The Eddie Might Go! Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational Called on This Week!

Grant Twiggy Baker earns his invite during Round 1 of the 2016 Eddie. Photo: Heff//WSL

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: Just after publication, a story ran on the Eddie Aikau Invitational Instagram page stating that the event had been canceled for Wednesday and put on yellow alert. The title of this story has been changed to reflect that.

Yes, the Eddie will go! Last night, social media went bonkers when officials with the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational called the contest on this week for Wednesday, January 11 (and then reversed course). A rapidly developing storm is set to send the biggest swell of the North Shore season barreling towards Oahu with 17-foot waves forecast all day. While this Wednesdays start looks unlikely now, there’s still a high chance the event could run soon given all the swell action in the Pacific.

Due to its requirements for gigantic surf, the Eddie has only run seven times in its illustrious 40-year history. The last time was February of 2016, when this kid named Florence won the whole thing. The Eddie is one of the most prestigious events in the surfing world – if not the most – and has produced some incredible moments (think Andy Irons’ massive shorebreak barrel in 2009). This year shouldn’t be any different with who’s who list of invites.

Those who made the club include Kelly Slater (of course), John John, Mason Ho, Nathan Florence, Nathan Fletcher, Makua Rothman, and Kai Lenny among others. Justine Dupont is in the running for the first time on the women’s side as well as Paige Alms, and stalwart Keala Kennelly.

The forecast is a bit dicey with northeast winds predicted, although the bay does handle gusts from that direction better. We’ll have boots on the ground at Waimea Wednesday, so stay tuned as we bring you more.

Watch the live webcast here. Want to learn more about Eddie Aikau? Watch Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, a 30-for-30 documentary from The Inertia’s contributing editor Sam George, below.


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Andrew Cotton Ranks the World’s Best Big-Wave Surfers and Says There’s a Better Way to Measure Waves | The Inertia

Andrew Cotton Ranks the World’s Best Big-Wave Surfers and Says There’s a Better Way to Measure Waves | The Inertia
Andrew Cotton Ranks the World’s Best Big-Wave Surfers and Says There’s a Better Way to Measure Waves

Always in a state of change – Mr. Cotton in his happy place. Photo: dryrobe

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: This podcast is brought to you by dryrobe.

Andrew Cotton won’t tell you this. Ever. But he’s one of the best, and most dedicated big-wave surfers out there. He’s been on the pioneering end of two of Europe’s most iconic big waves: Ireland’s Mullghamore, and of course, Nazaré . The latter of which has certainly captured the world’s imagination. Andrew, as documented in the recent HBO documentary 100 Foot Wave, joined Garrett McNamara early on to figure out the complicated locale. And of course he towed Garrett into the monster that created the hype around Portugal’s famous point of land.

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In all that time, the Devon native has seen it all, from equipment evolution, to advances in rescue techniques, and of course, injuries (he suffered a broken back at Nazaré in 2017). That’s why it was so good to catch up with him to talk about that history, and the recent string of “world record” claims coming out of Nazare. One of the most interesting debates spawned from that particular spot is how to measure world-record waves? Andrew and I discussed technology that could make that more exact, and I made him rank the best riders of large surf in the world. We also touched on the economic opportunities, or lack thereof, for big-wave specialists. It made for a good conversation.

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