The last few weeks have seen a few huge swells at Waimea Bay. While we sit chest deep in the waiting period for the Eddie, many have wondered why, exactly, hasn’t it run? Amid rampant speculation, Quiksilver took to social media to set the record straight.
The last time the Eddie ran, it was in 2009. Notoriously fickle, the contest only runs in conditions that are deemed just right–but there have been at least two swells within the contest window that looked about as good as it gets. Hell, Kelly Slater himself said that it was “as big as you can surf it.” So why hasn’t it run?
Many have posited the idea that there simply isn’t enough money in Quiksilver’s recently bankrupted pockets. But bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean the pockets are empty–with larger companies, it can serve as a new starting point for a company mired in debt.
“Let’s set the story straight, Quik wrote on Faceobook. “The team here at Quiksilver want The Eddie to run more than anyone. However we also want it to be a fair event contested in conditions Eddie Aikau himself would have approved of.”
Just what is it, then, that constitutes conditions Eddie would approve of? Well, for starters, the waves at the Bay need to be 20 foot plus for at least eight hours straight. “For this prestigious event to get the green light the event criteria must be met,” Quiksilver continued. “The waves MUST be in 20 foot plus range for an entire contestable 8-hour period. That means from 8am to 4pm Waimea Bay must be bigger than 20foot.”
They do have a point. Due to the judging format of the event, surfers aren’t compared in a heat-by-heat basis. That means that surfers in the first heat of the day are essentially competing against surfers in the final heat. If a swell won’t hold up for a long enough time, it simply wouldn’t be fair to the competitors.
There is still hope on the horizon, though. With a window that stays open until the end of February, another massive storm is brewing. If all goes well, it will turn the Bay into something that Eddie would approve of.