Picture Prompts

Big Surf Win

A 27-year-old lifeguard won one of the world’s most prestigious surfing competitions. What, to you, are some of the most impressive accomplishments in sports?

Luke Shepardson riding a large wave during the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay on Sunday.
Luke Shepardson, a surfer and lifeguard from the North Shore of Oahu, defeated some of the biggest names in the sport, including the two-time world champion John John Florence.Credit...Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser, via Associated Press

The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, known as the Eddie, is a surfing competition that is held only when wave faces are consistently larger than 40 feet at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, a rarity. On Sunday, the contest returned for the first time in seven years where 40 invitees took on wave faces that exceeded 50 feet.

The Times reports:

In the end, it was the 27-year-old Luke Shepardson, a surfer and lifeguard from the North Shore of Oahu, who defeated the biggest names in the sport, including the 2016 defending titleholder John John Florence, a two-time world champion.

Shepardson competed during breaks from his lifeguard job, returning to the tower between heats. He accepted his award wearing his uniform: a yellow lifeguard T-shirt and red board shorts.

Are you a fan of surfing? What is your reaction to Shepardson’s win? Would you ever want to compete in the Eddie yourself?

What, to you, are some of the most impressive accomplishments in sports you know or care about? How do you think Shepardson’s achievement compares?

Tell us in the comments, then read the related article to learn more about Sunday’s competition.


Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

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