Distributor of Ideas

The Inertia's most popular surf stories of 2011.

By many accounts, 2011 was a difficult year. Financially, the global economy struggled while politically, citizen uprisings reminded governments that the masses will be heard. Surfing endured similar tectonic shifts. From Kelly Slater’s moving tribute to Andy Irons to the scientific underpinnings of “stoke,” these are The Inertia’s ten most popular stories from 2011.

Top Stories

Andy Irons Remembered1. How I Remember Andy by Kelly Slater

“If we learn anything from the loss of Andy Irons, let it be that the impact of Andy being gone brings us closer to the ones and the things that we love.” – Kelly Slater


Mark Visser Skydives into Surf Operation Deep Blue

2. Mark Visser Is One Crazy Mofo by The Inertia

Last we checked, Mark Visser was night-surfing Jaws. This time, he’s skydiving into open ocean waves. Yup. Tossing his skis and equipment from an airplane with his body not too far behind.

Andy Irons Win Tahiti3. Demystifying the Life and Death of Andy Irons by Tetsuhiko Endo

In life, Irons’ rock star combination of savant surfing and personal brashness polarized the surf community like few other public figures, so it’s grimly fitting that his death should do the same.

Kelly Slater Wave Pool Patent Illustration4. A Few Clarifications about the Wave Company by Kelly Slater

Recently an article was published on SwellNet that called into question the inspiration and development of our Wave Company, and I thought I’d share my perspective on things.

Andy Irons and Keala Kennelly5. Honoring My Friend, Andy Irons by Keala Kennelly

“After Andy died I had a dream about him. He said he didn’t mean for things to turn out the way they did – that he still wanted to be here with us.” – Keala Kennelly

AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer6. Review: Soul Surfer by Zach Weisberg

Cute Blonds in Bikinis + Katy Perry Soundtrack + Shark Attack + Miraculously True Story of One-Armed Pro Surfer = $$$$$. Right? Right.

Surfing and sex are inseparable; and thank God for that. But female pro surfers aren’t glamor models; they are elite athletes who deserve to compete in the best possible waves. Sally Fitzgibbons poses for a recent Red Bull video.7. Women In Surf: No Girls Allowed by Tetsuhiko Endo

Surfing and sex are inseparable, and thank God for that, but female pro surfers aren’t glamour models; they are elite athletes who deserve to compete in great waves.

A surfers gets stoked with a mid-surf ion fix. Photo: Gibson8. Scientists Froth on Surf Stoke by Bridget Reedman

While we’re all familiar with the inherent benefits of surfing, research shows that people feeling “surf stoked” are, in fact, enjoying a chemical cocktail triggered by charged ions found in the atmosphere around turbulent water.

SUP How to9. Building Your Own SUP(os) by Alexander Haro

We looked into buying an SUP, but being two horribly debt-entrenched blue collar types, we decided that building one was a much better plan.

Greg Noll's legendary big wave at Makaha as captured by Alby Falzon10. The Photo That Does Not Exist by Kirk Owers

In December 1969, Greg Noll capped off a trail-blazing big wave career by surfing “the biggest wave ever ridden.” Or did he?

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