During this year's contest waiting period, we looked to you to tell us who your hero is and below are the incredible stories we received. The top voted stories all moved forward to our final round where a panel of judges including 11x ASP World Surfing Champion Kelly Slater and Eddie Invitee Peter Mel will choose their favorite story. The author of the winning story plus 3 guests will then be invited to attend the 2013/14 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Opening Ceremony at Waimea Bay, Oahu Hawaii.
Congratulations to the finalists! The chosen winner will be notified directly on March 8th and announced right here on quiksilver.com/eddie.
We are also pleased to announce between our #EddieWouldGo Instagram photo contest and the Eddie Hero contest we received 1,765 submissions and as part of our commitment to donate $1 for every entry received, Quiksilver will be making a donation of $1,765 to the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation.
Elise Would Go
Submitted by Andy Person
A hero in my life that embodies the courage and spirit of Eddie Aikau is my 13 year old daughter, Elise. Like Eddie, Elise is leader of the pack of five children who found a joy of surfing early in life. Elise's mom was diagnosed with melanoma in February, 2006. Her mom died on April 2, 2007 after a valiant battle at age 32. She died as an inspiration of hope and transferred her courage onto Elise and all her children. Elise's courage in terrible tragedy called for coping tools that normal children are not equipped with at a young age. Nature forced her to develop these coping tools that even many adults do not possess. An example of this transformation came one day when Elise turned to me and said, "Dad, death isn't important. We are all going to die. What's important is how we live our life." Now when I watch Elise and her brothers and sisters surf the Jersey shore, I see them surfing on the waves of their mother's soul. They are my heroes and true soul surfers.
Dana Would Go
Submitted by Nevada Christensen
One spring day, Just like any other, I got a call that impacted my life forever. My best friend had been struck by a car and it was uncertain if she would survive her injuries. I thought I was lose my favorite person. Fighting for her life, Dana was in a coma for a little over a week and had to overcome traumatic brain injury as well as physical. I thought she would never be the same, but after mounds of rehab and recovery, She seemed like the same old Dana that I used to play barbie's with in my basement. She is an example that no matter what happens, if you work hard, you can overcome anything. Dana is not only a hero because of what she has overcome, but how hard she works every day. She volunteers countless hours at our local hospital, and graduated high school with 7 scholarships and honors! She never stops smiling either! A true hero is someone who teaches us that we can do anything, and Dana does just that. Dana would ALWAYS go!
Jay Would Go
Submitted by Jen Booth
Jay is my hero because of his "super-hero" strength and will. He lives in a battery operated chair, but he thrives in his alternatively fueled imagination and fortitude of mind over his physical limitations. Jay was injured in a trampoline accident more than 20 years ago, rendering him paralized from the neck down. But that doesn't stop him from being the most inspiring surfer I know. He proudly proclaims himself "surfgimp" and I, and all his friends, proudly belong to his Team Surfgimp. His humbling efforts in the surf, as well as in his life, make him my greatest inspiration and the greatest hero ever! For photos of Jays extreme strength of character and surfing accomplishments, check out Team Surfgimp on Facebook and see how he shows his team how to have fun!
Terri Would Go
Submitted by Brae Hunziker
Terri was the most influential person in my life and played a big role in other's lives as well. She was my mom. In 2003 Terri was diagnosed with non-smoker, stage four lung cancer. The doctors gave her nine months to live. Even though I was at a young age I still remember her telling my father, crying, "I don't want to die from this." Instead of giving up my mom decided to fight. Every day she would look for new medicines, therapy, and vaccines. She would not give up. Then, on the fourth of July in 2008, I received a phone call from my dad, and with a stutter in his voice he said, "Brae, she's gone." As i look back I realize that she did not fight for herself; she fought for others. She fought for me. Terri did everything she could to make an effort to survive. She took those nine months that the doctors told her she had and turned them into five years! Even though she lost the battle, she never gave up. She fought until her last breath. I am proud to call her, my mom.
