Waimea Grandmaster Clyde Aikau’s Heart Needs Some Loving - Stab Mag

Waimea Grandmaster Clyde Aikau’s Heart Needs Some Loving

The Eddie organiser and waterman is recovering from an aortic aneurysm and emergency surgery in Las Vegas.

elsewhere // Jun 26, 2023
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hawaiian surf royalty Clyde Aikau is in a Las Vegas hospital after undergoing emergency heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm. 

The 86’ Eddie Aikau winner, an event named after his older bro – a lifeguard who passed away trying to save his crew-mates on the ill-fated Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a – reportedly collapsed after leaving a restaurant last week. 

After being admitted to hospital docs found an aneurysm in his aortic valve which required emergency open heart surgery. Clyde has asked for everyone to keep him in their prayers as he tackles what he described as “the biggest wave of his life”. 

Though some money would be great too. 

His Gofundme page has put the medical bill estimate at a steep $200K – currently he is shy of the $13K mark. 11x World Champion Kelly Slater is a top donor, having kindly chipped in one-thousand Benjamins. 

Clyde directed this year’s stripped-back iteration of the Eddie Aikau which clocked a live audience of more than 50k people and 1.7 million views on YouTube, presenting the $10,000 prize cheque to on-duty lifeguard Luke Shepardson. 

Clyde placed fifth in the Eddie in 1990, tenth in 2001 and eighth in 2002. In 2016, at 66 years of age he surfed in his final Eddie Aikau event. Mason Ho told Surfing World at the time “Uncle Clyde got some really nice ones during the event. He has this super cool style when he takes off, the iconic Aikau style. When he takes off his stance is regular, but really it’s postured forward, like the old traditional Hawaiian surfing, like the Duke with a foot forward and parallel look in their stance. It looks so cool. He’s never phased when it’s big, he’s always super calm and I think it has a lot to do with that stance.”

Help get him back on his feet here.


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