2016 Eddie Aikau!

The Eddie Aikau has been on my bucket list of things to shoot for quite some time now. In 2011, my dad and I drove up to the North Shore when the Eddie almost ran (it was called off in the morning due to not enough sets coming in for the surfers). Over the next few years, we went up a few times when some large winter swells came in but no Eddie. Then, this winter, probably due to the El Nino, there were a number of huge swells that started bringing the possibility of the Eddie running back into the light. Two weeks ago, a large swell with potential put the Eddie on yellow light. I headed up to Waimea Bay at 3AM and set up on the side of the road, only to hear the Eddie was called off due to the swell losing its power from the storm shifting away from the islands. It was a huge bummer, but as they say, the Bay calls the day. That was 0-2. Then, earlier last week, the news started reporting of a monster swell that was going to bring possible closeout sets to Waimea. I was a bit skeptical after the last swell didn't go, but my gut feeling told me I needed to go.

I headed out to Waimea at 3AM with my co-worker Brendan, and set up on the left side of the bay for a different angle on the waves (I had shot from the right side in 2011). Walking over to the bay, we could hear the deep thunder of the waves breaking on the shore, and words cannot describe how much excitement this brought me! Gear-wise, I had my D4s and rented a 200-500mm f5.6 from Hawaii Camera. I also brought along my D750 and 24-70 for documentary shots around the bay.

When the call was made around 7AM that the Eddie would run, I could hardly believe my ears. After all these years, I finally was going to see the Eddie run!!! During the early morning, the sun was in and out and we had passing showers, but by late morning, the sun was out and monster sets started coming into the bay like I've never seen before. The size, speed, and power of these waves is really something to experience first hand, and I'll never forget it. We shot through the early afternoon, and then went on the beach to check out what was happening there before heading back to the car. All in all, an incredibly memorable and awesome day that reminds me just how special it is to live in Hawaii. 

Early morning snacks from Pupukea Foodland! 

Cell reception was severely bottlenecked at the bay...couldn't send out picture texts and regular texts suffered huge delays. 

Click for a larger view!

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view!

Click for a larger view! 


  1. Awesome! Great shots & documentary from around the beach & cliffs! I watched the Eddie online from Ireland...we have our own big wave here just up the road from where I live...Mullaghmore! It's a serious wave, gets to 60 foot but nothing can rival the Eddie for prestige! Superb!

  2. Thanks so much Mark! Glad you were able to watch the Eddie online...it was quite a spectacle at the Bay! Super cool that you guys have your own big wave up at Ireland...water must be freezing! Btw, great wedding work on your site...some very nice moments captured on the blog posts :)



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