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Surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii

Updated on September 24, 2016

While some people on the mainland are enjoying a winter wonderland, seasonal waves on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii are reaching record heights. The Quiksilver which has only been held eight times in 25 years, happens when the waves are a sustained 20-25 feet high. Some of the faces exceeded 40 feet. The last time the competition occurred was in 2004. But this year, luckily it happened again on December 8, 2009.

The contest is held where the waves are at their best in Waimea. The enormous waves have been anticipated for several weeks. With a cloudless sky, temperatures starting the morning in the upper 60s and ending up in the 70s, it made for the perfect atmosphere. Over 30,000 people gathered on the strip of beach waiting and watching.

Onlookers were not disappointed as Greg Long from San Clemente, California, survived a nearly sheer drop down a huge wave in the final heat. He received a perfect 100 from the judges, which put him in first place. The drop could obviously have been life threatening if he did not follow through. He wins $55,000 in the most prestigious surfing competition. Surfers involved are there by invitation only.

Kelly Slater, who had led most of the daylong competition, came in second. Slater won the Aikau event in 2002. Sunny Garcia, a former world champion came in third and Bruce Irons, came in fourth. He won the competition in 2004.

The swell held most of the day and pulsed higher towards the end of the contest. There were a few crazy wipeouts, broken surfboards and even one surfer who feel on his board only to get back up and complete the run. Lifeguards were also busy giving out 10,000 warnings and completing four rescues to professional wannabes.

So what is the lure of the huge dangerous surf? The best wave riders honor the former first lifeguard at Waimea, Eddie Aikau (The Hawaiian Superman) who gave his life trying to save his comrades on shipwreck in 1978. Follow the following link to learn the rest of the story about Eddie.

Many Hawaiian residents called in sick to work and even took their kids out of school for this once in a lifetime opportunity. The difficult thing about the North Shore is that there is only one road, Kamehameha Highway, that goes right along the beach, so traffic involving 30,000 people was very congested. Congrats to the winners!!

Eddie Aikau 2009 Legends show


Submit a Comment

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks pddm67. Crazy bad sport but fun to watch. Aloha!

  • pddm67 profile image


    8 years ago from Queens, New York

    Nice hub. What an incredible sport and those guys are just amazing - kudos! Very cool :-)

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks xunlei and Jen's Solitude.

    Some of the wave tips get up to 50 feet. Amazing huh?

  • Jen's Solitude profile image

    Jen's Solitude 

    8 years ago from Delaware

    Heard about this on the news. They talked about waves reaching 50 feet. Was that an exaggeration?

    Thanks for the great hub!

  • xunlei profile image


    8 years ago

    it is a nice hub , great? Thanks ?

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    You are funny Isileli. Come on - it might be fun!!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    What a scary ride. Greg Long must be doing it for the love of surfing because $55,000 is not enough to compensate for this life threatening thrill. Please sent me to the psychiatrist if you ever catch me on the surf the board. Merry Christmas.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yes Rose - they have to be a bit crazy. Most have been surfing all their lives.

    Hi hello, hello. It is totally awesome watching the surfers on the big waves. Aloha!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    That was interesting and something else I have learned. It must be awsome. Thank you.

  • Rose West profile image

    Rose West 

    8 years ago from Michigan

    Wow, wish I could have gone! That must be so incredible to watch in person! Those surfers are insane!


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