Row 1: JOHN JOHN FLORENCE; Row 2: MAKUAKAI ROTHMAN, left, MAKUAKAI WITH CLYDE AIKAU, right; Row 3: LUKE SHEPARDSON’S WINNING WAVE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANNE MENKE
EDDIE WOULD GO is a well-known surf expression that references the legendary Hawaiian lifeguard, surfer, and waterman Eddie Aikau, who in the 1970’s was considered one of the greatest big wave riders in the world. Known for his fearlessness, Eddie was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore, known for rescues in massive surf and treacherous conditions that no one else would dare.
Eddie’s life took on mythic proportions when it was tragically cut short during the 1978 “Hokule’a”, the 2500-mile traditional Hawaiian canoe voyage that retraces the ancient route of the Polynesian migration between the Hawaiian and Tahitian islands. When the heavily loaded outrigger canoe in which he was paddling capsized in stormy weather, Eddie set out on his surfboard, paddling towards Lanai to get help. The crew was later rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, but despite great search efforts, Eddie was never seen again. He was just 31. Read More