Anyone who has been to the fabled North Shore of O’ahu has heard the phrase, “Eddie Would Go.” From bumper stickers to surfing teachers, the legend of Eddie Aikau still lives large on the island. Most tourists understand it to mean that Eddie was brave – that he would tackle waves no other person would. However, it actually refers to Eddie, the lifeguard, facing grave danger in order to paddle out to save the lives of hundreds of others caught in the treacherous North Shore surf.
Stuart Coleman shares some of the background on the local legend, illuminating his selfless life-saving endeavors as much as his knack for the big waves. Stuart also touches on Eddie’s role in the Hawaiian Renaissance during the 1970’s.
Stuart shares stories such as:
- how in 1967, during some of the largest swells ever at Waimea Bay, he made a name for himself internationally as a big wave surfer,
- why Eddie wasn’t permitted to become a lifeguard, but why an exception was made for him,
- how a turf war that transpired on the very grounds of Turtle Bay Resort was ultimately brought to a peaceful resolution because of a Ho’oponopono tribunal, organized by Eddie
It is Wanderlust’s distinct privilege to partner with Turtle Bay Resort to present Wanderlust O’ahu, and it is through programming such as this Speakeasy with Stuart Coleman that we attempt to share the rich history of the North Shore with our guests. We are honored to produce our Speakeasy Lecture series at ‘Surfer, the Bar’ so that we may ‘talk story’ about legends like Eddie Aikau, who truly embody the aloha spirit.