Lindsey Would Go
Submitted by Jeffrey Mile
Lindsey is without a doubt my hero and has inspired myself to achieve various goals within my life. She has the type of never give up personality that gives courage to others in time of need. She was almost paralyzed on a trip in Thailand and required extensive back surgery. Anything that gnarly in a foreign country could really spook someone and take away their drive. Instead she has used it as a way to gain momentum and inspire others to surf, snowboard, and wakeboard even after a terrible injury. Always staying humble and positive is her mantra and shows love to all people no matter what their story. She reminds me of Eddie in many ways from her love of music to bring a group together (Eddie playin the slack key in the graveyard) to problem solving not problem making (Eddie being the influential peacemaker for Rabbit and the Hawaiians in the 70's). Family is always first for this girl and she is the glue that keeps her Ohana together. This is why she is my hero! P.S SHE RIPS YEWWWW!
James Would Go
Submitted by Judy Gompf
James and his brother started Ambry Genetics and organization developed to find cures for genetic diseases. After that he developed the Mauli Ola Foundation. Which is an organization of volunteer surfers who travel all over the globe helping children with disabilities get a chance to surf and feel the healing power of the ocean. I have a son with a disability and the ocean is the ultimate healing source for him. I admire James for creating and devoting his life to helping children and their families.
Laura Would Go
Submitted by Andrew Schlaf
My hero is my wife. She is the soul of our ohana. As I am deployed to Afghanistan until next year, she is the soul provider for our two daughters Cassandra(7) and Mackenzie(5). Cassandra was diagnosed with Focal Epilepsy 4 years ago and has suffered servere seizures in the past two weeks which have placed Cassandra in the Hospital with chest and heart pains forcing Cassandra to increase medication strong enough for an adult. As a military spouse she is under appreciated for her sacrifices to me and our family during the long deployments away from home. She follows me from the town in which she grew up, to Europe, through a 15 month deployment to Iraq in 2008, across the U.S., then onto Hawaii, where we currently reside. The amount of pressure, trials and tribulation that she endures while being a single mother during my time in a foriegn country speaks volumes of her dedication to me and our family. She is deserving of this most respected award a loving mother, wife and my best friend.
Dakota Would Go
Submitted by Lesley Chinnock
My hero is my 11 year old son. Why? 7 days after giving birth he was kidnapped from me. It took me 7 years to find him. When I saw him he did not know who I was, was not potty trained, and could not read or write at grade level. In the last two years this child has surpassed any adult and their problems. He never lets what happened to him stop him from being a better a person. He is loving and strong and works hard for other children to feel good about themselves has he has learned to let go of the things he can not change and move forward in life. He wants to live in other countries and help other children-at 11! He will become a true man and leader much like Eddie was. I am grateful and humble that God allows m to parent him.
Ben Would Go
Submitted by Edo Tabanar
A Frenchman residing in Australia, Ben grew up competing in downhill dirtjump comps on his bicycle. He always wanted to learn to surf so he moved to Australia on a student visa. Immediately he fell in love with the land downunder balancing work, bike, & surf sessions. Well he met a lovely Aussie sheila & they got along swimmingly & all, but deep-down inside his new-found passion for surf beckoned him & he heeded the call. And this, my dear friends, is what makes the man, Ben Hergott, my hero. He resigned from a very successful management job, left his lass, & hitched a plane to South America to, as he put it, "fast-track" his learning. All the while he received acclaim in the global social media in the surf camps, the backpacker trails, and the good-natured, fun-lovin peoples of this earth. His blog, TheDuckWhisperer.com, documents the amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure in mini-movies, photos, & practical backpacker info. Legend! But don't take my word for it. Check the blog.
Henry Would Go
Submitted by Marley Mangum
My dad is my hero. He'd like to be out surfing but he spends his time running me and my siblings around to different activities and going to work everyday protecting our city as a police officer. He used to surf ALL the time but now it's less because we are so busy. I wish he could go surf everyday because I know he loves it. He is my hero for putting on his badge and gun everyday to protect my family.
