Article

Eddie Invitees Announced

The world's best big-wave chargers are selected by their peers to compete at Waimea

| posted on November 03, 2012

Greg Long on his way to an Eddie win the last time it was contestable in 2009. Photo: Ellis

The 28 invitees to The Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Invitational were made public yesterday. An invitation to compete in the Eddie—which owes its namesake and acts as an homage to the late Hawaiian big-wave legend Eddie Aikau—has served as a highly coveted chevron on the sleeve of big-wave surfers since the contest’s inception. For the event to run, conditions at Waimea have to exceed the 25-foot mark, and in its 28-year history, the contest has only been run eight times.

This year, the selection process was handed over to members of the big-wave community, who were asked to create a dream team of competitors and alternates. According to Quiksilver, the event sponsor, “Each surfer’s vote was tallied and the highest ranking 24 surfers became this year’s list of Invitees. An additional four regional Invitee selections were chosen by Quiksilver, making up the final four of a total of 28 Invitees.” The new faces graduating from alternates to official invitees include John Florence, Ian Walsh, and Alex Gray.

“My whole life I’ve been going to the opening ceremony, looking at all the big guys with their big boards, and paddling out to the circle since I was super little. Something about Waimea and the way Eddie surfed it back in the day, all the stories you hear about him, it’s just such a powerful place,” says John Florence. “You can feel it when you’re out there. To be able to grow up and kind of learn to surf that wave since I was little, and be able to watch the last couple of Eddies has been crazy.”

The waiting period for the event begins on Dec. 1 and will run until Feb. 28 2013.

Invitees:

Alex Gray

Bruce Irons

Carlos Burle

Clyde Aikau

Dave Wassel

Garrett McNamara

Grant Baker

Greg Long

Ian Walsh

Jamie O’Brien

Jamie Sterling

John Florence

Jeremy Flores

Kala Alexander

Kelly Slater

Kohl Christenson

Makua Rothman

Mark Healey

Nathan Fletcher

Noah Johnson

Peter Mel

Ramon Navarro

Reef McIntosh

Ross Clarke-Jones

Shane Dorian

Sunny Garcia

Takayuki Wakita

Tom Carroll

Alternates:

Danny Fuller

Kalani Chapman

Kahea Hart

Michael Ho

Keoni Downing

Brock Little

David Standt

Danilo Couto

Ben Wilkinson

Jamie Mitchell

Keoni Watson

Kealii Mamala

Rusty Keaulana

Gabriel Villaran

Tau Hannemann

Mark Mathews

Evan Valiere

Deigo Medina

Rusty Long

Aaron Gold

Myles Padaca

Chris Bertish

Andrew Marr

Anthony Tashnick

Shawn Dollar

Ross Williams

Derek Dunfee

  • john hammersmidt

    I don’t really understand why Jeremy Flores was selected? Obviously it might have something to do with the fact that he is sponsored by Quiksilver. I know he has ridden big Teahupoo and stuff but some of those alternates are much more accomplished big wave riders.

  • tupat

    I’m confused why Mike Ho is an alternate?

  • Johnny Appleseed

    And why is Greg Long an alternate? He should be in the contest. Tom Carrol? Love the guy but seriously?

  • westoz

    Jamie Sterling and Jeremy Flores should be replaced by any of the alternates.. why Flores???

  • scott

    Agreed. There are a few questionable alternates gettin the shaft

  • fronty

    Jamie Mitchell should be in there…. he would do some damage, could see him winning an Eddie

  • Henrique

    Joynny Appleseed, you probably dont know Tom Carrol. Hes been dedicating he past decade to surf big waves. Alongside with Ross Clark-Jones, he has travelled the world searching big storms, probably more than any other on the list. On the other hand, I dont understand why Jeremy Flores is there while Kalani Chapman is an alternate. Thats disgusting.

  • DGCOVA

    DANILO COUTO and DUNFEE are out!!!!!!!????????

    you guys should kiding me !!!!!

    what a helll!!!!????

  • JP

    Flores? Really? Unworthy.

  • Ciaran

    Flores probably got invited under the regional criteria, as he is French. Pity if this is the case as he was raised in Reunion and there are some serious European big wave riders that were raised in Europe that could have been chosen such as Fergal Smith for instance. He is also a Pipeline Master!

  • el loco drogadicto

    Jeremy Flores??,,,hey Jer, we think you are an amazing surfer but you have to earn your way in the Eddie and we think you have not yet. Dont get me wrong, we would like you to do good out there but it seems like you have to actually win the contest to shut up our mouths. Now, what about the Muniain (not sure about the spelling) that takes off on mega bombs without any jet sky assistant at Belharra??. What about the Puerto boys (locals and ex-pats and no, no the magazine guys but the ones that only pop out when is 20´plus)? dont see any of them.. not even as alternates. Anyway loco Jeremy, hope that the “no one believes in you” thing gives you a driving force to ride some giants and surpass some legends. Doc Rennekker (spelling again?) did it a few years back at mavs and he was like 50…

  • K

    You guys are so ignorant. Jeremy flores is crazy in big waves.

  • Ciaran

    I am sure Jeremy will do great, if it runs….

  • Pura Vida!!

    Gabriel Villaran , The Peruvian charger in Pico Alto-Peru have to be there.
    Peace

  • Jason

    Surfers votes for who deserves to be in the Eddie, so if Jeremy Flores is on the list it’s because he deserves it and they all voted him in.

  • Garek

    It’s about that time to consider Maya Gabeira, Silvia Nabuco, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms and Savannah Shaughnessy among many female chargers. They’ve paid their dues and Eddie would agree. Put women’s xxl surfing on the map! If not the traditional Eddie, then a women’s event of the same effect.

  • johnny

    I gotta agree with Ciaran, Flores is doing ok, but there are some much better European chargers out there. Fergal Smith really should have gotten the nod over Flores.

  • James

    should have given Maya a run, she has proven herself time and time and gain in the big stuff… time to crack the boys club wide open

  • Jeff bason

    Jeremy charges…..and is fully deserving…talking about letting Maya being invitee because she’s a chick….how about Shawn dollar…XXL winner….balls of steel…paddling into what may be the biggest paddle in wave ever at Mavs the day Dorian almost died……charges Mavs and Puerto for free…..and super cool…worthy of a spot….

  • Royce Gander

    English Charger Andrew Cotton definitely deserves the nod..

  • Bs

    Mike ho should be in before anybody wats goin on?? He has been in the first one invited every year and actually knew Eddie aikau blown!

  • Whamo

    Ross Williams deserves to be on the starting list.