12: Andy Irons' "New Vibe"

12: Andy Irons' "New Vibe"

In 2003, Andy Irons made it be known that he was going to be the official thorn in the side of Kelly Slater for some time, and did so by winning 3-straight World Titles and 4 out of 5 Pipe Masters titles.

In 2006 though, Kelly would regain the title and the momentum. But with the flames of this rivalry still white hot, Andy threw one more haymaker Slater's way during the Pipe Masters final.

Toward the end of the epic final with Rob Machado and Cory Lopez, Andy and Kelly broke away, trading 8s and 9s. Andy's "new vibe" connecting with his dominance of the previous years, he clawed over the back of Kelly to snatch and freefall into the heat-winning 10-point ride at Backdoor that is forever seared into surfing's collective memory. Andy called game.

The two would spar a few times after that, but this moment seemed to signify why things will never feel completely settled between the two. And why the clash is considered the pinnacle of competitive surfing.


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