The other night I was watching a video of Teahupo’o and guys were going balls out, paddling into heaving ten-footers, sometimes making it, sometimes not. The video was from several years ago and filmed during the annual ASP contest, so the best surfers in the world were on hand for the swell. After watching Andy Irons stick one of the craziest drops in history, (you know the one, his board goes sideways halfway down the face and he nearly piles before getting it together and pulling it off) I thought to myself, ‘I haven’t seen anything like that in a while, lately everybody tows in when it gets eight feet out there.’ The point is, we haven’t seen any big wave, crazy paddle-ins in ages. Until now that is…because ‘The Eddie’ is ready.
Created in 1985, the ‘Eddie’ is celebrating its twentieth year as the premier big wave event in the world. 24 of the worlds’ best big wave warriors are invited and another 24 are listed as alternates. The contest is held at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of O’ahu and will only run when, and if, the waves hit a Hawai’ian style twenty feet. That means wave faces of forty feet will be the average height for the day.
The purse is massive. First place will receive $50,000, second $10,000, third $5,000, fourth $3,000, and the rest of the field will get $1,000.
An opening ceremony will take place Thursday, December 2nd at 3pm at Waimea Bay and will feature a traditional Hawai’ian blessing, food, drinks, and good times. The ceremony is an awesome opportunity to rub elbows with the big wave heroes of today–call it lunch with Laird, stories with Sterlz, or dining with Dorian, they’ll all be there.
The waiting period for the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is from December 3 to February 28 and contest director George Downing makes the final call whether to run or not. The decision will be based on long range ocean and weather forecasts, and anything under twenty feet is unacceptable. For more information, a complete list of invitees, and a link to the official Eddie web site go to www.eddiewouldgo.com