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How Eddie Aikau Became One of Surfing’s Most Legendary Figures – Drunk History


– HELLO, TODAY WE’RE GONNA TALK
ABOUT EDDIE AIKAU. SO NOVEMBER 19, 1967, WAIMEA BAY
IS BIGGER THAN IT’S EVER BEEN. NOBODY’S SURFED IT THIS BIG. THEY WOULD JUST BE LIKE,
THAT IS A DEATH ZONE. BUT EDWARD RYAN
MAKUAHANAI AIKAU, AND HE’S LIKE,
I’M GONNA GO. AND THEN JUST KILLING IT. AND THAT DAY
IS RECORDED BY EVERYONE. HE’S TAKING OFF
DEEPER THAN EVERYBODY. HE’S RIDING BIGGER WAVES. HE’S KILLING IT.
HE’S OVERNIGHT, A SENSATION. HE’S ON COVERS
OF SURF MAGAZINES. IT’S LIKE,
EDDIE AIKAU, HAWAIIAN HERO. EDDIE PROVES HIMSELF IN FRONT
OF THE WHOLE WORLD. LIKE THAT WAS FOR HAWAII. THIS IS FOR EVERY HAWAIIAN
IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. MOST OF THEM ARE IN HAWAII,
I UNDERSTAND. SO WAIMEA BAY,
WHERE HE MADE HIS NAME, PEOPLE ARE DYING ALL THE TIME
IN WAIMEA BAY. BUT THEN ONE PERSON’S LIKE, OH, WE SHOULD HAVE
A LIFEGUARD. AND EDDIE’S LIKE,
HEY, LOOK AT ME. REMEMBER ME?
EDDIE AIKAU. SO THEY MAKE HIM THE FIRST
LIFEGUARD AT WAIMEA BAY. HE SAVES OVER 500 PEOPLE. WELL, NOT A SINGLE PERSON DIES. PUMPING WATER OUT OF CHESTS
ON THE SAND. I’M GONNA START
SWEATING AT A CERTAIN POINT BECAUSE I JUST DO
AS I GET EXCITED. – DO YOU HAVE YOUR TOWEL READY? – I’M GONNA MOIST DOWN.
– YEAH. – I’M GETTING A LITTLE BRIGHT. – KEEP IT DRY. – SO NOW WE’RE IN THE ’70s, AND THIS BRINGS IN A NEW BREED
OF SURFER FROM AUSTRALIA. THEY WIN A BUNCH
OF COMPETITIONS. THEN THEY [bleep] GET
IN THE PRESS AND THEY INSULT
HAWAIIAN CULTURE, SAYING, HAWAIIAN WAY
OF SURFING IS OLD. IT’S OUT OF DATE. WE’RE THE FUTURE. WE’RE THE FUTURE OF SURFING. I DATED AN AUSTRALIAN
FOR TWO YEARS. CAN’T DO AN AUSTRALIAN ACCENT. I THANK GOD,
BECAUSE I’D DO IT ALL THE TIME. THE HAWAIIANS
ARE REASONABLE PEOPLE, BUT THEY HAVE BEEN
PUSHED TO THE POINT. SO THE AUSTRALIANS
GET BEAT UP A FEW TIMES. PROBABLY MADE THEM
BETTER PEOPLE. AT A CERTAIN POINT,
THEY’VE GOTTEN BEAT UP SO MUCH THAT THEY’RE, LIKE, HOLED UP
IN THEIR ROOM. THERE’S A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. AND THEY’RE JUST LIKE,
OH, NO. SO THEY GRAB A BUNCH
OF TENNIS RACKETS. RABBIT GRABS THE DOORKNOB AND HE TURNS IT LIKE,
WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN? HE OPENS IT UP,
AND IT’S EDDIE. AND HE’S LIKE, HEY. I DON’T HAVE A TENNIS RACKET. PLEASE PUT THOSE AWAY. ALSO, WHY DO YOU HAVE SO MANY? LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS. EDDIE WALKS THEM TO A HOTEL
WITH A CONFERENCE ROOM. AND EDDIE’S LIKE,
WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW HAS BEEN HAPPENING
ON THESE ISLANDS FOR SO LONG, WHERE WHITE PEOPLE
ARE JUST SAYING, LIKE, HAWAIIANS,
YOUR CULTURE’S NOT REAL. IT’S ALL BULL[bleep]. WE RECOGNIZE YOU SURF WELL, BUT YOU’RE BEING
A [bleep] DICK. ALL OF YOU ARE A GROUP
OF PENISES SITTING HERE. AFTER A WHILE,
THE AUSTRALIANS ARE LIKE, WE DON’T WANT TO BE DICKS. WE WANT TO BE COOL
SURFER DUDES. WE’RE SO SORRY. DO YOU KNOW THEY SAY
“WIDE ON” FOR A FEMALE BONER? THAT’S AN AUSTRALIAN TERM. AS OPPOSED TO A HARD ON,
IT’S A WIDE ON. DON’T YOU MAKE ME
EXPLAIN THIS MORE. [laughter] THIS INSPIRES, I THINK, IN EDDIE
A BELIEF THAT, LIKE, I HAVE TO SHOW THE WORLD
THAT HAWAIIANS ARE SUPER SWEET, AND THE WAY WE’RE GONNA PROVE
IT IS THAT WE’RE GONNA SAIL
FROM HAWAII TO TAHITI ONLY BY THE STARS. AND SO THEY LEAVE. SIX HOURS IN,
IT’S A STORM. SO I CAN JUST GO,
AND IT’S LIKE I’M STILL HERE. AND IT SAYS,
KEEP IT DRY BECAUSE I SWEAT A LOT,
SO I MADE THESE UP. – [laughs] SO THEY SET SAIL, BUT THEY SET SAIL
IN JUST BAD WEATHER. THE STORM HITS THEM HARD. THEY GET FLIPPED. THE CAPTAIN
WAS JUST LIKE, OH, NO. I DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU
WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE. BUT THE PROBABILITY OF WE’RE
ALL GONNA DIE IS PRETTY HIGH. EDDIE SAYS,
I’M JUST DOING IT. EDDIE TAKES OFF HIS LIFE JACKET. AND HE’S LIKE,
I’M GONNA GO. I’LL GET HELP. I’LL TELL YOU– I’LL TELL THEM WHERE YOU ARE. HE GETS ON HIS BOARD,
STARTS TO PADDLE TOWARDS LANAI. THEN A FEW HOURS LATER, THE PEOPLE ON THE BOAT
SEE A AIRPLANE, AND SO THEY FIRE THE FLARE, AND THAT IS
HOW EVERYONE GETS RESCUED. AND THE AIKAU FAMILY
ARE ON THE SHORE WAITING, AND THERE’S NO EDDIE. AND THERE’S NO EDDIE. AND THEN THE CAPTAIN
HAS TO TELL THE AIKAU FAMILY THAT EDDIE WENT– HE WENT– HE WENT TO SAVE THEM. HE DIED SAVING THESE PEOPLE. THEY’VE NEVER FOUND
EDDIE’S BODY. BUT QUIKSILVER STARTED A SURF COMPETITION
CALLED THE EDDIE. THE FIRST EDDIE COMPETITION
THAT’S EVER HELD. IT’S BIG WAVES, BUT IT’S ALSO
JUST… [belches] [bleep] UP GNARLY WAVES. AND EVERYBODY’S SITTING THERE. THERE WAS HEMMING AND HAWING. WELL, I DON’T KNOW,
MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T. MAYBE WE SHOULD. MARK FOO,
LEGENDARY BIG WAVE SURFER, HE SAYS,
EDDIE WOULD GO. AND EVERYBODY IS LIKE,
[bleep] MAN. YEAH, EDDIE WOULD GO. AND SO THAT BECOMES A THING. EDDIE WOULD GO, AND IT MEANS EDDIE WOULD GO
ON THE BIGGEST WAVE. HE WOULD GO SAVE YOU, AND HE WOULD GO. BECAUSE IF YOU ATTEMPT LIFE, YOU MIGHT DIE,
BUT YOU’LL LIVE ON, AND EDDIE HAS. – WOW. – I MEAN, I KNOW I HAVE TO
WAKE UP AT– OH, IT’S ONLY 11:30. LET’S HAVE ANOTHER DRINK.