Greg Would Go
Submitted by Noelle Hall
Greg is my Dad who went to Hawaii in 1970, and surfed on the North Shore for 12 years. During his early times in Hawaii, he was a true reclusive surfing pioneer, riding outer breaks, then with no names, many times alone. He made 8MM surf movies and surfboards to support himself. He also served the people of Hawaii for 5 years at the Haleiwa Surf Center teaching surfboard building and Ocean Recreation to the children of Oahu. Wanting to better himself, he moved to Honolulu in '82 to attend and graduate from the University of Hawaii School of Architecture. After meeting Mom, he left his beloved island lifestyle by moving us to Florida to raise me. I was 1yrs. old when Mom left Dad for another man and so they divorced. Well, my stepdad suddenly died after my sister was born. My Dad is my hero because he stayed, took my sis as his own with no reservations, and continues to look after her and even my now invalid mother. My Dad still surfs, I hope to give him the honor to go back home!
Unknown Would Go
Submitted by Arlie Parker
I was reading Eddie Would Go. There was a big swell. I was surfing Kauai. I rode one too far in. My leash caught on the reef. Waves came in and covered me, three feet of water over my head. Then they'd let me get a breath till the next one came. I was scared, couldn't get loose--the beach deserted, nothing but jungle on shore. If I got free, my plan was to walk in over 200 yards of sharp reef. I just wanted out of the ocean. All of a sudden this young Hawaiian in reddish orange shorts pops out of the bush. Somehow I can hear him yelling from the sand. "Hey," he says, "you trying to come in?" "Uh huh," I say, so quiet and scared I know he can't hear me. "Well, turn around and paddle back out," he yells. "The set's almost over!" Not thinking, I turn around, point my board back to sea, hop on, and start paddling. Like magic the leash comes loose. I take a couple strokes and say to myself, "that was Eddie." I look back over my shoulder and the young guy's gone.
Michael Would Go
Submitted by Jessica Sporty
My brother Mike is a hero every single day. He is not only the most supportive brother, loving son, devoted husband and involved father out there but he also dedicates himself to saving the lives of others as an Emergency Room doctor. Mike is faced with life and death situations everyday and tirelessly fights to put others safety before his own. Like Eddie Aikau, my brother holds himself accountable for the safety of others and holds the value of life in the highest regard. I couldn't think of a person better suited to win this trip. As an avid surfer, my brother is forced to squeeze a quick surf session in after overnight hospital shifts, in between double shifts, and sometimes before a 14 hour days begins. Like it did to Eddie, surfing means the world to my brother and he deserves to be honored for all that he does for others.
Travis Would Go
Submitted by Colston Vb
Travis Went. Huge. Daily. He redefined what was humanly possible with an aerial awareness that was previously and since unseen in the world of big mountain alpine skiing. Travis was gnarly but not the least bit aggressive in his personality. Possessing a constant smile, he would ski with anyone he met. He was not pulling mind blowing stunts based on a personal vendetta or to show off, but simply to entertain and put a smile on everyones face. He was truly a part of the mountains and extremely comfortable in them under any circumstances, an absolute product of his environment. Travis was a genius, he had a bright future in skiing but was keen to head off to university to become a medical doctor. As it turns out there is much more to life than becoming a pro athlete with self-centered goals. Helping others is a concept that Travis understood at a relatively young age. Travis was hit by a drunk driver in February, 2009. He is still one of my biggest influences in all aspects of life.
Richard Would Go
Submitted by Carl Sulsenti
And he did Go!! Seaside Heights NJ long time firemen Richard's heroic story begins when word came out that Superstorm Sandy is heading on a crash course toward his local town! Over the next 24 hours the ocean would surge angrily. The town was soon completely under ocean water. Seaside Heights and surrounding towns were completely devastated by flood and getting pounded by strong winds. It was in this moment that fireman Richard, who chose to stay despite a mandatory evacuation,despite the flooded loss of his own house in Seaside, cemented his status as a hero.. Richard's next 24 hours was an adventure in courage, commitment,dedication, and selflessness. Richard would take his rescue boat from the storm disabled firehouse and brave the dark,cold and tremendously dangerous conditions and proceeded to check houses for stranded famlies, rescueing them and saving their lives. Richard dosent surf at all...but he gets my watermen of the year award!!
