Sunday, October 6, 2013

TV Review - ESPN's HAWAIIAN: The Legend of Eddie Aikau

Last week, ESPN premiered HAWAIIAN:  The Legend of Eddie Aikau (link):

Director Sam George chronicles the remarkable life and times of the late Eddie Aikau, the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer, pioneering lifeguard and ultimately doomed crew member of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea.

It was just breathtaking, especially Eddie's lasting impact on Hawaii and humanity.   I remember when my older son came home from middle school, telling me about Eddie Aikau.  His science class was discussing if the upcoming surf season would produce the waves required for the Eddie - the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikai.   From Wikipedia (link),

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau—known as The Eddie — is a surfing tournament held at Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Created in 1984 at Sunset, then changed to the infamous Waimea Bay where Aikau was a lifeguard and where he and his family were caretakers of the valley. The event has been named after famed Waimea Bay lifeguard Eddie Aikau, the irregularly-held tournament is known for a unique requirement that ocean swells reach a minimum height of 20 feet (6.1 m) before the competition can be held. (Open-ocean swells, rather than wave faces, are the preferred method of Hawaiian wave measurement.) As a result of this requirement, the tournament has only been held eight times during the history of the event, most recently on December 8, 2009.  Eddie Aikau's brother Clyde Aikau won the second Eddie in 1987.

File:Eddie Aikau Contest.jpg
Image by PPNF
Released to Public Domain

The film shares Eddie's remarkable life on Oahu's North Shore. His campaign to join the maiden voyage of the Hokulea.  His heroic decision to paddle for help with the canoe capsized. Throughout his life, and even in his death, Eddie reminds us to embrace the Hawaiian way of life - aloha (love), ohana (family), and pono (respect).    

If ESPN reruns this profile, I recommend you find time in your scchedule to watch it.   Eddie will change your life, too.


Kim in Hawaii
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Eddie, check out the Eddie Aikau Foundation at this link.

Check out my pictures of Eddie's beach, Waimea Bay, at this link.

Memorial to Eddie at Waimea Beach Park.


  1. Fascinating story - I didn't know any of that.

  2. I've heard the name, but wasn't aware of all this. Thanks.

  3. This does sound wonderful thank you.

  4. That is fascinating. I would love to learn more.

  5. I saw this program on the guide, but didn't know what it was about.

  6. That was a very enjoyable article Kim.