Throughout his life, Andy Irons struggled with bipolar disorder. At times it got so debilitating that his friends and family worried about his well being. The ocean, however, was Andy's go-to source of relief. Simply being in the water helped put him at ease. For him, surfing was more than just a sport, but a chance to escape the demons in his head. The feeling of making a good turn seemed to wash the negativity away. This innate connection with the water made him a formidable competitor on tour, leading him to win his first World Championship in 2002.
Even though the ocean helped him cope with his mental illness, it never entirely went away. Given these adversities, Andy's three World Championship titles are a testament to his resilience and talent as a surfer.