From the earliest days in the history of the sport, surfing competitions have been held in the Hawaiian Islands. The most prestigious of them all is celebrating it’s 28th anniversary this year. The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, or just The Eddie is held at the infamous Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in waves exceeding 20 feet on the Hawaiian scale of swell measurement… in other words, tumblers taller than a 5-story building!
As its name indicates, the contest is held in memory of Eddie Aikau, a person who defined the term ‘Hawaiian Waterman’. He was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay, the most treacherous stretch of sand in the Islands. At the same time he developed a reputation as one of the best big wave surfers in the world.
In 1978, Eddie joined the crew of the Hokule’a, a replica of the original Polynesian canoes used to travel long distances among the Pacific Ocean archipelagos, in an attempt to recreate one of the original voyages between Hawai’i and Tahiti. The first night of the trip, the canoe capsized in heavy seas. Eddie Aikau paddled off into the wild ocean in search of help for his fellow crewmembers. While the rest of the sailors were eventually rescued, Eddie was never heard from again.
Established in 1984, the event’s waiting period extends from December 1st to February 28th each year, but only runs when the swell consistently tops 20 feet “Hawaiian” style (12+ meters on the wave face). Since it’s inception, the event has run eight times. The first edition was held at Sunset Beach and won by Denton Miyamura. The next year it moved to Waimea Bay and fittingly was won by Clyde Aikau, Eddie’s brother. It has not changed location since then and is run only when “The Bay Calls The Day”, as the saying goes.
We will let you know when and where you can check out all the action if The Eddie does go off this season!
The Invitees are (as selected by their peers):
Alex Gray (California)
Bruce Irons (Hawaii)*
Carlos Burle (Brazil)
Clyde Aikau (Hawaii)*
Dave Wassell (Hawaii)
Garrett McNamara (Hawaii)
Grant “Twiggy” Baker (South Africa)
Greg Long (California)**
Ian Walsh (Hawaii)
Jamie O’Brien (Hawaii)
Jamie Sterling (Hawaii)
Jeremy Flores (Reunion Island)
John John Florence (Hawaii)
Kala Alexander (Hawaii)
Kelly Slater (Florida)*
Kohl Christensen (Hawaii)
Makua Rothman (Hawaii)
Mark Healey (Hawaii)
Nathan Fletcher (California)
Noah Johnson (Hawaii)*
Peter Mel (California)
Ramon Navarro (Chile)
Reef McIntosh (Hawaii)
Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia)*
Shane Dorian (Hawaii)
Sunny Garcia (Hawaii)
Takayuki Wakita (Japan)
Tom Carroll (Australia)
** Defending Champion
* Past Event Winner
Who was Eddie Aikau? Here is his brother Clyde discussing the legendary big wave surfer, lifeguard and family man.
This is the event teaser. It’s lasts 30 seconds, but it should set the hook to watch the entire 12 hour live webcast if and when the contest does run!
As you will see from the reactions of these three first time invitees, getting the call to compete in The Eddie is a very BIG deal!
Quiksilver team rider Mark Healey surprised John John Florence at his house on the north shore with his first ever invitation to the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. Congrats John John!
This is Alex Gray on the north shore recently being handed his first ever invite to the 2012-13 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau. Congrats Alex!
Super event intern Mark Healey drops in on Ian Walsh via Skype to let him know his peers voted him in this year as a first time Invitee to The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau this year. Congrats Ian!
Check out highlights from the 25th anniversary of The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau to see what the hype is all about!
And last but not least: the wipeouts! We know you love them, so here is a bunch from the last time the event ran in 2009. These are “Men Who Ride Mountains” and eat shit doing it! Like being hit by a liquid avalanche without a peeps!