This week I’m changing focus from the East Coast of Australia to the North Shore of Hawaii, where the annual big wave Quiksilver Eddie Aikau surf event is being hosted.
Every year this memorial surf contest is put on to give respect to Eddie Aikau, one of Hawaii’s first lifeguards at Waimea Bay. He began his career in the late 1960’s, and during his ten-year term at this posting, not one life was lost. The waves on the North shore can reach over 30 feet high, and Eddie braved these conditions to keep all safe who entered the water in search of that epic ride.
In 1978, a Polynesian voyage was setting out to make the 4,000km trek from the Hawaiian Islands to Tahiti, in a traditional double-hulled canoe. Within 20km of leaving the islands, the canoe began to sink in the large swell. Eddie grabbed his surfboard to paddle to shore in search of help, and that was the last time anyone ever saw him. Eddie Aikau perished in the ocean, where he had saved so many lives. Quiksilver honours him by arranging this invite-only contest for the best surfers around the world. They ride the monster waves in respect to one of the greatest men to come from the North Shore.
Scope out http://theeddie.quiksilver.com/home.en.html to see pictures, watch videos, and read about the history behind the event. If you happen to be on the North Shore from now until February 26th, go see the event in Waimea Bay. Watching surfers battle waves bigger than your house is an amazing spectacle. And if you see any Quiksilver boardshorts that catch your eye, head to Swimco and a Fit Expert will kit you out in some new Quikkie goods!
If you have a topic you’d like me to write about, or an event that is influenced by the surf or swimwear market, just let me know.
Your Man ‘Down Unda’