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“Force Was With Him”: Fans Hail Local On-Duty Lifeguard Luke Shepardson for Taking on a Huge Wave at the Eddie

Published 01/23/2023, 4:45 PM EST

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The Eddie Aikau Big Wave International just concluded in Hawaii. Last contested in 2016, the ‘Super Bowl of Surfing’ returned after 7 years and found a new champion to crown. A local, on-duty lifeguard from Waimea beach, Oahu, Hawaii won one of the most prestigious competitions in surfing. The competition, named after another life-saving guard from Waimea, produces some of the largest waves that range up to 20-30 feet and sometimes even 40 feet. When the current winner from Oahu took on one such massive wave at this year’s contest, fans went crazy.

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In a small YouTube clip, we see the surfer catch the biggest wave of the day just before Round 1 ends. The giant wave ‘swallows’ him in no time but he eventually makes it through.

Fans are impressed after Luke Shepardson catches a giant wave at The Eddie


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Luke Shepardson, the present hero of the North shore of Oahu, said it was his “dream come true” in an interview with KHON-TV. But he didn’t just participate, Shepardson won the competition in his first attempt. On his tackle of a 40 ft high wave, fans went berserk.

“That wave feels like the embodiment of Eddie would go. Huge, closeout, and scary.. still he’d go for the hell of it!”


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“Right winner imo 💪”

“Congratulations Luke!!!! Big Mahalo to all the North Shore Lifeguards for leading the way in Water Safety 🤙”

“Winning while on the clock lol Congratulations Luke”

“The force was with him”

While most were congratulatory of Shepardson’s efforts, some as always were critical. One fan even compared it to the iconic scene in Point Break by Kathryn Bigelow. Someone even asked him to do a 360

“It’s a scene from point break..”WILL GET HIM ONCE HE COMES BACK IN”…he’s not coming back 🤪”

“Should have done a 360…”

“Real big wave surfing HAWAII!?????”

“Am I Dying?”: Surfing Icon Faced the Reality of ‘Fear’ After Horrifying Near-Death Wipeout Experience One Year Ago

Shepardson steals the limelight at the return of The Eddie


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The Eddie Aikau competition returned this year with a bang in Hawaii. After a false start a few weeks ago, Oahu was sunny and ready this morning for the Eddie. Waves sometimes towered between 40-50 feet, and at least 50,000 people packed the beach to watch the competition. 40 different surfers from different parts of the world thronged for the occasion. And in the end, there was one winner from the lifeguard services in Oahu.


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Luke Shepardson seized the day and every moment in it. Scoring a perfect 89.1 out of 90, he took the championship trophy. He now joins other greats such as John John Florence (2016), Kelly Slater (2002), Noah Johnson (1999), and Clyde Aikau (1987).

WATCH THIS STORY – MASSIVE: Largest Wave Ever Surfed Recorded In Guinness World Records

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Written by:

Tanmay Roy


One take at a time

Tanmay Roy is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. He has done MBA and B.Tech in Civil Engineering.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh