The local newscasters choose to call the waves “Eddie-size,” referring to lifeguard and surfer Eddie Aikau, who was lost at sea In 1978. The surf is expected to subside by Thursday so most likely Quiksilver’s Eddie Aikau Invitational won’t be convened. The invitational is held only when ocean waves reaches 20 feet (a wave face of over 35 feet) and has been held only eight times since 1985.
Of course, the high surf attracts lookie loos and many surfer wannabes and keeps many City and County lifeguards busy. Eddie Aikau, in addition to being a big wave surfer, was a stellar lifeguard doing his duty in the high surf. The story has it that Quiksilver officials one year were trying to decide whether waves were too big to surf safely. “Eddie would go,” someone said, referring to Aikau's willingness to do his lifeguard job in big surf.
If you’ve been to Oahu when surf’s up, you know the traffic jam the big surf brings to the North Shore and the town of Haleiwa and the Sunset Beach and Pupukea communities. This used to be country in ‘da olden days,’ sugar cane mills at Waialua and Kahuku and a leisurely ‘round the island trip on two-lane blacktop roads.
Some of the land in Hawaii was and still is held in trusts passed down from the Hawaiian monarchs and chiefs via marriages with missionary and American business families. It’s fiction but Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel, The Descendents, and Alexander Payne’s new movie of the book handle the theme of trust, both personal and political, in a pretty satisfying way. It’s not Hawaii Five-0 or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Go read. go see.