Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Eddie Aikau

When I started surfing, it was just that, I loved the environment, I loved the simplisicity of it and I liked the fact that the people I surfed with all egged each other on. Not much has really changed since then. Surf competitions at beaches I want to surf are an annoyance rather than a point of interest. Now its looking like The Eddie Aikau will be running on Sunday or Monday in Hawaii (GMT -10). It is sponsored by Quicksilver and there is a lot of merchandise and hype. But there are two things that make this event special.

Firstly the waves have to reach 30 foot Haiwaiian. To put that in perspective haiwaiians measure waves as 3 foot is over head. So it's not every year the event runs, cause there isn't a swell big enough with favourable winds. The entrants are invited, there is no qualification process and many of them are old sea dog dudes, who are 40's and 50's. Mostly Americans but Ibon from Spain is in it! Go Europe! There are a few whipper snappers and then there are the household pro surfers who get their balls out (yes Slater has won it! But Bruce Irons may be a complete cock but he pulls into the shorebreak closeout and that shit is not for pussies).

Secondly I love the Eddie Story.Eddie Aikau was a man, a man in a world where men are wearing pink, learning to Salsa and dying their hair. Eddie Aikau was a beach boy, come Waimean Lifeguard who gave his life when a a reconstructed canoe was being paddled from Hawaii to Tahiti (not down the road) hit a massive storm and started leaking in the night. Eddie volunteered to try and swim 18 miles to Molokai the nearest island in the pitch dark in huge storm surf...and was never seen again. The crew survived thanks to a plane spotting them by chance. "Eddie would go" is both his biography and a car sticker, its a great read. Eddie didn't have money, Eddie didn't get free tickets, houses and cars. Eddie paddled out of the front of his house and road the biggest surf possible at that time and did it cause he loved it. No cameras, no bullshit, just made him alive. The contest has no tow ins, no jet skis, you have to get a 10ft gun board and paddle and commit and face your fears. Awesome, everything I want from a surfing competition, because its not about winning, they all look like there a group of friends, shitting themselves together. I love it.

So the point of this is that there is like a three month waiting period which competitors have to make themselves available for or an alternate stands in for you. There is huge swell predicted over this weekend and Monday could well be the day. You can watch it live on webcaste at:

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