Eddie Aikau was the Hawaiian waterman with an incredible surfing story. Born on 4th May 1946 in the Kahului region of Hawaii, Aikau was a lifeguard, surfer, friend, family man, musician, traveler, and hero who inspired generations of surfers across the world.
Here, we will be going through the life journey of this man right from his early days in Maui to the surfing days on North and South Shores of Oahu.
Aikau was a tranquil person, but not when he played certain games. If winning was a priority during a specific gameplay session, Eddie rose to the top. He always liked taking up risks and challenges. He was a high-risk taker at a very early age.
Early Life Of Eddie Aikau
In 1967, he was made the very first lifeguard on a North Shore of Oahu called the Waimea Bay. He also took up the challenge of facing the big waves witnessed on the Hawaiian Islands. He and his brother worked together for ten years until 1978.
They did not have zodiacs or jet skis. They were just two young men with swim fins and boards. During 1967 to 1978, Aikau took over all the significant swells coming to him on the North Shore. He went on to contest in various competitions. He was the winners at the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship held in 1977.
Beginning Of The Waterman Lifestyle
Aikau took surfing as a personal objective instead of a competition. Greg Noll, George Downing, Mike Stang, Sammy Lee, and John Kelly were his heroes. They inspired him to lead a waterman lifestyle.
It was in 1967 when Aikau was successful in cracking a huge swell at the Waimea Bay making his mark in the wave riding world. Starting from 1960 to the early 70s, Aikau traveled throughout Australia, South America, and South Africa. He took part in several pro surfing competitions during this time.
Eddie played an important role in bringing people closer. He also played a pivotal role in maintaining camaraderie and calm during competitions on the North Shore.
Eddie Aikau: Peacemaker, Musician, And Surfer
Aikau did not have children. Nevertheless, his care and compassion extended to every child coming within his reach. He was popular for entertaining crowds at get-togethers and parties.
Eddie was one who brought music to the otherwise quiet North Shore. He was selected to be a part of the Polynesian voyaging canoe called Hokule’ a. The North Shore, where waves could be as high as 35 feet, was made a dramatic surfing spot, all thanks to the attempts of this great waterman.
Man With A Great Smile
Hokule’ a could not survive the treacherous seas and was capsized outside the Hawaiian Islands. On 17th March, Aikau set off to find and help his stranded crew members. It was his last paddleboard journey as none saw him again.
A wide-scale air and sea search were put in place to find Eddie Aikau but in vain. The soul and the body of the famous Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard now lie on the Pacific Ocean.