The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational held at Waimea Bay on the North Shore, famously known around the surfing world as “The Eddie,” is far from an annual event.

Denton Miyamura won the first edition of The Eddie in Jan. 3, 1985, while a 23-year-old John John Florence won the event when it was last held on Feb. 25, 2016.

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Sunday’s edition of The Eddie, which was confirmed by the Aikau family on Thursday, will be the 10th iteration of the event. With 10 events held in the 38 years since 1985, the competition is held once every 3.8 years on average. However, Sunday’s will serve as only the sixth since the turn of the millennium.

The prerequisite that makes The Eddie rare is the set of conditions surrounding the surf, as surf height must consistently reach at least 20 feet from typically around the beginning of December to the end of February. The 2022-2023 determination period ran was set to run between Dec. 14, 2022 to March 23, 2023, before deciding on Thursday that Sunday’s date would be greenlit.

An ever-popular event, the most recent Eddie ran on Feb. 25, 2016 and drew over a million streams. This year’s Eddie will be streamed on the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational website. Forty surfers have been invited.

The Eddie is named in honor of Hawaii icon and surfing pioneer Eddie Aikau, who died at 31 in 1978. He was a champion surfer, lifeguard, waterman and Waimea Bay lifeguard, where his deftness and skill in the water preserved hundreds of lives.


Below are the 2023 invitees:

Aaron Gold

Andrea Moller

Billy Kemper

Eli Olson

Emily Erickson

Ezekiel Lau

Grant Baker

Greg Long 

Ian Walsh

Jake Maki

Jamie O’Brien

Jamie Mitchell

John John Florence

Josh Moniz

Justine Dupont

Kai Lenny

Keala Kennelly

Keali’i Mamala

Kelly Slater

Koa Rothman

Kohl Christensen

Landon McNamara

Lucas Chianca

Luke Shepardson

Makani Adric

Makuakai Rothman

Mark Healey

Mason Ho

Michael Ho

Nathan Florence

Nathan Fletcher

Nic von Rupp

Paige Alms

Peter Mel

Ramon Navarro

Ross Clarke-Jones

Shane Dorian

Taio Shipman

Tikanui Smith

Tyler Larronde


Past winners of The Eddie are below:

Jan. 3, 1985: Denton Miyamura

Dec. 21, 1986: Clyde Aikau (Eddie’s brother)

Jan 1990: Keone Downing

Jan. 1, 1999: Noah Johnson

Jan. 12, 2001: Ross Clarke-Jones

Jan 8, 2002: Kelly Slater

Dec. 15, 2004: Bruce Irons

Dec. 8, 2009: Greg Long

Feb. 25, 2016: John John Florence