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Costa Sunglasses Becomes an Official Sponsor of the 39th Annual Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational

Held at Waimea Bay, The Eddie is big wave surfing’s premiere event, and celebrates the life of one of Hawaiʻi’s greatest watermen, Eddie Aikau.

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(PRESS RELEASE) JUPITER, FL — Born on the water and built for those who devote their lives to exploring it, Costa Sunglasses announces a new partnership with the Eddie Aikau Foundation, sponsoring the 39th Annual Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. One of the most revered big wave surfing events in the world, The Eddie celebrates legendary Hawaiian Eddie Aikau. A champion surfer and heroic lifeguard, Eddie completed 500 successful rescue missions, never losing a life until he lost his own in an attempt to save his fellow crew members on the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa after it capsized in rough seas.

The official Opening Ceremony of The Eddie is Friday, Dec. 8, at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaiʻi. The contest, held only when wave heights consistently reach 40-feet, has a waiting period from Dec. 14, 2023 to Mar. 12, 2024. The Eddie is at the heart of the global surfing community, and being invited to surf in the storied event is one of the greatest honors a big wave surfer can experience. Costa ambassador Mark Healey, who placed third in last year’s competition, will compete as a 2023 invitee.

For more than 40 years, Costa has been deeply connected to the watery world and the community of adventurers and explorers that come to life on it. Partnering with the Eddie Aikau Foundation is an opportunity for Costa to support the surfing community through The Eddie. Costa will be onsite providing invitees, alternates and event teams with sunglasses and gear from its Untangled™ Collection, gear built from recycled fishing nets. Water silos and reusable drinkware will be on hand as part of Costa’s Kick Plastic Program, which helps to reduce the amount of single-use plastic finding its way into our waterways. And on Saturday, Dec. 2, Costa participated in a cleanup with the Eddie Aikau Foundation at Waimea Bay Beach Park in preparation for the Opening Ceremony.

“We strive to incorporate community into everything we do at Costa,” said Jed Larkin, Costa Brand Director. “The Eddie is more than a contest, it is a celebration of Eddie’s legacy and the big wave surfing community. We are incredibly grateful to the Eddie Aikau Foundation for bringing us all together through our shared love of the ocean.”

“We place a strong value on community service and supporting ocean-related activities and events here at the Eddie Aikau Foundation,” said Linda Ipsen, President of the Eddie Aikau Foundation & former wife of Eddie Aikau. “We recognize Costa’s unwavering commitment to these same ethos and welcome them on board. Our partnership has already extended beyond the event with help at the beach cleanup and with getting ready for the Opening Ceremony, and we truly appreciate their support.”

The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational honors Eddie Aikau, who was the first lifeguard for the North Shore, home to notoriously dangerous waves. Passionate about Hawaiian culture and the movement to revive the lost art of Polynesian wayfinding, Eddie was selected to be a crew member of the double-hulled voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa. On Mar. 17, 1978, during Hōkūleʻa’s second voyage to Tahiti from Hawaiʻi, Eddie gave his life trying to save his fellow crew members when the sailing canoe capsized in rough seas. Through the surf contest and other activities, the Eddie Aikau Foundation helps keep his legacy alive and lifts up the importance of Native Hawaiian culture, sharing Eddie’s story and values with the world.

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To learn more about what Costa stands for and the inspiration behind what we do, including our best-selling collection of sunglasses built for long days on the water, visit Costasunglasses.com.

About the Eddie Aikau Foundation

The Eddie Aikau Foundation is a charitable organization created to share Eddie Aikau’s life, contributions and accomplishments while promoting education and the advancement of Hawaiian culture. Founded by the Aikau family, the Foundation pays tribute to Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau in honor of his love for his family and others, his courage and compassion in saving lives, and his dedication to Hawaiian people and culture. Eddie’s legacy is a pure symbol of the Aloha Spirit. The Foundation’s ambitious goals are realized through advocacy, education and philanthropy. These goals include: advancing education and community service; supporting ocean-related activities and events; assisting in the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian history and culture; and encouraging Hawaiians and visitors alike to respect and contribute to the growth and development of Hawaiian culture. The Foundation strives to inspire people to develop a strong sense of pride in themselves, their heritage and their community through Eddie’s remarkable spirit and character. Learn more at the Eddie Aikau Foundation website and on Instagram at @TheEddieAikau.

About Costa Sunglasses

As the first manufacturer of color-enhancing all-polarized glass sunglass lenses, Costa combines superior lens technology with unparalleled fit and durability. Costa has made the highest quality, best-performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983, and now its product portfolio includes optical frames. Costa’s growing cult-brand status ties directly to its purpose to provide high-quality products with a focus on sustainability and conservation as the company works hard to protect the waters it calls home. From the use of sustainable and water-friendly materials to its Kick Plastic initiative, #OneCoast efforts and meaningful partnerships with mission-aligned organizations, Costa encourages people to help protect the Earth’s natural resources in any way they can. Find out more on Costa’s website and join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram at @CostaSunglasses.

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