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Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero and Pioneer of Big Wave Surfing
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Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero and Pioneer of Big Wave Surfing

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  472 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
In the 1970s, a decade before bumper stickers and T-shirts bearing the phrase Eddie Would Go began popping up all over the Hawaiian islands and throughout the surfing world, Eddie Aikau was proving what it meant to be a "waterman." As a fearless and gifted surfer, he rode the biggest waves in the world; as the first and most famous Waimea Bay lifeguard on the North Shore, ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 7th 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2002)
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Mar 24, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
I was profoundly moved by the story of this incredible human. Growing up in Hawaii, I had always heard about Eddie and his family, but as a kid it always seemed like he was this mythical creature or something. I remember when the Hokule'a tragedy happened and watching the search effort on the news in the 70's, but I was still too young to really understand the impact that Eddie had made during his short life.

Reading this book reawakened so many memories for me. Sitting on the beach at Waimea rig
Feb 02, 2016 Patty rated it liked it
Anyone who's stood on the shore of Waimea Bay on Oahu's North Shore, mesmerized by the huge waves whose wake engulfs the beach in the winter, will relate to the exploits of renowned surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau who made this bay his "office." Eddie died tragically young, paddling his surfboard in rough seas in search of help for fellow crew members when their outrigger canoe capsized. This book is about more than Eddie's life. It's about Hawaiian history and the passing of a way of life, whe ...more
Jun 01, 2012 surfurbian rated it it was amazing
I was not so sure is I would like this book when I first started reading it. Stories of those who die young often get distorted. Their deeds become inflated, their shortcomings forgotten, and they become larger than life heroic figures. With as much as Eddie Aikau is loved and respected, I expect this story to go down this same road. I was very happy to be wrong.

The story is as much about the Aikau family as it is about their best known son. We learn about their personal struggles, their faith,
Sam Hehr
Oct 21, 2013 Sam Hehr rated it it was amazing
Good book on how a surfing legend is remembered as a competition in his honor is held but will the conditions be right for a good surfing completion. The question is who will win? Will the compition be able to happen? It has not happened in 6 years, and the conditions just might be right for it to happen again. While others are having fun and partying the competetors are practicing till they cant anymore.
Rick Staten
Aug 14, 2010 Rick Staten rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
The story of an amazing individual and his tragic death. After my trip to Hawaii Aikau became someone who absolutely fascinated me and after finishing this book, despite me being a "haole" (outsider), he became a hero to me. Touching story of family, ideals, and the aloha spirit.
Matt Pawinski
May 12, 2010 Matt Pawinski rated it it was amazing
“Fearing for the fate of his crew, Capitan Lyman consulted with his officers. After much heated debate, they all reluctantly agreed: Eddie should go.” (pg. 221)

This was an intriguing couple sentences that I found in the book, Eddie Would Go that shows the major theme of the book, that Eddie Aikau would do go and do anything to help his fellow crew mates and friends even if it meant risking his life. After the Portuguese boat the Hokele’a flipped over in a fifteen foot swell and thirty-five mph
Niki Haworth
Jul 26, 2007 Niki Haworth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone!
I read this book knowing already how it ended (it IS non-fiction, after all); as I got closer and closer to the end of the book, I ended up crying anyway. Coleman doesn't gloss over anything and Eddie Aikau is presented warts and all, but anyone with a heart bigger than the Grinch's will come away from this book with immense admiration for him as a flawed but honorable man. Coleman's respect for the Hawaiian culture is evident and serves the story well. Aikau's family is fiercely protective of h ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Annie rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book written by my friend Stuart Coleman! After living in Hawaii for almost four years now, I have heard bits and pieces of Eddie Aikau's story but this book was a wonderful account of his full life. In combination with Eddie's stories, the various side stories brought to life Hawaii and the rise of surfing culture and sport since the 1960's. I can just imagine how fun it must have been to do the research for this book - talking story with many of Hawaii's surf legends, H ...more
Aug 24, 2008 Rustin rated it it was amazing
A great tale of Eddie Aikau, an amazing young man who put others well being ahead of his own. Though his selfless life was cut short, his legacy continues to live on in the hearts of the Hawaiian people and those, like myself, who have the priveledge of living among them. He continues to be a beacon for doing what is right even when it becomes difficult. This mentality is embodied in a common Hawaiian saying taken for the title of this book: "Eddie Would Go".
Said Aspen
Jan 12, 2014 Said Aspen rated it really liked it
I read this while being on a surf trip in Sri Lanka. I truly enjoyed it and think others will as well. It is not only about surfing, it is about Hawaii, the characters of the time and most importantly the life of a true legend.

