The momentous experience of The Eddie

WAIMEA BAY, Hawaii (KHON2) — Forty surfers, each taking their shot at immortality, conquering the massive surf at Waimea bay all in honor of Eddie Aikau.

“Conditions are epic. Wind conditions are exceptionally beautiful. Direction is wonderful, and size is all there. Eddie would be smiling and be very happy and proud,” said Clyde Aikau.

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In between the incredible elevator drops, wipeouts, hero-style rescues and female surfers making their long-awaited debut in the contest, were the crowds. An estimated 40,000 braved the heat and traffic to witness The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational in person.

“Been out here all night, bro. We’re excited for Eddie and ready to rumble,” said Kailua resident, Kai Morgan.

“Hit the road, like, around 4:30 trying to beat the traffic, and it’s just packed up all the way down,” said Kailua resident, James Anschutz.

Parking was almost non existent; many were charging a premium for a spot.

“It’s been the best experience. Woke up so early almost pulled an all nighter and here we are,” said Honolulu resident, Alexis Ortiz.

Despite traffic and parking headaches, those who made it through the mayhem got quite a show.

“It is honestly just so surreal to see these types of waves out here. I have no words to describe it,” added Ortiz.

Sets rolled in like moving, raging white foaming mountains, flipping, tossing, pounding surfers like ragdolls. Luckily no one was seriou