2009 Eddie Aikau Waimea Bay Contest

Californian Greg Long won the most recent Eddie Aikau Contest, in 2009 at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. Photo: Courtesy of Quiksilver

The invitees to the prestigious big-wave surfing event The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay have just been announced and include past winner Greg Long, Kelly Slater and John Florence, among others.

In its 31st year, the event takes place on the North Shore of Oahu and invites the world's best surfers to participate.

The wave-size minimum for the contest to take place is 20-foot Hawaiian, which means a 40-foot face. That was the size at which Waimea Bay lifeguard and Hawaiian legend Eddie Aikau, for whom the contest is named, liked to surf the bay.

RELATED: Eddie Aikau: The greatest surf story never told

Because of the strict wave-height minimum, the contest has been held only eight times. It was last held six years ago and California’s Greg Long took the title.

There is a three-month holding period this year that starts Dec. 1 and runs until Feb. 29, 2016.

Quiksilver Eddie Aikau 2015

The invitees have been announced for the 31st annual contest. Photo: Courtesy of Quiksilver

The contest is held in memoriam of big-wave surfer Aikau, who inspired the phrase “Eddie would go.” He was a waterman and lifeguard who personified Hawaiian values, placing huge importance on family, community and safety.

At the age of 31, in 1978, Aikua was lost at sea during an ill-fated voyage on Hawaii’s Hokule’a double-hull sailing canoe. He was a young man at the height of a career equally dedicated to big-wave riding and lifeguarding at historic Waimea Bay.

It is a huge honor to be invited to the event.

Quiksilver has also announced it will supply its new Quiksilver x Aqua Lung IOS safety device to all the contestants. The vest inflates in a heavy hold-down situation, bringing the wearer to the surface.

When the contest is called on, viewers can watch a live webcast at www.quiksilver.com/eddie.

More from GrindTV

Social media reacts to death of beluga at SeaWorld

Tornado hits Central California

The Weekly Grind: Nov. 16, 2015