Eddie Ryan Aikau was third child born to the Aikau’s on May 4, 1949. His mother and father would take the family surfing almost every day. When Eddie was very young was when he began his love for surfing.
He started surfing 15-foot waves at Sunset Beach, Oahu. On November 19, 1967 Eddie showed off his skills by surfing some of Waimea Bay’s biggest waves. Soon after, Eddie became a lifeguard at Waimea Bay. In 1971, his friends voted him as the lifeguard of the year.
1976 was the first year of the world tour surfing championship. Eddie entered and came out in 12th place of the entire world.
In 1978, Eddie became one of the nine members to be in part with the reenactment of the ship Hokulea. (The Hokulea was a sixty-foot long canoe that was built to reenact the voyage of the Polynesians discovery of Hawaii.) On March 16, at 7:00 PM the Hokulea began for their voyage with the hope of reaching their end point. However, the crew turned out to be in the treacherous waters of Lanai, the Hokulea and its crew was being tested in 12-foot swells due to a storm. They were in dangerous weather and taking on a lot of water.
Aware of the dangers, Eddie decided to paddle to the shore of Lanai in hope to get help. He was ready to paddle the distance of 12 miles through the storm to save the crew of the Hokulea, so he took his board and set off. On March 17th a rescue helicopter found all the crew except Eddie.
Eddie Aikau was an incredibly brave man who laid his own life down in hope to save the lives of the rest of his crew.
In memory of Eddie Aikau, Quicksilver has the surfing contest ‘Eddie Aikau Invitational’ and produced the Sticker ‘EDDIE WOULD GO’.