Not one life was lost during the years surfer Eddie Aikau watched over Hawaii’s Waimea Bay. The bay is home to Quiksilver’s Big Wave Invitational (also known as “The Eddie”), which began in 1985 as a tribute to legendary surfer seven years after he was lost at sea.
Hired in 1968 as O’ahu’s first lifeguard, Aikau was known for diving into 30 foot waves to rescue in-distress swimmers. A popular surfing phrase, “Eddie would go,” was born from a comment on Aikau’s willingness to tackle big surf.
“The bay calls the day,” is the motto of the Big Wave International. Since its inception, the prestigious competition has been held only nine times, due to unpredictable conditions along the North Shore.
This past week, conditions were favorable, so Eddie went. Surfers took to the water to ride 60 foot swells, and John John Florence of Hawaii took the title and $75,000 prize.
Enjoy some of the most stunning images from the day.