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Eddie Would Go

Eddie Would Go

This is Peahi, a place on the north shore of the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It has lent its name to a big wave surfing break, also known as Jaws. The wave sizes can exceed 60' some years. This particular year in 2018, the competition had to be suspended because the waves were too dangerous, resulting in several broken boards and injuries...When that happened, all I could think of was "Eddie would go".

In modern Hawaiian lore, the name Eddie has particular meaning, referring to Eddie Aikau...He was a Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer. As the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on the island of Oahu, he saved over 500 people and became famous for surfing the big Hawaiian surf, winning several awards including the 1977 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship.

In the 1980s, bumper stickers and T-shirts with the phrase "Eddie Would Go" spread around the Hawaiian Islands and to the rest of the world. According to maritime historian Mac Simpson, "Aikau was a legend on the North Shore, pulling people out of waves that no one else would dare to. That's where the saying came from – Eddie would go, when no one else would or could. Only Eddie dared." The phrase originated during the first Eddie contest. The waves were huge and the conditions were extremely dangerous. While the contest organizers were discussing whether to put it on, Mark Foo looked at the conditions and said "Eddie would go." The phrase stuck and then Eddie went.