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Aikau, Clyde


Graceful regularfoot surfer from Haleiwa, Hawaii; winner of the 1986 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay. Clyde Aikau began surfing in 1964 at age 15, in Waikiki, and before the year was out had become the Hawaii's juniors division champion. For years he was somewhat overshadowed by older brother Eddie, who made a spectacular debut at Waimea in 1966, and was known as the finest big-wave rider of his generation. In 1967, Clyde later recalled, "I said to my brother, 'Hey, Eddie, can you take me out there and show me how to surf the Bay?' So we went out and he showed me exactly where to go and where not to go, and what to watch for."

Clyde and Eddie rode well at all the North Shore breaks; in 1971 they both made the finals of the Smirnoff Pro and the Duke Kahanamoku Classic; two years later Clyde won the Duke, the first contest ever held at Waimea. In 1977, Eddie also won the Duke; three months later he was killed in a boating accident.

Clyde and Hawaiian surfer Mark Foo were tied at the end of the 1986 Quiksilver/Eddie Aikau contest, but Clyde won on a wave-score countback. He continued to perform well in the Quiksilver/Aikau event, placing fifth in 1990 and 10th in 2001. In the 2002 Quiksilver, the 52-year-old Aikau placed eighth. He runs the Aikau Pure Hawaiian Surf Academy near Waikiki.