Eddie Aikau Hawaiian Hero

Released January 2016

A biography of the legendary Hawaiian. Before he became internationally recognized as a big wave surfer and waterman, Aikau strived to find himself and his place in the world as a Hawaiian. His journey of self-discovery continues to inspire a culture, the surfing community, and those reconnecting the world over with the art ancient navigation.

"...A visual and emotional experience..."
Honolulu Magazine

Eddie Would Go The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero

EDDIE WOULD GO is the only biography of one of Hawaii's greatest heroes. Eddie Aikau was a humble man who was larger than life. As a surfer, he rode the biggest waves in the world; as a lifeguard, he saved hundreds of lives from the North Shore's treacherous waters; and as a a proud Hawaiian, he sacrificed his life to save his fellow sailors aboard the voyaging canoe Hokule'a.



“Unless you’ve been living under a very large rock, you’ve undoubtedly seen bumper stickers emblazoned with the phrase ‘Eddie Would Go’ and heard of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave event. But if that’s where your knowledge of the famous Hawaiian waterman drops off–read on.

Piecing together interviews from the Aikau family, Eddie’s friends and a handful of surfing icons, Stuart Holmes Coleman chronicles the life–and untimely death–of this North Shore legend. The book ranges from tales of Eddie’s perilous rescues as a lifeguard at Waimea to the huge parties at the Aikau family home to his accomplishments as a big wave charger. Along the way, the author paints an intriguing picture of the North Shore scene during the 60′s and 70′s, detailing the growth of the professional surfing tour, the emergence of localism, and historic sessions at Waimea. As readers soon find out though, Eddie’s life wasn’t all shakas and barrels. Coleman’s book dutifully describes both the joy and the tragedies that marked Eddie’s life and shaped the quiet, introspective man. It all culminates with the tragic story of the sinking of the voyaging canoe Hokule’a and Eddie’s heroic efforts to save his fellow crew members. As the canoe foundered in stormy seas, he decided to paddle his surfboard for help–never to be seen again. “Although the first half of the book reads a bit unsteadily, your patience is rewarded and the book becomes something of a pageturner. Bottom line: Every surfer worth his salt will appreciate ‘Eddie Would Go.”

Mark Anders – Surfer Mag (June 04)


“Only a mainland haole (Caucasian) could have written this book. Eddie Aikau has become such a powerful Hawaiian icon that the emotional, cultural and historical baggage would have immobilized a local writer trying to tell Eddie’s remarkable tale. Unencumbered by such a burden, Stuart Coleman is able to approach the story with the beginner’s mind of a Zen student, unclouded by any preconceptions. Coleman’s other attribute in tackling this daunting task that he is a teacher, disciplined in seeking the truth from disparate sources.”

Greg Ambrose, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin


“It’s amazing the impact Eddie had on the surfing world and Hawaii. It touches the community at a real grass-roots level.”

Kelly Slater, World Champion Surfer


“Eddie Aikau was a real Hawaiian hero. In the end, Eddie’s story is about hope and healing.”

Nainoa Thompson,

Master Navigator,

Polynesian Voyaging Society