The Eddie Aikau Contest

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The Eddie
VIDEO LINKS

The Eddie Video

The Eddie

 

Waimea Bay 01/11/10

huge North shore wave

Waimea Bay 01/17/10

Huge Waimea Bay wave

25 Years The Eddie Aikau Contest

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Eddie Aikau Contest and Waimea Bay

Eddie Aikau Contest
Waimea Bay- Oahu, Hawaii

Ok so it’s a little unreal (love that word). We have been checking out the islands since we were in the Kona earthquake in 2006. We went to Honolulu after the summer season in Gold Beach and Sisters Oregon. We got to get up to the first big swell of the season, or it was Halloween weekend which I think is pretty early for large swells to roll into the North Shore. The first day it’s like a lake with the judges stands being moved in at Sunset. I’m thinking that no way is there going to being a contest. Two days latter it’s like 20 foot pipe (not Hawaiian). I’m there with a Costco cam and wishing I had my video stuff. We watched the Xcel Pro at Sunset in pretty good conditions and then trekked down to Pipeline and got blown away. Any way I decide to come over for a long week during the holding period of the pipe masters. We fly in December 7th. My dad was a WW II pacific vet so what an odd feeling flying over Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December. I had been watching the wave models and figured out like a week and a half before something big was brewing. I knew it was a strong El Nino year so I was thinking big Pipe. Then like huge, closed out North Shore. I’m thinking The Eddie could go.

We land, get all the stuff, 2 road bikes video stuff and a Empire max bodyboard for the big guy. Take a bunch of crap from the tourist at the rental car place trying to load it all in the economy car. It was some what disoriented driving to the country from the airport. I knew there would be lots of people but was not sure how long it would take. I’m not stupid. It’s Kam highway and the show is on at Waimea. That’s not the whole thing, The Eddie Would Go tomorrow. Unreal! (Love that word)

After we hit Haleiwa it was like a parking lot. We had gotten in at 2:30 but by the time we hit Waimea it was 5:30 or 6:00. The only good thing about the traffic was when we got to Waimea the view of the lineup was amazing. Yeah that’s why the traffic sucked. We saw the swell coming out of the sky and I scoped out a place to shoot the next day. As we crawled along I was awe struck by the power of the waves. It was the practice day before the Eddie. Like it’s been a while since it broke enough for the Eddie Aikau. I think five years. We see Foodland has a security guard so customers can park. As we pass Sunset Beach, the beach is gone and the county has a crane on a low boy removing the guard stand. There’s water every where on Kam Highway from the waves. Unreal. We got the bikes put together and road down to Shark’s Cove for some Ahi. The North shore of Oahu the night before The Eddie, yeah I’m thinking how did I get so lucky. The energy was sure real with the subdued tone of the guys that had been out in the action. The surf looked big and unorganized and had already broken Tom Carroll’s ankle earlier that day. The guys at Sharks Cove looked like they had been chewed up and spit out. The air was filled with the heavy mist from the storm surf as we struggled back in the dark to the vacation rental. I knew tomorrow was going to be special.

Anyway, stayed up a little late getting organized. I got on the bike and peddled through the throngs heading to the bay. I’m like cruising on the bike to get near the spot on the north side of the bay I had seen the night before. It’s after 8:00 and the place is a packed. It’s cool, I pull into a spot next to some folks from the town. They had been parked there for two days and became the hub of activity for all their friends from town. The only bummer about the spot was the tall grass or bamboo that seemed always to be in the center of the action. I pretty much shot the whole day. The last heat was just crazy. The best comment came from the van next to me when he saw the first huge set rolling in, “I’m scared for those guys and I’m not even in the water. “

I tried to put the footage together in a way that made sense with what I had shot. It’s more in order of what I thought was cool. I tried to key frame the wipeouts so that I could slow them down and zoom in. When I was shooting I had one song playing in my head, over and over again. ZZ Top’s “La Grange”- so that’s how I started the video.


More Waimea Bay

I got back over for two weeks in January and got to catch the swell on January 11th and on the 17th. My Take is the 11th overall was a little bigger than The Eddie, maybe. That last set of The Eddie and Ramon and Greg going off probably clouds my mind a little. The 17th I got to film on the east side of the bay where all the big time shots are taken. I shot a little at pipe that morning and probably wished I hag spent a little longer there filming the bodyboarders.