I would highly recommend it and if you stay at Ebb & Flow in Midigama, Sri Lanka, you can pickup my copy I left behind:)
Eric Shaffer
Aug 25, 2008 Eric Shaffer rated it it was amazing
I have now read this book four times. I admire the depth and breadth of the writing, and I particularly enjoy the respect and honesty brought to bear in the telling of the interweaving of the Hawaiian Renaissance and the life of Eddie Aikau. Beautiful work: it deserves the full attention of any reader, especially those who enjoy non-fiction.
Sep 11, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
I's my greatest passion. And Eddie is seen by many like me as one of our sport's greatest heroes. So reading this book was almost a requirement to better understand the entire background and story related to Eddie. Mr. Coleman did a very good job of making this an enjoyable read without having to resort to surfing sensationalism to draw in readers.
Pam Starr
Feb 18, 2013 Pam Starr rated it really liked it
Great story, if not perfectly written. You don't need to be a surf enthusiast to be transported by this look at an extraordinary man who, but for this book, would not be known outside the world of big wave surfing. We'd all like to spend a day with someone like Eddie, which through the magic of a book like this, we are able to do.
Stephanie Guyer-Stevens
Feb 25, 2015 Stephanie Guyer-Stevens rated it really liked it
I always wondered about Eddie Aikau's story and here it is - sweet and simply told, the life of one of the great watermen of Hawaii, and also about the potency, for better or worse, of cultural pride.
Susan Janke
Jan 26, 2015 Susan Janke rated it really liked it
This is a pretty interesting account of Eddie Aikau, the first lifeguard on the North Shore and a famous big wave surfer. The author does a nice job describing the surfing culture, Hawaiian culture, and Eddie's life and legacy.
Dec 13, 2015 Gary rated it really liked it
As I have lived and surfed in Hawaii I felt I needed to read this book. It gave a good description of aloha, courage and what it means to be a waterman.
Rafael Silva
May 03, 2015 Rafael Silva rated it really liked it
A true hawaiian Legend. Lovely stories about hawaiian culture.
Jan 20, 2010 Randolph rated it it was amazing
What a wondeful book. Truly catches the soul and passion of the great Eddie Aikau!
Aug 05, 2009 Jaimal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful profile of a very brave man who changed surfing.
Anna Sabino
Oct 01, 2013 Anna Sabino rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story about a great Hawaiian hero whose passions were helping others and surfing. Well researched, breathtaking and overall fascinating.
Dec 25, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
Interesting, inspiring story from start to finish.
Gina Marinacci keolker
This isn't a book I typically pick out to read, but I thought it was really interesting and gave me insight into Hawaiian culture that I didn't know.
Aug 18, 2008 Stesha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in surfing or Hawaiian culture
"Eddie Would Go" introduced me to a man by the name of Eddie Aikau, a big wave surfer who made a name for himself while I was a little girl living on Oahu. He was a sweet guy from a big Hawaiian family, was a killer surfer, and a really good friend to local and haole alike. Unfortunately he was lost at sea when the replica Polynesian voyaing canoe Hokule'a capsized the day after my ninth birthday (1978). I remember seeing the Hokule'a moored at Honolulu Harbor when I was little and I remember so ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Katrin rated it it was ok
A biography of Eddie Aikau, native Hawaiian, pioneer of Big Wave Surfing and lifeguard at Oahu's North Shore. His life is perfectly suited for a book (the sport, his interesting family, Hawaiian culture, racial tensions, and an early death), and at times it IS very interesting, but it is rather badly written: A lot of repetition, many spelling mistakes, and an overblown, too-emotional writing style. At any rate, it confirmed my interest in Polynesian culture and gave me more information on the H ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Jose rated it liked it
I thought this book to be filled with some action. Eddie was a brave man he went out everyday to save lives out in Hawaii, he was also known for the awards he got for surfing. Eddie was an intense surfer he rode the worlds biggest wave. Everyday he went out there he knew he was putting his life at risk by saving many other peoples lives. He had won many awards for competing in surfing events. I liked how Eddie was a brave man and is stilled remembered with annual surf competitions. This book was ...more
Aug 03, 2008 Joel rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, biography
Eddie Aikau was a remarkable man in and out of the water, or at least that's what you'll learn all about if you read this fascinating book. I read as soon as it came out while we living in Hawai'i, so it was much easier to appreciate and understand, however, the story of this man is pretty neat. I think you will be left with a much greater appreciation of the ocean, those who dare to exist within it, and for surfing as much, much more than stoned, funny talking dudes from California. One of the ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Yoonmee rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography, hawaii
I almost feel bad about giving this book only two stars, but, while the topic, Eddie Aikau, is incredibly interesting, I just couldn't get into the book. Other reviewers have commented on this and I have to agree -- it's not well written. I really wanted to like it, but if I can't get into it and get bored while reading, that's a bad sign. Glad I read it b/c I learned more about Eddie Aikau and the history of surfing in Hawaii, but there must be other books about surfing in Hawaii (and maybe eve ...more
Eddie would go is a biography about a waterman named Eddie. I thought it was a good book. I'm not really into surfing, so that made it hard to get into the book. I think if I liked surfing I would have enjoyed it a lot more, I recommended it to anyone who really likes surfing and wants to learn about it before it became a big sport.
Ayden W
May 20, 2016 Ayden W rated it really liked it
Whoosh! The crashing waves of Waimea bay hit the shore. "Eddie Would Go" is an excellent book. First it has a heart warming feel to the book with accomplishments and life saving events.
It also is a biography which is a "New York Times" best seller. "Eddie Would Go" is a highly recommended book from being a "New York Times" best seller to a heart warming story.
Jun 01, 2010 John rated it liked it
Great perspective about Eddie Aikau but not always well written. I found it a little long at times but needless to say, he mattered a lot in Hawaiian culture. And there's no denying his bravery at his last moments
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Stuart Holmes Coleman has had two lifelong passions, writing and surfing. The son of a minister, he was baptized as a surfer in the small waves of Charleston, S.C. Surfing helped him overcome his childhood fears of tidal waves and drowning. While taking a unique course called “Cultures of the Pacific” in school, he began dreaming about living in Hawaii some day. After graduating from the Universit ...more
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