SURFER Staffer Crashes Eddie Paddle-Out

Kaohi and Cody
Kaohi and Cody

Today was the 25th Anniversary ceremony of the Eddie at Waimea Bay. Since my college roommate, Kaohi Downing, is the son of Keone Downing —and grandson of pioneer and legend George Downing—I had a special connection with the Downing family and was invited to paddle out with them. Nearly half a mile out to sea on a 10' board with no wax and no leash, a few dozen invitees, alternates, and family members met at the prestigious Hokulea to give their gratitude to the Aikau family. Holding the hands of those around me tightly as the current pushed us out even farther, I listened as the most prestigious watermen today present this event in honor of Eddie Aikau. At the end of the paddle-out, with a very awe-inspiring fist pump, everyone chanted "Hokulea — Eddie Aikau!" three times over, followed by the lei throwing and buckets of water being sprayed in the faces of legends. This event is truly iconic.