Hawaii Report: The Day The Eddie Didn't Run - Stab Mag
What channel? Photo: Will Stiles

Hawaii Report: The Day The Eddie Didn’t Run

Oahu was massive today. Here are some photos to prove it.

full frame // Jan 17, 2021
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“I think if the Eddie waiting period was still going, it for sure would be on today,” said an out-of-breath Mason Ho after negotiating Waimea’s notorious shorebreak sans-surfboard (he’d been caught by a closeout set and broke his leash).

“To be honest, I think it’s a little smaller than the last Eddie they had [2016, John Florence won etc], just because last time there’s no way I could have gotten out without a ski, but this time I pulled it.”

Luck to find one with a shoulder. Photo: Katie Rodriguez

After splitting with long-time sponsor Quiksilver in 2016, the Eddie Aikau Foundation has worked tirelessly to keep the historic event alive each winter. With the help of local sponsors, the competition was given the green light for the 2019-2020 season, but due to a lack of sufficient swell, the event was not able to run.

This year, there was no official update on the Foundation’s official website, but it could be assumed that the ongoing pandemic played a role in their inability to hold the event in winter 2020-2021.

This didn’t stop an audacious crew of matadors from prancing around (and occasionally getting gorged by) an enraged Waimea Bay today. Nor did it stop the throngs of rabid, beer-throwing spectators from filing in and perching themselves along the adjacent beach and cliffs.

What a show it was.

Eddie-esque crowds. Photo: Katie Rodriguez

The buoys today read 22 feet at 17 seconds. That’s big big. Some have called it the biggest swell in a decade, and we don’t have any particular data points to dispute them. Spots all over the North Shore lit up, from Waimea to various outer reefs. And everyone who wanted a piece, got it—and then some.

Does it really surprise you that Mikey ‘Mongrel’ Wright got amongst it? Photo: Peter King

Local boy Koa Rothman called a certain left-hand reef pass, which bears a striking resemblance to XXL Cloudbreak, the best it’s ever been. John Florence reportedly got a huge tube, as did Kohl Christenson, which fellow-paddler Kelly Slater explained in great detail on Surfline’s IG stories.

Meanwhile, Koa Smith filmed an outer reef right that looked every bit of “two to tree…tops”, as Pancho Sullivan put it.

Of course, the day was not without its mishaps.

Mark Healey’s jetski got washed nearly to shore but was saved by Jamie Mitchell and co.

At the same spot (and perhaps by the same set), an entire channel of onlookers got caught by a closeout and had to decide whether to book it out and over the set, or to scamper in with their tow ropes between their legs.

The majority chose to out, including Mike Latronic, who was a little late to the punch. Not having enough time to kill the gas before breaching the wave, Mike used the swell as a Burnquist-esque mega ramp and flew some 20 feet in the air on his PWC. Flashbacks of Alex Botehlo’s Nazaré incident came to mind, but this time, fortunately, no one was injured.

[Update: Mike Latronic was not on the white ski. Nobody seems to know who that was. Photographer Ryan Moss was, however, injured on one of the other skis that flew over the wave.]

Here’s Mike’s account of the incident:

And here’s an iPhone capture of the moment, proving that Mike Latronic significantly under-embellished his air (what a legend!):

Meanwhile, Jaws was reportedly huge and windy. Very few who attempted to paddle. The best moment we’ve found through a cursory Gram scroll is this tow-in tube by France’s big wave (and air) extraordinaire, Justine Dupont:

We’re certain there are many other historically-significant rides from January 16, 2021 that have yet to see the light of day. This is not a comprehensive narrative, just a brief report of the day the Eddie didn’t run.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Be Yourself and Have Fun

An Interview with Jaleesa Vincent on her new film, 'Macaroni in the Pot'

Oct 6, 2022

Can Proper Surf Instruction Mitigate Chaos In The Water?

Here's why you need certification to earn the title "surf instructor" in 80 different countries.

Oct 6, 2022


No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji

Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.

Oct 6, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”

UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022


You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022