Eddie Would Go.

Here is the tragic and beautiful story of a great Hawaiian superhero…

Eddie Would Go.

In Hawaii you will see this on t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and surfboards.

That’s a tribute to Eddie Aikau.

Eddie was a pure superhero. He saved more lives than you can imagine on the treacherous north shore of Oahu.

Eddie could surf those huge breaks like nothing you have ever seen.

Eddie slaved away working at the Dole Pineapple Cannery to buy his first board.

The powers that be recognized Eddie’s unbelievable command of the waves. Yeah, it was handed down through the generations but Eddie had a special talent. He was unmatchable on the waves.

So, in 1978 the Polynesian Voyaging Society snatched up some worthy volunteers for a 30 day- 2,500 mile journey that was to replicate the voyage from the Tahitian islands to the Hawaiian islands.

Eddie, by this time, was a legendary lifeguard. At the age of 31 he jumped right into the voyage.

The crew headed out into the open seas on a double hulled voyaging canoe. About 12 miles south of Molokai the vessel sprung a leak.

Eddie jumped and paddled on his surfboard. Miles and miles away from any land, Eddie’s lifeguard instincts kicked in.

Unfortunately, he was lost at sea. Luckily for the rest of the crew, the Coast Guard came to the rescue. But Eddie was still out there. The search for Eddie became the largest air-sea rescue mission in Hawaiian history. Eddie shed his life jacket to better paddle to the nearest shore, which was over 12 miles away. Did Eddie care? Nope. He was out to save his shipmates.

Eddie would go.

So…flash forward. The surf company Quicksilver launched a huge surf contest in Eddie’s honor.

Here’s the deal: they only hold the event if the swells reach 20 feet. Since 1985 it’s only been held 8 times. The very best surfers in the world fantasize about catching those monstrous north shore waves.

So bumper stickers and T-shirts started popping up with the phrase “Eddie Would Go.” Still very prevalent on the Hawaiian Islands. Here is what it means:

Eddie was a legend on the north shore…pulling people out of waves that no one else would dare to. Eddie would go when no one else would or could.

The phrase was born during the first Eddie Invitational Surf Contest. The waves were huge and the conditions were extremely dangerous. The contest organizers were discussing whether or not to go ahead with the contest. Legendary surfer and good friend of Aikau’s named Mark Foo said…simply…”Eddie Would Go.” And the show went on. The phrase stuck. The “Eddie” went. Because Eddie would go.

So the next time you are trying to decide whether to go for it or not, whatever the challenge may be…just remember…

Eddie would go.