Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Showcasing legendary Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau, who was the first lifeguard on Oahu's famed Waimea Bay, the exhibit is a tribute to Aikau's life and legacy.
Museum executive director Diana Dehm told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel that the exhibit is one of the ways the museum can honor surfing's past and create a bridge with the present.
Dehm and archives collection manager Maria Ballas are working hard to make sure that surfing greats like Aikau aren't forgotten.
Definitely one to remember, Aikau (1946 - 1978) was known for being fearless and tackling the big waves. - and is credited for saving over 500 lives.
During Aikau's years as Waimea's lifeguard, he braved monster waves reaching 30-feet or more to make his rescues. No matter how bad the conditions, he never turned back. His dedication was so great that the locals always said, "Eddie would go."
In recognition of Aikau's selfless bravery, top surfers come from around the world to compete in the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay, an event that's only held when the waves are big enough - in the 30-ft range Aikau routinely faced.
Winner of the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship, Eddie Aikau's life ended tragically when he was lost at sea on a sailing expedition retracing the ancient Polynesians' 2,500 mile route between Hawaii and Tahiti.
The outrigger canoe carrying the crew capsized and Aikau died heroically paddling on his surfboard toward Lanai Island trying to get help.
As he always had before, there was no question that Eddie would go.
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