Laird Hamilton Bio
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 has transcended the sport of Surfing to become an international fitness Icon. 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 people looking to make a healthy lifestyle change. In just its second week of release, it appeared 7th on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Many professional athletes, such as NBA star Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls basketball team, now go to Laird for training guidance, including instruction on a unique underwater resistance training workout he has developed called XPT - Extreme Pool Training.
Laird's passion for fitness extends to the sport of cycling, and in 2009 he participated in the RACE ACROSS AMERICA. His participation in this 3,000 mile cross-country bike race 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's Not The Answer Campaign, and he is featured in both their 30- and 60- second PSAs urging President Obama and Congress to reinstate the moratorium on offshore drilling.
As an icon for adventure sports and advocate for ocean conservation, Chanel recently announced Laird's selection as an ambassador for their new J12 Marine Watch. John Galantin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chanel Inc., remarked: "Laird's daring spirit and love for the ocean are in perfect harmony with the inspiration behind the J12 Marine watch. We are excited for him to bring his energy, original style and fearlessness to this iconic watch."
In addition to being surfing's highest profile big wave surfer and Chanel spokesperson, Laird's international visibility has grown over the years due to many movie, television and other media appearances. Laird had a small, but dramatic role in the feature film The Descendants, directed by Academy Award winner Alexander Payne, opposite George Clooney. In late 2009, Laird guest-starred opposite comedian Jay Mohr on CBS's Gary UnMarried, as well as other guest starring television roles. He was featured in an ABC Nightline News profile in 2010. Previously, Laird has also sat with Leslie Stahl for a 60 Minutes segment highlighting his artistic and athletic exploits.
Beyond Laird's dramatic role in the Descendants, Laird has also been featured in many surfing movies and documentaries. Laird was a featured surfer and an executive producer on the Summer 2004 theatrical film, 'Riding Giants', by Sony Picture Classics. The film looks at the history of big wave surfing. Laird was also featured in the film, 'Step Into Liquid.' Other theatrical credits include Laird doubling as James Bond in the MGM film 'Die Another Day' and serving as the stunt coordinator for the film's big wave sequence.
Laird has also been featured on TV as a host on Fox Sports Net's, 'Planet Extreme Championships' (2000), on the Outdoor Life Network (1999), and in 'The Extremists' (1996-97), where he took incredible risks while air boarding, rock climbing, kite surfing and jet-ski surfing. He is featured in the documentary film 'Endless Summer II' (1994). Laird's filmmography also includes 'Waterworld,' (stuntman), 'North Shore,' 'Night Waves,' 'Totally Committed,' and 'Five Summer Stories.'
'Path of Purpose', a short documentary about Laird's endeavor with his tow partner, Dave Kalama, to help fund and raise awareness for Autism, premiered on the Sundance Channel in
July 2008. The last surf release, entitled 'Water Man', and distributed by Video Action Sports, premiered in film festivals in Spring 2008. The film garnered attention by winning awards at the film festivals and taking home Best Cinematography at the 2008 Surfer Poll Awards.
Photo shoots with sponsors have taken Laird around the world from the Caucasus mountain range to snowboard, a jungle preserve in Indonesia with a world-class surf break just offshore, to the Great Barrier Reef. He can be seen profiled on the CBS News show '60 Minutes' and on the cover of magazines such as National Geographic, Outside, The Surfer's Journal, Men's Journal, Surfer, Surfing, and in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, People, Life, Time, GQ, Interview, L'Uomo Vogue (Italy), Paris Match (France), Surf (Germany), High Wind (Japan) and Sailboarder.
Laird has been credited with the huge growth in popularity of Stand-Up Paddle Surfing, most often referenced simply as "SUP." As such, Laird has also been profiled in both Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal about his role in the evolution of stand-up paddling and paddle surfing. Time Magazine has said of Laird's influence: "It wasn't until the late 1990s that the modern explosion began, thanks to big wave surfer and exercise guru Laird Hamilton picking up SUP and publicizing it as a simultaneously adventurous, peaceful and a solid form of core conditioning for surfers and non-surfers alike." With his vintage humility, though, Laird remains reluctant to call himself a trendsetter. The Wall Street Journal notes: "Mr. Hamilton declines to call himself the inventor of the sport because Pacific Islanders-- and Italy's Venetians--for centuries have stood in boats using paddles or poles."