’s not the case. In fact, there’s no distinction between these prescription painkillers and the narcotic heroin. Put plainly, they’re heroin pills. A study was done at Columbia University where heroin users were allowed to self-administer both in a blind taste test. The results found that the users didn’t perceive a difference between the two.

On top of his struggle with bipolar disorder, Andy Irons was also ensnared by a severe addiction to opioids. His friends had realized that his drug habits had changed him, but were unaware of how dangerous the situation really was. Most notable was the fact that Irons had stopped freesurfing in between competitions and at some points even struggled to keep composure when he participated in events. “Yeah. One in the morning, one at lunch, maybe, one at night,” explained Joel Parkinson, who witnessed Irons’ habits firsthand. “And I remember just going, ‘Man, those things are just deadly.’ And then, I guess, I didn't realize how far they'd spread. They were in pretty deep in Hawaii, so a lot of the boys...they were poisonous, those things,” said Parkinson, looking back out how the crisis plagued the surfing community.


If you suspect you or someone you know may be suffering from a bipolar disorder, please, contact the SAMHSA national helpline.

From The Series: Andy Irons: Raw Outtakes

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A Great White Nibble Leaves Surfer with 50-Stitches and a Story
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A Great White Nibble Leaves Surfer with 50-Stitches and a Story

A Great White Nibble Leaves Surfer with 50-Stitches and a Story

2018 was a sharky year and 2019 is shaping up to be no different. At around 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, 19-year-old Nick Wapner was surfing Sandspit Beach along California’s central coast when he felt a strong pressure around his legs. He looked back as his board was being driven out of the water to see the mouth of a great white shark closing around his ankles. He later said the head of the estimated 15-foot long shark was around three to four feet with massive jaws and beady black eyes.

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Jan. 9th, 2019: Huge Swell Hits L.A. County
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Jan. 9th, 2019: Huge Swell Hits L.A. County

Jan. 9th, 2019: Huge Swell Hits L.A. County

Last Wednesday, Jan. 9th, 2019, a massive swell hit Southern California.  The region's top surfers were ready to take full advantage, as evidenced in the above video.  Surfers including Matt Mohagen, Nic Lamb, Tito Bourget and Patrick Miller were out in force to ride the large and uncommonly well-formed barrels which rolled in.   The all-time swell was due to a low-pressure system off the coast of Southern California.  magicseaweed.com graphic.   Related: A Great White Nibble Leaves

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“Sessions: A Left” Is a Beautiful Short of Surfing Across The Pond
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“Sessions: A Left” Is a Beautiful Short of Surfing Across The Pond

“Sessions: A Left” Is a Beautiful Short of Surfing Across The Pond

People love Ireland because you can hide your alcoholism under the guise of travel and heritage. But now a new breed of tourists are flocking to the land of Guinness and Whisky, a salty band of travelers who prey on western winds and mid-winter swells, and pounce on cheap off-season airfare. If I had a dollar for every person who told me about their surf trip to Ireland I’d have three dollars and still be flat broke. Really though, it does seem like Ireland is the place to go and surf if you