Charmaine Would Go
Submitted by Jay Ortiz
My girlfriend Charmaine is a very caring person and is a strong advocate for students and for public education. She does everything she can to make sure students have the best education possible. She'll even go so far as to get arrested at the state capitol to demonstrate in the name of education. She also makes time during her war on education cuts to make me laugh and enjoy life a little bit more...
Kathy Would Go
Submitted by Lisa Hawkes
My mom, what can I say about her? She gives my son and I a roof to live under. She provides so much for my family. I have 2 autistic siblings, both adults, both whom have seizures on a daily basis. She is constantly in and out of the ICU with my older brother. She grabs the waves of life and doesn't let a wipe out stop her. She is a strong woman. I hope to take her and my brother, sister and son to Hawaii, let them all soak in the healing rays and enjoy some real waves. Like Eddie my mom is also dedicated to helping others, and have a deep love for composing her own music, she is truly talented on many levels. She is for sure my HERO! MAHALO MAH!
Rory Would Go
Submitted by Kevin McRoberts
Rory is a true hero and ultimate waterman. He is a very well educated, talented surfer, free diver and writer. The story begins on a day in March 2012 the day of his vows to his fiancÃ© Michelle. We were all gathering for the the big event. None the less, as the crowd of witnesses grew in a great backyard in Mokuileia near Dillingham air field the unexpected caught some of our eyes. On this beautiful Spring day we saw a sky diver from the nearby airfield spiral out of control into the bay that the backyard faced. At first, nobody was sure what we saw or where it hit. Without thinking, Rory, Stripped his wedding shirt off and flung his sandals to the side and grabbed a SUP from the side of the house and knee paddled out to save a life of a stranger. He got to the location and saw 20 feet below a navy blue shute. He dove down a grabbed the shute and pulled to the surface. However, no one was attached. He dove again just in case there was a person below. Just a cutaway chute, no death.
Ben Would Go
Submitted by Holly Pierce
Ben got a rare form of cancer at 17 they found it after he went blind, and he was in a coma. He was one of seven people in the world to have it. He went through therapy and was able to get his vision back and be close to normal again. He changed his education path and began working with special needs children which he does to this day. Ben is now 28 and has a wife and child he has been diagnosed with a different type of brain cancer and this time things haven't been going so well. He continues working for encouragement the kids keep him going. He has never been to Hawaii and neither has his family. They have never been able to afford a vacation. I think this would give then the optimism that they need in the horrible time so please pick him. Ben is a great example of a strong, moral, great man who gives and gives to others and expects nothing in return. Please vote for him. Thanks.
Thomas Would Go
Submitted by A Kaluhikai Tassillio
Well he is Hawaiian born and breed 1st and foremost. Born in 1959 @ age 17 1//2 moved to Tulsa, OK. Studied for 4 years, graduated christian minister, went to become a youth pastor for a few different churches in southern California. All he cared about was the children for over 20 years. Thom was a Awesome person, husband, pastor, brother... All he earned in the church, and the outside was used for the keikei's (the youth) to better their lives. He had nothing but his keikei's and the youth had it all. Thanks to pastor Thom. Thom loves his Ania, his ohana and all that GOD HAS GIVEN TO HIM! Me Kealoha Pume Hana Pau Oli Thomas Kalani. Aloha and MAHALO.
Pat Would Go
Submitted by Aaron Kistner
My aunt Pat was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago. But the last thing she would ever do is give up. It was obviously difficult for her but she didn't let it ruin her, she still enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. She beat breast cancer in 2008 and wrote a book called "Breast Cancer and God's Word." Just this year she was diagnosed with it again, and just like before, she is determined to beat this no matter what. Again, she doesn't let it ruin her and talks as though she has already beat it. She is my hero because of her strength, will, and faith that surpasses that of anyone I know.
