Who the hell is Aaron Gold? Meet the man who paddled the biggest ever!
Words by Jake Howard
“He’s one of the most respectful underground chargers,” says Ian Walsh of Aaron Gold, who if you listen to Instagram, just paddled into the biggest wave ever at Jaws last week. More succinctly, Da Hui describes him as “savage." So just who is this man with the glistening last name? Well, up until a few days ago he was a relatively unknown charger. That’s quickly changing.
Growing up in Hilo on the Big Island, today Aaron quietly lives, surfs and minds his own business on the North Shore of Oahu. Taking a page out of the late, great Sion Milosky’s playbook, when not scouring Hawaii’s outer reefs for thrills he’s a devout family man, married with two daughters. In his mid 30s, to support the family he shapes big-wave guns under his own label, Gold Surfboards. This year he got an invite to the Eddie, yet there’s not a sponsor’s sticker to be found on his boards…just a painted cross.
“He’d be a favourite to win the Eddie, lets put it that way,” says Mr Walsh. “That guy’s no joke. He’s a really good surfer, and he obviously has the desire to ride and push the boundaries of what we define as ridable. As a surfer, his whole general demeanour is rad.”
He’s been known to stay up all night shaping a 10’2” gun for himself—and glassing it—then catching the first flight of the morning over to Maui to take it for a spin at Jaws. Shaping since he was but a wee 12-year-old, he trusts is own equipment with his life, and Gold Surfboards enjoys a small, but loyal following.
A church-going man, Aaron recently was involved on a project with Christian filmmaker Bryan Jennings and his Walking On Water organization (the group behind the film “Beyond Sight” with blind Brazilian surfer Derek Rabelo).
Comparing big-wave surfers and bull riders, Aaron notes, “When I surf, it is like my time with God. Nothing else matters when I’m on the water and a big wave comes. Similarly, when you’re on a bull, it is just you and God. You have to be fully in the moment."