Fri, 6 March 2020

Eddie Aikau inspires, and the phrase that bears his name intrinsically describes, human endeavour. Neil Bradfield is here to tell us, in words and photos, that Freddie (you) should go.

So you have those days. Sitting in the line up and sea as flat as a Zuma firepool. But then all of a sardine the horizon goes black and a sphincter clenching set rears up like a rinkhals in front of you.The drop looks like your average Clifton driveway and you have a sudden life changing decision to make. “To go or not to go, that is the question”: Willem Wikkelspier said that. Well, one thing is for sure – Eddie would have gone!

Eddie Aikau was the ultimate fearless waterman and my personal hero – just Google his big wave surfing and life-saving achievements. On March 17, 1978 he paddled out to sea and was never seen again. And the lesson? Freddie, be like Eddie (except the never seen again bit!) The Cape’s big wave spots and spitting beach breaks are full of TOAD (take off and die) moments. When a rearing 15ft Crayfish factory wall sucks up and rattles the resident kreef krawlies below there is no time to consult a life coach.

When a racing Dunes express train flies down the tracks there is no time to buy a ticket. No Kom “kyk weer” moments or Frank Sinatra regrets – be like Eddie and just Go!  @neilbradfield

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