Local Report from the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Contest

My buddy Duane, who lives on Oahu, went over to watch the In Memory of Eddie Aikau Waiamea big wave surf contest after work yesterday.  He was only able to see the last heat, but if you were watching online, you know that was probably the heat to see with Greg Long’s insanely successful heat and Ramon Navarro’s inspiring last wave.  Here’s what Duane wrote to me the next day:

[S]o I was fortunate enough to catch the final heat of the Eddie.  The waves were huge- the biggest waves I’ve witnessed.  I guess they were like 30 feet.  Everywhere was closed out.  Even Waiamea was questionable, but I guess that’s when they hold the contest, when the invitees separate themselves from the average big wave surfers.

[T]he crowd was intense.  There was like a saltwater mist in the air from the wind blowing after the waves crashed.  I kept having to wipe my glasses.  It was pretty crazy. I heard it was even bigger on the outer reefs (which couldn’t bee seen from shore)…

When these guys dropped in it was almost like watching a horror movie.  People where like “OMG, Oh no.”

Here was the forecast from surfline.com for that week (note that the contest was held on Tuesday):


And here’s some video I found on YouTube from the contest.  Watch when the dudes are paddling over the waves.  Look how tiny they are!


Eddie Would Go.


  1. Mike on 9 December 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Can you ask Duane how they even got out there? I’m guessing they got towed – the whitewash looks to be 15′ tall alone. No way someone can paddle through that, and even the jetski seems like a longshot.

    • Jeff on 9 December 2009 at 12:20 pm

      Duane says they were using PWCs to get the surfers in and out of the line up. So it wasn’t just a straight paddle out. He says usually there is a channel off to one side you can usually use to paddle out, but the giant close outs on the beach cut off that entry yesterday.

  2. peter on 9 December 2009 at 8:16 pm

    you can see vids of all the heats and a wipeout comp here. i like it how they don’t turn, they just go straight to safety. that’s how i surf!!


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