Eddie Would Go, But Not in 2017
The Eddie surf contest is a no-go for 2017 but the Aikau family looks ahead for a return in 2018.
PHOTO: ZAK NOYLE
For the past 32 years at Waimea Bay, the Aikau family has been ready to host The Eddie, the big-wave international surf contest in honor of the late, great waterman and lifeguard, Eddie Aikau. Only when North Shore waves averaged 30 feet during Hawai‘i’s winter months of December through February would the contest be staged; since it began in 1984, only eight events have been held (and once at Sunset Beach), each sponsored by Quiksilver under the name, The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. Surfer John John Florence won the most recent Eddie contest last February, which saw historic 45- to -60-foot waves.
When Quiksilver withdrew its sponsorship this past October, the Aikau family was still confident in being able to run the contest—“even if we have to have coconuts for trophies and you come down with a can of sardines, Uncle Clyde will feed you rice and we’ll have the event,” quipped Clyde Aikau at the time. They rebranded the event as The Eddie: In Memory of Eddie Aikau, with the opening ceremony originally scheduled for today, Nov. 30. However, citing the lack of necessary sponsorship and unexpected permitting delays, the Aikau family has chosen to forgo this year in favor of a renewed return in 2018.
“The family feels there is insufficient time to properly plan and hold The Eddie this year, and lacks the proper resources to maintain the high integrity of this extraordinary Hawaiian cultural event,” the Aikau family said in a statement. The family instead is looking ahead to next year, already speaking with potential future sponsors interested in helping continue The Eddie. Surf enthusiasts are no doubt eager for The Eddie’s return in any form. We’ll keep the sardines ready.