ESPN 30 for 30 Hawaiian: Complete Preview for Eddie Aikau Documentary

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2013

WAIMEA, HI - DECEMBER 8:   Kohl Christensen rides a wave during the first round of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Competition big wave surfing contest on December 8, 2009 in Waimea, Hawaii. Thousands of spectators and surfers are flocking to Hawaii's beaches to see some of the largest waves in the state in half a decade. Forecasters are predicting waves could reach heights of 50 feet.  (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

ESPN's award-winning 30 for 30 series continues this fall with a handful of more stories, perhaps none more interesting than "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau," which will premiere on Tuesday night.

The documentary, directed by Sam George, will revisit the life and times of Eddie Aikau, a legendary big wave surfer in Hawaii more than three decades ago. He also served as the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay before being lost at sea in 1978 while on a journey to Tahiti with the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Although Aikau only lived 31 years, it was long enough for him to become a hero in more ways than one.

Here, we'll get you set with everything you need to know for Tuesday's 30 for 30 documentary.


When: Tuesday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN


What to Expect

As director Sam George points out in's film summary, despite his legendary status among the surfing community, very little information is known about Aikau. There's a memorial surfing tournament held in his honor, the Quicksilver Big Wave Invitational, but images of Aikau shredding Hawaii's massive waves are difficult to come by.

But Aikau wasn't just a phenomenal big wave surfer. As mentioned before, he became the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay and spent a decade in the tower, rescuing more than 500 people. Even more impressive, not a single person died under Aikau's watch at the lifeguard tower. 

His undefeated record as a lifeguard made him a real-life hero to Hawaiians. 

George's film will feature several interviews with other surfing pioneers, including Eddie's brother, Clyde, who can be seen in the below clip from 30 for 30 on Twitter:

In addition to featuring captivating personal stories, there will be plenty of stunning rarely-seen footage from decades ago, showing how Aikau tamed some of the world's most dangerous waves. 

Regardless of whether you're a fan of surfing, "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau" will be worth checking out. George is a surfing authority and is sure to take viewers on a memorable journey through the life of the sport's most mysterious pioneer.


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