November 5, 2012
The life of Eddie Aikau could be in a movie. The surfer, lifeguard, family man, friend, traveler, musician and hero inspired future generations of wave riders, all around the planet.
Eddie Aikau was born in Kahului, Hawaii, on the 4th May 4, 1946. He was the second-oldest of the five Aikau kids and leader of their pack, since their earliest days on Maui, through to their surfing days on the South and North Shore’s of Oahu.
“Eddie was a pretty quiet guy but when there was a challenge, or some risk to be taken, or a game to be played that everybody wanted to win, Eddie seemed to rise to the top. He was high risk at an early age,” says younger brother Clyde.
Eddie was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay, on Oahu’s North Shore, back in 1967. At the same time, he challenged the biggest waves on offer in the Hawaiian Islands. The two brothers worked together, for 10 years up until 1978 and never lost one person. There were no jet skis or zodiacs. Just two youngsters with a board and swim fins.
He simply took on every major swell to come through the North Shore from 1967 to 1978. As a competitor, his best contest result was a win in the 1977 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship.
Eddie Aikau saw big wave surfing, not as a competition, but as a personal goal and reaching the height of his heroes: Greg Noll, Mike Stang, George Downing, John Kelly, Sammy Lee were a huge inspiration for him.
Read more at SurferToday.com…