The Eddie Aikau Invitational needs very large waves to run. Large enough that, before this past weekend, it hadn’t run since 2016, when John John Florence won it. This year, as you know, a lifeguard named Luke Shepardson won, which is just too perfect for words, considering who the event’s namesake is. But not everyone knows how to deal with waves like the ones Waimea Bay produces when it’s Eddie big. Not even if they’re simply standing on shore.
It happens every year, I’m sure. North Shore lifeguards probably laugh at it/hate it. Tourists, lookie-loos, or just unlucky folks get hammered by waves as they’re standing in the sand. They feel as though they’re going to be sucked out to sea, that squeaky Hawaiian sand filling their orifices as they flail towards the open ocean. They’re generally not sucked out to sea, though, thanks to the Hawaiian lifeguards’ vigilance, but they sure do get their pants wet.
Such was the case at the Eddie this year, when waves of oversized proportions made their way up the sand towards the valley. Some of the spectators, all vying for a better view point, were a little closer than they should have been. Although to be fair, it’s not often that the waves at Waimea are doing what they did on Sunday.