Photos: Big-wave surfers brave Waimea Bay for the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational
Oʻahu lifeguard Luke Shepardson earned the coveted title as winner of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational held Sunday at Waimea Bay on Oʻahu’s North Shore.
Shepardson is the 10th person to ever win the event, which is only held when surf heights consistently reach 20-feet, which is 40-foot faces. This year’s contest window opened on Dec. 14, 2022, and was expected to run through March 23, 2023.
This year marked the 10th running of the event, which started in 1984.
The immediate past winner was John Florence (2016). Others included: Greg Long (2009), Bruce Irons (2004), Kelly Slater (2002), Ross Clarke-Jones (2001), Noah Johnson (1999), Keone Downing (1990), Clyde Aikau (1986) and Denton Miyamura (1987).
The invite-only event featured two big-wave female surfers from Maui–Paige Alms and Andrea Moller. They were among the six women and 34 men featured in the 2022-2023 event. Mauiʻs Kai Lenny, Tyler Larronde and Billy Kemper were also on the list of big-wave riders competing this year.
According to the contest website, the last time the event ran, it saw over 1.2 million streaming views from fans from over 200 countries around the world.
Watch the event replay here: