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.

Words by Michael Ciaramella

“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

What Surfing Archetype Are You?

Brendan Buckely gives you your options in this week's FWD.

Feb 27, 2021

The Fresh Prince of Aloha

Seth Moniz is making his ascent at Pipeline with grace, goodwill and old fashioned Aloha.

Feb 26, 2021

“It’s Really Top to Bottom and Hard to Get Into, But that Adds to the Fun”

Get a glimpse of Simon Hetrick's east coast existence in 'Dead April'.

Feb 26, 2021

“This Guy Had A Box Of Andy Irons Tapes That Hadn’t Been Digitized”

The Drop: How 'Andy Iron's And The Radicals' came to life and a chat with…

Feb 26, 2021

Say Hola To Lola

One of Mexico's most talented female longboarders.

Feb 26, 2021

Andy Irons and The Radicals, Chapter 1 of 4

Andy's childhood influences.

Feb 26, 2021

“A Laid Back Cool Cat With A Minimal Approach To Life”

Get to know the real Russell Bierke.

Feb 25, 2021

A Proven Step-Up For Your Post-Pandemic Escape

An introduction to the Channel Islands Happy Traveler.

Feb 25, 2021

Here’s the Price List for a Seat on the WSL’s Secret Flight

Plus, what we’ve learned about The Australian leg of the tour.

Feb 25, 2021

Hail To The Bus Driver: World Champ Pauline Menczer May Well Take Your Kids To School

Ahead of the release of Girls Can’t Surf, the ‘93 world champ reflects on overcoming…

Feb 25, 2021

An Honest Review: Creatures S-LOCK DRY BAG 35L

A backpack for peace of mind and snorkeling.

Feb 24, 2021

Free Surfboard: Enter to win Taj’s Sharp Eye from Stab In The Dark

Just like in the movies (and Taj picks the two Stab Premium giveaways).

Feb 24, 2021

A Caribbean Entrée With Indo for Dessert

Warning: Gatien Delahaye's recent run of waves will trigger your salivary glands.

Feb 24, 2021

There’s Never Been A More Productive Surfer Than Italo Ferreira

Guy bags 15 clips a session, especially when the waves look like this.

Feb 24, 2021

Coming Soon: Andy Irons and The Radicals

A look at one of surfing's superheroes through the eyes of those who knew him…

Feb 24, 2021

Sometimes Low: The Stab High B-Sides

30 minutes of surfing that was too good to die on the cutting-room floor.

Feb 23, 2021

Was There a Secret, Elite Surf Cult Formed at Uluwatu?

Featuring Kelly Slater, Ian Crane, Crosby Colapinto, Cole Houshmand, Kolohe Andino & Koa Smith

Feb 23, 2021

The Burleigh Single Fin is “The greatest surfing contest in the world”

Where competitors are forced to ride the “worst surfboards ever made”.

Feb 23, 2021