It just wouldn’t have been a proper El Niño winter without the Eddie. And it wouldn’t have been a proper Eddie without Kelly Slater blowing our collective minds. So naturally he did just that.
The first round and a half of the 2016 had been filled with a lot of wipeouts and a lot of short rides. A healthy dose of surfers surviving gnarly drops and taking off deep was exciting, but it hadn’t served up many completed rides. And then Kelly made Waimea Bay look like Backdoor…only about three times bigger.
Nobody had been barreled all day, and while this wave wasn’t nearly as big as the other bombs competitors chased throughout the day it still earned Slater a solid 81. He wouldn’t repeat as the first two-time winner of the Eddie but in classic King style he still managed to pull off something only Kelly would do.
Editor’s Note: You can still catch the live broadcast of Quiksilver’s Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau here