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
The surf expression “Eddie Would Go” references the legend of Hawaiian surfer, lifeguard, and waterman Eddie Aikau, who in the 1970’s was considered one of the greatest big wave riders in the world. Eddie was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore, famous for its massive surf, and he was known for fearless rescues in 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” 2500-mile sea voyage, retracing the ancient route of the Polynesian migration from the Tahitian islands to Hawaiian islands in a traditional double hulled canoe. When the Hokule’a capsized in stormy weather, Eddie set out on his surfboard to get help. Though the crew was later rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, despite great search efforts Eddie was never seen again. He was just 31. Read More