The Eddie (Probably) Won’t Go, Again

Posted 10-10-17

Stab Magazine

Fresh off Honolulu, we’ve learned the Quikslver in Memory of Eddie Aikau will likely not be held during the 2017/2018 season. But, Lowers looks fun so there’s no time for speculating — let’s dive right into the report from Hawaii News Now.

The chances are slim that the iconic big wave surfing competition known as “The Eddie” will run this year after new developments in an ongoing struggle to find a sponsor. 

Quiksilver, Red Bull and the Aikau family previously agreed to sponsorship terms for the world-famous event until Saturday, when the Aikau family introduced new terms that the company could not agree to. 

In a statement, a Quiksilver representative said:

“Quiksilver has decided that it has run out of time to sponsor the ‘Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau’ big wave surf event for 2017-2018.

Quiksilver has been honored to celebrate the life of champion big wave surfer and Waimea Bay lifeguard Eddie Aikau. Quiksilver is proud of the tradition of the event which underlines its respect for Eddie Aikau, the Hawaiian people and the community at large, and Quiksilver greatly appreciates more than 30 years of partnership with the Aikau family.”

Earlier this year, the World Surfing League reportedly withdrew financial support of the event. Quiksilver and the Aikau family previously had differences in terms in previous months.

“After long, hard negotiations with the Aikaus, there just wasn’t enough time to put on a proper contest,” Glen Moncata of Quiksilver said. “There’s a lot of preparations involved, and with the passing of time, we don’t think we can put together a proper contest.”

“The Eddie” only occurs when there are consistent, rideable waves of at least 30 feet in Waimea Bay during the narrow three-month holding period beginning in February.

The competition has only happened nine times since it began in 1984.

“Even though the parties were unable to reach an agreement, Quiksilver remains open to continuing discussions for a 2018-2019 event and beyond so that all parties can better prepare for the event,” Quiksilver added.

The Aikau family says the status of the contest going forward is unknown. They did not provide any additional details. 

And what a rotten surprise to receive on a Monday. A real flaming bag of shit on our doorstep.

The Eddie is an event that any surf fan, from the fringes of our sport to the saltiest of dogs, can appreciate simultaneously. For one because it’s only ever held in mammoth conditions, which is inherently fun to watch,  and for two because Eddie’s legacy is more important now than ever.

Do you remember when Eddie saved a pack of hot Aussie surfers, who had overstepped their boundaries only by a few hectares on Oahu’s North Shore? It was Eddie who convinced the local Hawaiians that, while they may be justified in wanting to hang the Aussies from the Haleiwa Bridge by their ears, it wasn’t necessarily the best way to express their disdain.

Thanks to Eddie, Rabbit, Kanga, and PT still have their ears, and the entire surfing world learned to respect Hawaiian authority through non-mutilating means. If we lose The Eddie, we won’t necessarily lose his legacy, but won’t be doing much to preserve it, either.

It’s a shame that things like this often, if always, come back to money. In my mind, certain sentiments transcend the shackles of the dollar but I’ve learned the world does not agree. Prove me wrong, Quiksilver and the Aikau family.