Laird Hamilton (age 59)

March 2, 1964

[Laird Hamilton] Introduction

Laird John Hamilton, born on March 2, 1964, is an American big-wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in surfing, model and actor. He is married to Gabrielle Reece, a professional volleyball player, television personality and model.

[Laird Hamilton] Early life

Laird Hamilton was born in an experimental salt-water sphere at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. His father left the family before his first birthday, after which Laird and his mother Joann moved to Hawaii. There he met William Stuart Hamilton, the bachelor who would go on to marry his mother and become his adoptive father. On North Shore Oahu, the young Laird began surfing and developed a reputation for aggression. He abandoned school aged sixteen to pursue modeling and construction work. The Italian Men's Vogue magazine L'Uomo Vogue discovered him, launching a successful career. For the rest of his life, Hamilton was supported by French beachwear company Oxbow.

Hamilton stayed connected to his passions throughout his modeling and sponsorship career. He regularly competed in surf competitions and announced his own "Wonderwall" line of clothing in 2008. Despite his occasional success as a model, Hamilton stayed true to his adventurous spirit and never completely stepped away from the thrill of surfing. He was known for his physical and mental strength, attributes he acquired through his days in the waves.

[Laird Hamilton] Surfing career

By the age of 17, Laird Hamilton had already established himself as an accomplished surfer, but preferred to pursue a career outside of competitive surfing and contesting. Hamilton and a small group of friends dubbed “The Strapped Crew” challenged the boundaries of surfing, launching 30-foot (9.1 m) jumps on sailboards and experimenting with some of the earliest kiteboards. Hamilton gained media recognition by attempting to be the first surfer to complete a 360 degree loop while strapped to his board. In late 1992, Hamilton, with two other big wave riders, began using inflatable boats to tow one another into waves too big to catch under paddle power alone. This innovation is known as tow-in surfing and propelled Hamilton to learn how to survive 70-foot (21 m) waves and carve arcs across walls of water. He also had small roles in the 1987 movie North Shore and the 1989 windsurfing movie Moving Target. In 1995, he met professional volleyball player and fashion model Gabrielle Reece, and they married two years later.

In the late 1990s, Hamilton also experimented with foilboard technology and became a proponent of Stand up paddle surfing – an ancient Hawaiian technique which requires skill, strength and agility. He also made waves in 2000 when Darrick Doerner towed him into Teahupoʻo break in the Pacific Island of Tahiti – the wave became known as “the heaviest ever ridden”. Hamilton pushed his own boundaries further in 2007 when he was towed into a wave on the Maui north shore called “Egypt” which was estimated to be over 100 feet tall. In February 2008, he joined the board of directors of H2O Audio, a watersports music company in San Diego, California. Later that year, he published a book which he described as not an autobiography, but a discussion of his life philosophy. In 2014, Hamilton was back in the news for riding triple over head (and larger) waves in Malibu. He also serves as an ambassador of surfing and watersports, a lifeguard to other tow-in surfers and an environmental activist. In April 2018, Hamilton voluntarily rescued people around Kauai, Hawaii from record-breaking storms and flooding. He has also co-founded XPT Life and Laird Superfood with Paul Hodge and Gabrielle Reece respectively.

More Details


  • Model (person)
  • Fisherman

 Founder of

  • Laird Superfood

 Official Website