Laird Hamilton

Laird Hamilton ( born February 3, 1964 in San Francisco as Laird John Zerfas ) is one of the most influential "Big Wave" surfers of the 21st century. He has surfed waves up to 22 meters high at speeds of 80 km / hr.


L.G. Zerfas, Hamilton's father of Greek descent, the family left before the first birthday of his son. Shortly thereafter, his mother Joann moved with her child to Hawaii. He grew up on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Hamilton met his future adoptive father, Bill Hamilton ( born August 27, 1948), at the age of 3 years to know a legendary big-wave surfer Pro 1967 on the beach of Ehukai in Hawaii. Bill saw the boy playing in the waves and invited him mitzusurfen on his shoulders. Hamilton offered his future adoptive father then to accompany him home to meet his mother. Joann and Bill were married six months later. 1969 Hamilton's half-brother Lyon Hamilton was born. Even in his childhood shied Laird Hamilton no athletic extremes: at the age of 8 years, Hamilton asked his father to visit with him a 18 -meter-high cliff at Waimea Falls, where the surfers put their courage by jumping into the lagoon to the test. He did not leave it if you're watching, but jumped down himself.

After Hamilton had broken with 16 years of school, he first worked as a construction worker to earn the money needed for surfing. At age 17, he was discovered on a beach in Kauai by a photographer of the Italian "Men's Vogue". In 1983 there was a joint photo shoot with Brooke Shields.

In November 1997, he married the professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, who also works as a model and presenter. With her he has two children together. From his first marriage ( with the Brazilian fashion designer Maria Souza ) comes another daughter, who was born in 1996 and lives with her mother. Gabrielle Reece was a major influence on the economic success of her husband by helping him. , With its own manager Jane Kachmer, a talent manager in the film industry, made known Kachmer cared for the professional marketing of Laird Hamilton in the media.

Developed by Hamilton with tow - in surfing has changed surfing huge waves perfect. To find better grip on the board as the resulting high speeds, he first foot straps, which are known for windsurfing, mounted on a shaft rider.

Hamilton is co-founder of Stand Up Paddle surf and is considered the inventor of the Foilboards in which an underwater wings for lift ensures and emphasizes the board across the water surface.

In 2008 he published a book entitled " Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, And, of Course, Surfing ". On September 26, 2013 Hamilton SUP Lifetime Achievement Award was presented.

In October 2013 Hamilton criticized in an interview with CNN the big-wave surfer Carlos Burle and its experiment with Maya Gabeira at Nazaré riding your thirty -meter-high waves. Gabeira could by Burle indeed be saved from drowning, but " simply not have the skills to drive under such severe conditions." To ride Burles own test these waves he commented with the words " To break a world record, you have to ride on the wave also create ( Burle had fallen into the shaft ) ... therefore he was not more than a Wipeout on the biggest wave anyone ever ridden. " Gabeira Comment on the accusation she had been overwhelmed in an interview with " Yes, I already hear these sayings me for years ... When big-wave surfing, I see myself as an athlete -. Regardless of gender "

TV / Movies

Laird Hamilton worked among other things in the movie Waterworld (1995 ) as a stunt double for Kevin Costner and in the documentary Riding Giants (2004) with. He is also seen in the opening sequence of the James Bond movie Die Another Day (2002 ) as a stunt double for Pierce Brosnan in Jaws.

2007 was Hamilton with his wife and Serena Williams and former NFL quarterback John Elway part of the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars. In 2011, he starred in The Descendants as " Tony Cock " a small role.


The ride on the wave of Teahupoo, a surf spot off the coast of Tahiti, Hamilton made ​​on 17 August 2000 a legend.

The wave of Teahupoo applies because of their bulk as extremely dangerous when it exceeds the 3-meter line. Teahupoo breaks over a sharp-edged coral reef in shallow water 50 cm. If one falls off the board, there is danger to life and limb.

This ride, called by surfers The Wave, earned him a title photo in Surfer Magazine entitled " oh my god ... " and is featured in the film Riding Giants.