The Aikau family and former sponsor, Quicksilver, have been in a constant state of disagreement since 2016. And the disagreement got to the point that The Eddie wouldn’t happen if it could in 2017. But the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitationals returns for the 2018-2019 season!
The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is the most prestigious surfing contest in Hawaii. It only happens when conditions are just right, meaning consistent 20-foot swells inside Waimea Bay during the months of December thru February. As a result, the competition has been held only nine times since its inception back in 1984. The most recent of which was back in 2016, the winner of which was Hawaii’s own John John Florence.
The Aikau family has, for the past couple of years, had a disagreement with contest title sponsor, Quicksilver. As a result, the contest was in jeopardy of not happening in 2016 and couldn’t happen in 2017. The reason for the disagreement, though, remains unknown. The Aikau family claims financing wasn’t the reason for the disagreement but doesn’t give a reason. Likewise, Quicksilver doesn’t provide details on their negotiations either. But, none of that matters anymore, as the Aikau family found new sponsors for the event.
The Eddie Returns
As reported by Hawaii News Now, the Aikau family was able to obtain new sponsors for The Eddie. And so, for the 2018-2019 season, The Eddie’s new sponsors are Kamehameha Schools, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Waimea Valley. These sponsors are entirely different from Quicksilver, though they’re all local and all are directly related to the Native Hawaiian Community.
The new sponsors, of course, means the competition can happen once again. So, if the correct conditions occur between December 1, 2018, and February 28, 2019, the competition may commence.
The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational Returns, Final Thoughts
I suppose we’ll never know the reason for the dispute between the Aikau family and Quicksilver. But, for big wave surf fans, at least the competition is back. Now we have to sit tight and wait to see if the right conditions present themselves. And if they do, be prepared to battle enormous crowds along Oahu’s North Shore; big wave surf always attracts large crowds, contest or not.