HONOLULU (KHON2) — Both residents and people who work in the North Shore say when the Eddie Aikau Surfing Contest is a go, large crowds will fill the North Shore.
The last time the contest was held in 2016, people said you couldn’t find a parking spot for miles, and even finding space to walk was difficult.
They say driving in right before the contest kicks off is impossible.
“You definitely have to wake up a little earlier,” said Kymani Ayonon, a Waialua resident. “You’re fighting for anything you can get from parking from Haleiwa all the way to Pupukea.”
For businesses like the North Shore Surf Shop, when the contest is on, it’s the busiest time for the year by far.
“It was, I mean, almost hard to walk around because there [were] so much people, let alone driving your car down the road. So business was good, there [were] a lot of bike rentals,” said Kiron Costa, North Shore Surf Shop employee.
The store also has all the Eddie 2019 merchandise ready, and even though the competition isn’t a go yet, Costa said, the merchandise has really been popular.
“We got the Eddie Aikau shirts, stickers and all the good stuff, and all the proceeds go back to the contest and the family. That’s our way of helping out,” said Costa.
Many people say they hope the competition is on this year, because it’s been far too long since the last one.
“You know [to] everyone, it’s definitely a big deal, everyone on the north shore looks forward to,” said Ayonon.
“The anticipation is an incredible vibe over here on the North Shore,” said Costa. “I mean it’s the most prestigious contest that we have, the Eddie Aikau, and the locals, everyone gets together, even the tourists. It’s a magical feeling.”