Love him or hate him (or love to hate him), Laird Hamilton lives an interesting life. “The greatest surfer in the world,” as Entertainment Tonight dubbed him, sat down with the Hollywood tabloid to discuss surfing “80-foot, even 100-foot waves,” why he feels at home in Malibu, and stand-up paddling, which he does “most of the time when not doing something else kind of crazy.” And to top it all off, Laird describes how he’d like to be remembered stating, “I hope my legacy is one that I made people believe that they can do things that they didn’t think they could do.”
Can’t get enough Laird Hamilton? Watch him teach NCIS: Los Angeles star Eric Christian Olsen how to stand-up paddle.
World renowned “waterman” Laird Hamilton is known as the guiding genius of crossover board sports, and is largely considered the primary influence behind many surfing innovations, including tow-in surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and hydrofoil boarding. Surfer Magazine has labeled Laird as, “the sport’s most complete surfer, displaying almost unnerving expertise in a multitude of disciplines, and flat out surfing’s biggest, boldest, bravest, and the best big wave surfer in the world today, bar none.”
At 6’3”, 215 pounds, with an uncommon combination of balance, flexibility, and strength, Laird Hamilton is a specimen of an athlete. Laird is not just a surfer; he has transcended the sport of Surfing and has become an international fitness icon and nutrition expert. His first book, FORCE OF NATURE: Mind, Body, Soul, and, Of Course, Surfing (published by Rodale Books in 2008) has become the go-to manual for individuals seeking inspiration for a healthy lifestyle. In just its second week of release, the book appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List top ten. Laird is also a contributing editor to the popular men’s lifestyle magazine, Men’s Journal, where he writes about fitness, health and nutrition. Many professional athletes, such as NBA All Star Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, look to Laird for training guidance, including instruction utilizing a unique underwater resistance workout he developed. In 2012, Laird was made an honorary member of Puma’s Mar Mostro speed sailing team and lent his fitness and nutrition expertise to his team with a regimen that focuses on building speed, strength, and endurance.
Laird’s sports and fitness empire is expanding to the adventure race arena and with the help of blockbuster film producer, Todd Garner, and the team behind sports events such as the Malibu Triathlon, Laird is launching a televised, national multi-city competition event series this Fall. The course features obstacles designed by Laird in which participants’ physical and mental strengths are put to the test.
The automotive giant Mazda, created an ad campaign around “innovation” with the help of Laird, who they felt perfectly embodied that quality. From hydrofoil boarding to physical training techniques, Laird’s innovation extends to the sport of Golf. Hamilton helped create a new transportation device that will revolutionize the sport,The GolfBoard, an easy-to-ride electric board that allows golfers to surf the golf course in a way that feels similar to snowboarding or surfing.
Laird’s passion for helping others live happy, healthy lives is also exhibited through his work with variouscharities. In 2009, he participated in the Race Across America, a 3,000 mile cross-country bike race that benefited such charities as Beautiful Son Foundation for Autism, Pipeline for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis, and Muscular Dystrophy. In addition, Laird has also pledged his support to the Surfrider Foundation and joined other celebrities for City Of Hope’s Citizen of Hope campaign.
Laird lives with his family on the Hawaiʻian island of Kauaʻi six months out of the year during surfs’ swell season and during the off season, they relocate to Malibu, California where he trains in preparation to ride hundred-foot waves.
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