When the ASP turned into the WSL, they made one thing clear: they wanted to bring surfing to the masses. They wanted it to be massive; a sport of global interest, with big names and drama and giant, gaudy graphics and appeal on an NFL level. How everyone laughed! It appears, though that they are on their way. The Eddie drew an astounding 1.2 million views to the webcast–somewhere around 750,000 hours of watched live coverage.
Surf enthusiasts from over 200 countries tuned in, including Australia, the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and even Burkina Faso. Over 1000 outlets other than the WSL covered the event, and clips on Facebook have been viewed more than 13 million times. Not bad for a surf contest.
“One of the things that made The Eddie so special,” said Jed Pearson, the World Surf League’s EVP for Content & Programming, “was that we were able to share the history of the event and the story of Eddie’s legend and his relevance to Hawaiian culture to surf fans around the world.”
Of course, watching on a screen doesn’t hold a candle to the magic of the Bay in real life, and somewhere around 25,000 people inundated the North Shore to stand in the sand and feel the power of Waimea at its biggest.