The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Surf Contest is one of the most highly anticipated and respected events in the surfing world.

It is only held when the waves in Waimea Bay exceed 25 feet, a feat that occurred this last winter! The Hawaiian winter season brings in some of the largest swells across the Pacific, so organizers plan for a three-month window from December to February in anticipation of a storm. After many lulls with years in between events, their hopes were finally rewarded this year. With just 36 to 48 hours notice, a select group of big wave surfers are given the opportunity to travel to Oahu’s North Shore to take part in this prestigious event.

This exclusive gathering warrants the attention of some of the best and bravest surfers from around the globe. Even with natural conditions being unpredictable, everyone anxiously awaits with excitement for what may come out of this legendary event every year.

Eddie Aikau Invitational

The Eddie Aikau memorial competition, which was established for the first time in 1984, has become a legendary event to celebrate the legacy of big-wave surfer Eddie Aikau. He was the originator of lifeguarding on Oahu’s North Shore and tragically lost his life in 1978 whilst attempting to rush aid to others who were stranded during an ill-fated canoe trip. The voyage sought to recreate an ancient Polynesian migration but when a storm suddenly struck, the sailing canoe capsized and Eddie volunteered to take his surfboard out into treacherous waters towards Lanai for help. Unfortunately, he never made it back and is remembered as a hero for his courageous efforts in trying to save those in need.

It’s only fitting that an event named after the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay was won this year by a North Shore Lifeguard: Luke Shepardson.  Let’s hope it goes again this upcoming winter!

Eddie Aikau Invitational

The good news for Maui Adventure Cruises is that this huge surf hits the North Shore of the islands so our tours are not affected by the north swell. We depart from Lahaina Harbor on the west-facing shore and head off to Lanai’s South shore for dolphin viewing and pristine snorkeling. Book your Lanai Dolphin Adventure Today!

giant waves surfing