For 31 years, the surfing community has been in awe as the world’s best surfers take to the waves for the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. This invite-only event takes place at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, drawing not only world-class surfers, but also audiences from across the globe. The incredible tournament — full of monster waves and breath-taking rides — opts only to run when conditions reach 40- to 50-foot faces on the Hawaiian scale, meaning the event has only run nine times in its history.
And this year, you might just have a chance to witness it.
Right now, the waiting period for the 32nd annual Big Wave Invitation is open. The period opened Dec. 1 with a ceremony, and the closing date is coming up fast — it’s scheduled to close Feb. 28. Keep your fingers crossed for a great year and the opportunity to ride.
The team at Surf N Sea is getting excited to witness some amazing riding, so we’re giving our customers something to commemorate what is sure to be a thrilling year.
Right now, when you purchase any Quiksilver or Roxy item in our shop, you’ll get a free Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational poster. We’re so excited to have the chance to witness this mind-blowing event that we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to memorialize it with beautiful artwork.
This tournament is about more than riding the best waves. The invitational has a deep history for the surfing community.
Eddie Aikau was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay, which, at the same time, developed a reputation as one of the best big wave riders in the world. Eddie was known around the region and, eventually, the world as one of the best — from 1976 to 1978, he never lost a life on duty, and was 12th in the world in early IPS pro surfing rankings.
In 1978, Eddie was among a select group to join the cultural expedition of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hakule’a; the journey encountered treacherous seas on March 16, and the canoe capsized. After a wild night adrift, Eddie set out on a paddleboard in search of help for stranded crewmembers. The largest air-sea search in Hawaii’s history set out to find Eddie after he went missing, but he was never seen again.
The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event was established in 1984 in his honor.