Sam George’s portrait of the legendary surfer debuted at Tribeca earlier this year. Other fest screenings have included Maui and Malibu.
Aikau was a pioneering figure in Hawaiian surf culture in the 1970s. At a time when white Californians dominated the sport, he emerged as an iconic local figure, reclaiming native culture by riding the big waves and competing in surf invitationals that had previously ignored native riders. His fearlessness also made him the ideal person to serve as the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay, rescuing hundreds of people and eventually inspiring the popular surfing catchphrase “Eddie Would Go.” George, joining another surfer-turned-filmmaker, producer Stacy Peralta, explores Aikau’s personal and professional history, and the cultural legacy he left behind on the sport after his unfortunate early death, lost at sea retracing an ancient Polynesian migration route.