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Eddie Aikau, the Brave Surfer and Lifeguard who Inspired Generations

The Story of Eddie Aikau, his Legacy, and the Foundation that Bears his Name

Eddie Aikau was a surfer and a lifeguard from Hawaii who lived in the 20th century. He was known for his surfing skills and for helping people who were in trouble in the water. Eddie was also a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a group that wanted to retrace the ancient Hawaiian migration route from Hawaii to Tahiti on a traditional canoe.

During one of their voyages, the canoe encountered a big storm, and it started taking on water. The crew tried to bail out the water, but it was too much. Eddie suggested that he could paddle on his surfboard to get help, but the crew decided to wait for rescue. After a while, it became clear that rescue was not coming, so Eddie decided to paddle away on his surfboard to try to get help.

Eddie never returned, and he is believed to have drowned. However, his bravery and selflessness inspired many people. He became a symbol of courage and sacrifice. In his memory, the Eddie Aikau Foundation was established to promote education and environmental awareness.

Eddie Aikau’s story teaches us the importance of being prepared and helping others. It also reminds us of the risks involved in any activity, especially in sports and recreation. Eddie’s legacy lives on, and his story continues to inspire people all over the world.


  1. “dilemma”: a situation where a difficult choice has to be made between two or more options, all of which may have negative consequences
  2. “risk”: the possibility of harm or loss
  3. “proverb”: a short saying that expresses a common truth or belief
  4. “legacy”: something that is handed down from the past, such as a tradition or an inheritance
  5. “fame”: being known and recognized by many people for one’s achievements or talents

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About The Story

  1. What was Eddie Aikau’s background and how did he become famous?
  2. How did Eddie Aikau’s work as a lifeguard contribute to his hero status?
  3. What was the Polynesian Voyaging Society and what was their mission?
  4. Why did the canoe that Eddie Aikau was on start taking on water, and what happened next?
  5. Why did Eddie Aikau suggest paddling on his surfboard to get help, and what happened when the crew decided to wait for rescue?
  6. How did Eddie Aikau’s disappearance affect the surfing community?
  7. What is the Eddie Aikau Foundation and what is its mission?
  8. What specific initiatives has the Eddie Aikau Foundation launched to promote education and environmental awareness?
  9. How has Eddie Aikau’s legacy inspired people around the world?
  10. What lessons can we learn from Eddie Aikau’s life and legacy?

About You

  1. Have you ever heard of Eddie Aikau before reading this story?
  2. Do you like surfing or any water sports?
  3. Would you like to join a group like the Polynesian Voyaging Society and go on a voyage on a traditional canoe?
  4. What would you do if you were in a similar situation as the crew of the canoe that encountered a big storm?
  5. How do you think Eddie’s actions affected the crew?
  6. Do you think Eddie’s actions were heroic?
  7. How do you think Eddie’s story has impacted people around the world?
  8. Do you think the establishment of the Eddie Aikau Foundation was a good way to honor his memory?
  9. Do you think education and environmental awareness are important issues?
  10. How do you think Eddie Aikau’s story can teach us to be more selfless?
  11. Have you ever been inspired by someone’s story like Eddie Aikau’s?