Stab Magazine | Stab's Picks: The Eddie Aikau Invitational

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Stab’s Picks: The Eddie Aikau Invitational

Words by Damien Fahrenfort We’re about to realise just how fucked up the Jaws event was. While I’m super excited to see the Eddie run, I’m also slightly scared that since it’s last showing, big wave surfing has overtaken Waimea. To me as a petrified spectator, it just doesn’t compare to Jaws or Mavs. Regardless, it’s […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Damien Fahrenfort

We’re about to realise just how fucked up the Jaws event was. While I’m super excited to see the Eddie run, I’m also slightly scared that since it’s last showing, big wave surfing has overtaken Waimea. To me as a petrified spectator, it just doesn’t compare to Jaws or Mavs. Regardless, it’s got a rich history and the current roster of invitees is incredible. I’m hoping these fearless gents will treat it like a small beachbreak and play with it; taking off late and going on closeouts. It could be the first time we’ll see anyone get shacked on a right at The Bay. So for my selection, due to the recent run of surf, I’m going with surfers that genuinely sit outside of the ‘Big Wave’ realm. Maybe small wave skills aren’t relevant, but they have to count for something, right?

John John Florence
The same way Kerr took out Todos, I have a feeling JJF will win The Eddie. He’s got the big game temperament when it comes to big waves. He’s clearly fearless, and from all accounts has been putting his time in at Waimea. Plus it would be pretty cool if he won The Eddie before he won a Pipe Masters.

If Albee’s performance at Jaws is any preview of how he’ll do at the bay, things are looking good. Photo: Tom Servais

Albee Layer
Albee told event organisers before they almost ran it last time, that he wouldn’t be coming over because he was going to surf Jaws. Big attitude and the skills to back it up. Albee has a tremendous amount of respect for his peers in this event, and to me he kinda invented the term ‘knifing it’. What Kelly did at the last event where he took off sideways and pulled up into one, I think Albee could do the same. Plus he’s better in the freesurf format than competition format. They (the judges) also told him at the Jaws event that surfing the bowl wouldn’t get scored and, well, the only thing to surf at Waimea is the bowl.

Bruce has won it before he could do it again. Photo: Joli

Bruce Irons
Past champion and badass. Bruce has been on a tear lately. He’s surfing good, and not just out at big Pipe. His turn game is on point at the moment, which probably means he’s been spending a ton of time in the water. Plus he’s Bruce Irons, packing closeouts at huge Cloudbreak and the Waimea shorebreak is what he does.

Ian Walsh flirts with consequence one when of Jaw’s finer days this year. Photo: WSL

Ian Walsh
He’s just the ultimate competitor and is having an incredible big wave season. Ian’s intelligent and absolutely  charges. He’s one of the most competitive surfers out there and a standout of almost every swell. There’s been a few years where Ian was overlooked for The Eddie so I think he’s got something to prove. Not that he needs to, but a win here would compliment his ability and love for big waves.

Basically when you do things like this at Waimea, you surf the hell out of it. Photo: Brian Bielmann

Jamie O’Brien
Like Ian he’s incredibly competitive. I’ve seen a lot of comments saying he’ll probably ride an inflatable tube or something, but as JOB does fucks around, he wants to be remembered as one of the best Hawaiian surfers of all time. Jamie was incredible out there in the last event, and he will be again this year. Like JJF and Albee, there’s not many that can knife a take off in the way that these guys do. His ability to not nosedive on a late drop and fit his board in the wave will separate him from the rest of the pack.

Shane Dorian
Because there’s no one more deserving. Shane is the best big wave surfer of all time.


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