Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, Director (and former professional surfer) Sam George. This moving documentary profiles Eddie Aikau: legendary big wave surfer, pioneering lifeguard, peacemaker, and crew member of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a. Eddie began surfing at age eleven. In 1959, at age sixteen, he dropped out of high school and bought his first surfboard with money he made working at the Dole pineapple cannery. One of the first surfers to make a name for himself braving the monster waves at Waimea Bay, in 1968, Eddie became the first lifeguard hired by the City & County of Honolulu to work on Oahu’s North Shore. Partnering with his younger brother/lifeguard Clyde, the pair never lost a life on their watch. If a swimmer was in trouble, “Eddie would go.” Eddie was named Lifeguard of the Year in 1971. Eddie surfed every major swell to come through the North Shore from 1967 to 1978. In 1977, Eddie won first place in the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship competition.
In 1978, Eddie volunteered as a crew member on the ill-fated second voyage of the Hokule’a as it set sail from Hawai’i to Tahiti. True to his reputation for courage and caring for others, when the Hokule’a capsized in treacherous seas and the lives of the crew members were hanging in the balance, Eddie paddled out on his surfboard to get help. Through archival footage, dramatic reenactments, contemporary interviews, and meticulously researched historical source material, Hawaiian presents the story of Edward Ryon Makuahanai “Eddie” Aikau, a remarkable man who truly embodied the Aloha Spirit. (ESPN Films in association with Peralta Productions and Taublieb Films, 2013, 88 min.).
Indigenous Film & Denver Museum of Nature & Science presents
The Legend of Eddie Aikay
Tuesday, September 11 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Free admission! A discussion with the audience will follow the film