Remember that swell that was big enough to run the Eddie? Of course you do. It just happened, after all, and your memory can’t be that bad. The Bay was enormous, the spectators were sufficiently wowed, and the Eddie maintained its status one of the best surf events in the world. But, while all eyes were pointed at Waimea, the same swell absolutely lit up Pe’ahi.
“At sunrise, Pe’ahi was just waking up” wrote Marcus Rodrigues, the man who filmed the video above. “The tide was very high with lots of signs of incoming swell. It wasn’t giant in the early morning, but the signs of a high-powered, strong period swell showed early.”
While a whole lot of legendary big wave surfers were on Oahu, a whole lot of other legendary big wave surfers who didn’t get the Eddie invite took full advantage. Yuri Soledade was there first, towing into the rising swell with a rising sun. Then Albee Layer showed up, along with a few others, and started paddling it.
“Albee got barreled and drained on his first wave,” Rodrigues remembered. “Kai Paula impressed all with the wave of the morning — he got a crazy deep in and out riding over the foam ball on exit.”
As the morning wore on, the swell filled in. By 10 a.m. it was big enough to be a tow-only session, and it was absolutely huge. Shaun Walsh nabbed the first of many insane waves. It wasn’t all perfection though, as is generally the case when Jaws is maxed out.
“Ridge [Lenny] also packed another huge one, then his driver Ola who does safety almost got caught in a big wave attempting to rescue Ridge with his Jet Ski,” Rodrigues continued. “That was a heavy moment.”
At around 2 p.m., the swell peaked, and the afternoon was nearly unbelievable. “The ‘Eddie Aikau Swell’ will go down in history as one on the most memorable days in big wave surfing,” Rodrigues said. “What an unbelievable swell that was for Hawai’i!”
See more from Marcus Rodrigues on Youtube.