100 thoughts on “How Eddie Aikau Became One of Surfing’s Most Legendary Figures – Drunk History

  1. Eddie would go.

    3 words. That's it. But it tells the story of a man who literally gave his life for everything he believed was right. I only know of Eddie from working one summer in a surf shop here in Texas but this is the exact same story the owner told me almost verbatim. Speaks to the power of Eddie's story and how he lived his life.

  2. "So the Australians get beat up a few times. Probably made them better people." I died laughing, this was the point at which this rapidly became my favourite drunken history video.

  3. Having paddled a longboard 3hrs against a storm rip to washup on rocks when shore was always insight. I can only wonder what might have gone through eddies mind after he lost sight of the shipwreck. I wish he was there watching over me that day, and maybe he was. because i made it to shore to throw up my breakfast and curl up into a ball with muscle cramps

  4. This shit made me cry might be over thinking it but I'd love to see the the entire movie of this like a biography
    The part where he goes to rescue them idk normally I'd say that's dumb but this sounded genuinely sounds like a great dude.

  5. The Hōkūle'a (the ship Eddie was on) did not really set sail to show that Hawaiians were nice people lol (but we are!). It set sail to prove that Hawaiians/Polynesians actually set sail on the pacific ocean and navigated the ocean just using the stars and got to hawaii. Many white people didnt believe that so we proved it. Our culture was and still is on the brink of extinction and the Hōkūle'a really helped reignite the culture again.

    Clyde Aikau (Eddie's brother) still comes to my middle school every year to talk about his brother. He's a really cool guy. Plus on my way home from school, we pass by the Aikau house (a house in a big graveyard)

  6. Also thank you guys for talking about Hawaiian History! most people don't know about it and you guys have a pretty accurate and funny way of telling it. right on for helping educate 👍

  7. He left out some stuff but I'm a surf nerd but just for reference – they don't even have The Eddie surf competition until the waves are a minimum of 20 feet tall consistently. If you ever hear that The Eddie is happening, look at the live feed and appreciate it because it doesn't happen every year. It's a rare gem! Appreciate it! EDDIE WOULD GO

  8. What a tragic story! My heart is crying. Eddie is a hero! A superhuman, through & through. I’d never heard of him before this, but I’m glad to have learned his name & who he is. Live on, Eddie! 🌈

  9. Why did they get a Greek man to portray a Hawaiian surfer?? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Jason Mantzoukas, but I think they could've done better

  10. That was the second voyage.
    After the first, Mao refused to be be the captain, because of the discontent and dishonor of the crew.
    Eddie was a total hero.

  11. Fun fact not all people that are Polynesian in Hawaii are actually native Hawaiian. There is actually not that big of a population of full on Hawaiians. So you’ll usually see people that are Samoan, or Phillipino. There’s a big Asian population due to Japan making it a major tourist destination for them which is ironic. Just some cool facts from living in Hawaii. It’s quite diverse to the military as well.

  12. My favorite murder made an episode about Eddie, it's equally if not more enjoyable than this. It's a podcast on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. #murderinos

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