During my Florida days of surfing, the name Eddie Aikau meant "Hawaii and Big Waves".
I knew he was a Hawaiian legend, big wave rider, died at sea,
there is a Big Wave contest named after him and that was it.
I never knew the real story of Eddie Aikau.
That was until I read EDDIE WOULD GO by
Stewart Holms Coleman.
From a high school dropout, who lived in a graveyard with his family.
Eddie became the first life guard at Waimea Bay, a profession surfer,
musician, accomplished waterman, and Hawaiian legend.
Respected by all who knew them. The Aikau's had many hanai (adopted) sons and daughters.
As Bill Pierce (one of the first black surfers) said "They've helped a lot of people.
If you were giving of yourself and have a decent heart, they were going to take you in, and that's what happened to me and the others." Their 'ohana (family) was based on love not blood.
Coming from a family like this Eddie was always giving and looking out for others.
He saved many lives while a life guard and during surf contests (even when he was competing).
So it came as no surprise that he died trying to save his fellow sailors on the Hokule'a.
"EDDIE WOULD GO"
is a story about a humble man, his family, his friends, and of Hawaii.
A true hero.