Our Next Generation Of Surfers
With the untimely passing of Hanalei’s Andy Irons, the surfing world was shaken, and more talk was brought up about how such a small island could produce so many world-class surfers.
From Andy and his brother Bruce to Roy Powers and Kala Alexander, the Garden Isle is not short on talent when it comes to water-men.
In fact, there’s even a new brother combo making a name for themselves.
Alex Smith, 19, and 15-year-old Koa are reaching a new level, with big wins and strong showings in the past and present. For example, Alex nearly made it to the quarters at the Reef Hawaiian Pro last month. Meantime, Koa has pulled in a few National Scholastic Surfing Association titles.
And yet, the Hanalei brothers remain grounded and know when to give praise, especially to ones who have paved the way for them.
“They (Irons brothers) have been our heroes,” Alex says. “I’ve watched them surf, and they just worked so hard to get where they are at.”
Alex adds that seeing them flourish on the national stage has enabled them to believe that they can achieve success at that level as well.
“It’s so sick to see them in magazines and all over the place, and to actually say you’ve known them,” Koa says.” It’s awesome.”
They were among the thousands to attend Andy’s memorial in Hanalei, and it’s an experience that’ll be with them for as long as they live.
“It was intense,” Alex says. “It just shows how special Andy was to not only people on Kaua’i, but around the world as well.”
This year’s Pipeline Masters, which may run through Dec. 20, will be in memory of Andy, who was known to be one of the greatest surfers to ever ride the barrel at Pipe.
The Smith brothers will be there, hoping to continue a legacy of Kaua’i surfers flourishing at that famed break.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a huge goal of mine to do well at Pipe,” Alex says. “I’m hoping to get a couple Pipe bombs.”
Whether they keep moving up the rankings in the surf world or not, the Smith brothers are just happy to know that they’re representing Kaua’i and many proud people who adore their homegrown watermen.