The surfer from Moorea competed against the 27 best big wave surfers, scrupulously chosen by the organization. The Eddie Aikau put on a great show. For the Tahitian, this first participation is a dream come true.
Excessiveness no longer scares Tikanui Smith.
Teahupo’o, Nazare in Portugal, via Jaws in Hawaii, Tikanui Smith has tamed the biggest walls of water. He gives 200% to achieve his wildest dreams, like the one that started one early morning in 2019. “I got an email from the Eddie Aikau organization, an official message, ‘Congratulations, you’re invited to the Eddie Aikau. At first, I didn’t believe it, it was my absolute dream”says the local big wave rider still moved.
An absolute dream that could come true this year because the Eddie Aikau memorial is only launched if and only if the waves reach at least 10 m. And it was.
The only Polynesian in the running, he was alone against everyone with a very personal touch in his luggage. “With this board design which is the Polynesian flag, with the mana in it, frankly it gives me strength”admits Tikanui.
Getting off the plane the very morning of the competition, 40,000 spectators were present on the beach, Tikanui Smith then realized that he was part of the show alongside his idols. “With all my heroes, I was there thinking I’m going to get in the water with the guys I’ve always looked up to.“, says Tikanui still excited.
Kai Lenny, Kelly Slater or even John John Florence are there… The Eddie Aikau 2023 was memorable.
Barely finished the competition, back to reality for Tikanui Smith returned to the fenua yesterday morning, he is already preparing for the next swell from the north scheduled for Thursday in Polynesia.
Watch the report by Ariihoe Tefaafana: