Greg Long on his way to an Eddie win the last time it was contestable in 2009. Photo: Ellis

The 28 invitees to The Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Invitational were made public yesterday. An invitation to compete in the Eddie—which owes its namesake and acts as an homage to the late Hawaiian big-wave legend Eddie Aikau—has served as a highly coveted chevron on the sleeve of big-wave surfers since the contest’s inception. For the event to run, conditions at Waimea have to exceed the 25-foot mark, and in its 28-year history, the contest has only been run eight times.

This year, the selection process was handed over to members of the big-wave community, who were asked to create a dream team of competitors and alternates. According to Quiksilver, the event sponsor, “Each surfer’s vote was tallied and the highest ranking 24 surfers became this year’s list of Invitees. An additional four regional Invitee selections were chosen by Quiksilver, making up the final four of a total of 28 Invitees.” The new faces graduating from alternates to official invitees include John Florence, Ian Walsh, and Alex Gray.

“My whole life I’ve been going to the opening ceremony, looking at all the big guys with their big boards, and paddling out to the circle since I was super little. Something about Waimea and the way Eddie surfed it back in the day, all the stories you hear about him, it’s just such a powerful place,” says John Florence. “You can feel it when you’re out there. To be able to grow up and kind of learn to surf that wave since I was little, and be able to watch the last couple of Eddies has been crazy.”

The waiting period for the event begins on Dec. 1 and will run until Feb. 28 2013.


Alex Gray

Bruce Irons

Carlos Burle

Clyde Aikau

Dave Wassel

Garrett McNamara

Grant Baker

Greg Long

Ian Walsh

Jamie O’Brien

Jamie Sterling

John Florence

Jeremy Flores

Kala Alexander

Kelly Slater

Kohl Christenson

Makua Rothman

Mark Healey

Nathan Fletcher

Noah Johnson

Peter Mel

Ramon Navarro

Reef McIntosh

Ross Clarke-Jones

Shane Dorian

Sunny Garcia

Takayuki Wakita

Tom Carroll


Danny Fuller

Kalani Chapman

Kahea Hart

Michael Ho

Keoni Downing

Brock Little

David Standt

Danilo Couto

Ben Wilkinson

Jamie Mitchell

Keoni Watson

Kealii Mamala

Rusty Keaulana

Gabriel Villaran

Tau Hannemann

Mark Mathews

Evan Valiere

Deigo Medina

Rusty Long

Aaron Gold

Myles Padaca

Chris Bertish

Andrew Marr

Anthony Tashnick

Shawn Dollar

Ross Williams

Derek Dunfee