Miriam Would Go
Submitted by Jaella Johnson
Shes the daughter of a preacher. She became a preacher herself! I really don't know where I would be today without her unfailing faith in christ! I will love her to the ends of days with the fullest heart possible! She deserves sooo much more than I could ever give her, not to mention all I owe her already!
Brooke Would Go
Submitted by Gelder Lewis
My HERO is Brooke. Last night it was under 10 degrees in Salt Lake City, UTAH. This is extremely dangerous now because so many people are homeless due to the difficult unemployment. My Hero has spent the last 16 years supporting people experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake City UTAH. Currently she supports parents by providing classes to help parents cope with the stresses of being homeless. Unlike Hawaii when the temperature drops people can die. Brooke is an incredible friend, a wonderful mother a dear sister, amazing wife and super sweet daughter. like Eddie, Brooke helps save people emotionally, mentally and physically. She is a lifeguard, just like Eddie.
Leon Would Go
Submitted by Gable Volkert
Everyone's dad is probably there hero in some way, but my dad to me is a friend and a father and most of all my hero.There is not one thing that sticks out in my mind that I can remember him doing it is everything he does on a day to day basis for me my family and anybody in need. He will always tell you attitude is the most important thing in life and he has proven to me that is true, but even when I go astray he is always there for me. I can't imagine being on this earth without him here - he can make any situation a positive learning thing. He has put many of us through school even some that were not his own, so now I owe him back with love for my family a teaching them how to grow. I say in great pride around town that I am the son of Leon because I know the response is going to be what a great dad you have. I wanted to share my story with you just to let you know that I am as proud to be his son and have him for a HERO to I love letting others know what a great dad he is.
Steve Would Go
Submitted by Ross Pappas
My hero is the guy who is my dad's best friend in life. He was the one who told my dad to go back to that store where my mom worked and ask her out on a date. He is the reason I am here today and I appraise him for being what I call my Nouno. He is my hero and he is my godfather. I think about him everyday and I love him. Thank you Nouno for being my dad's best friend, and from me to you, I love you. Eddie Aikau was a family man. I am too. I have developed into a family man, partly because I know that I have family outside of my consanguineal kin and this includes my Nouno. I love him so much, and I don't get to see him often, but when I do I love to be there with him. He is hilarious. One day I was at his house in Southern California and he came out of his room in a wrestling outfit and started posing like he was the biggest muscle man in the world. I loved it. I love him for the things he does and for being there in my life. With respect to Eddie Aikau, my Nouno is a hero.
Alisa Would Go
Submitted by Madeline Hurst
Mothers do go! My mom is my hero and inspiration. She is a single mom raising four kids, all daughters. My father has had a seven year long affair with a woman who at the time was my neighbor. My mom was smart enough to know about the affair the whole time, but she played stupid to protect me and my sisters. She is the smartest and kindest woman I will ever know. She works three jobs to support my sister's college fees, and me and three sisters catholic educations. Although we are not rich, she has always made my dream of surfing happen; whether it's running to Costco last minute to buy $100 foam surfboard or driving me to the beach more times than I can count. Recently my family had been saving up for a trip to Oahu to relax on the beach after the endless family counseling and court days. We had to give up the money, which was devastating. This trip would not only be the gift of a lifetime, but also a gift to my mom. She relates to Eddie in many ways.
Albert Would Go
Submitted by Joshua Moepono
My father was a big hero to me he was a big waverider. I'd sit there in the sand watch him surf. Man, I want to do that one day. So he showed me how to surf when I was 5 years old. Even bought me and my brother a custom board. My dad was a big time ripper in Hawaii, born and raised in North Shore, so surfing was the thing to do. My dad had lots of friends, from Johnny boy Gomes to Sunny, uncle Eddie Rothman, all the surfers from North Shore. I was right there next to him 'til he passed away. I keep surfing 'til I had kids. But the waves well always be in my blood.