Laid Hamilton: a foiling pioneer | Photo: LairdHamilton.com

For many, he is the most complete surfer of all time. Laird Hamilton is a reasonably circumspect person who avoids self-promotion, but he does know how to keep his name in the spotlight.

You can't talk about Laird Hamilton without mentioning his family, the constant workouts, the diet, the achievements, and his innovative contributions to the sport of surfing.

Simultaneously, you can't talk about big wave surfing without referring Laird Hamilton. He is one of the reasons why surfing's most dangerous discipline is such a popular water sports activity today.

Bu the blonde, blue-eyed waterman obsessed with fitness and healthy eating is also an active businessman with multiple interests.

Hamilton says he doesn't care about what people think of him, and often portrays himself as a family man who seeks constant challenges.

Laird can sometimes be a controversial character. Occasionally, he tends to shock the surfing community with his free-spirited views on life and surfers, sexist comments included.

Laird Hamilton: he loves stand-up paddleboarding | Photo: LairdHamilton.com

Along the way, he provoked thousands of people, and then ignored them. But that is just Laird Hamilton in his purest form.

The man who has had more close calls with death than any other surfer on planet Earth continues his search for the biggest wave of all time.

Perhaps, it's the 100-foot wave. The one that's never been ridden; the one that probably has his name written on it.

Read his most memorable quotes, and you'll learn a lot about Laird Hamilton. But for now, let's dive into the XXL world of...

1. Laird John Zerfas was born in San Francisco on March 2, 1964;

2. His biological father is L. G. Zerfas, a Greek man who left home before Laird celebrated his first anniversary;

3. His mother Joann moved to Hawaii before Laird was three years old;

4. Surfer and shaper surfboard shaper William Stuart "Bill" Hamilton met Joann, married her, and became Laird's adoptive father;

Bill Hamilton: Laird's adoptive father

5. Laird Hamilton was bullied from kindergarten to high school because he was blonde and light-skinned;

6. When Laird was just 11, his mother took him on a life-changing road trip from Paris to Bombay and then through the Khyber Pass and Istanbul, Iran, Iraq, and the old Silk Trail;

7. At the age of 16, Hamilton dropped out of school to pursue a modeling career and work in construction;

8. Throughout his life, Laird Hamilton modeled for several brands and magazines, including Davidoff and Sports Illustrated;

Laird Hamilton: modeling for Davidoff

9. In 1988, he participated in a photo shoot with actress Brooke Shields, the blue-eyed girl from "The Blue Lagoon";

10. Laird Hamilton is 6'3 and weighs 215 lbs;

11. He co-invented the concept of tow-in surfing with Darrick Doerner and Buzzy Kerbox;

12. The new big wave surfing technique was first featured in the film "Riding Giants";

13. In 1987, Hamilton played the role of Lance Burkhart in the surf movie "North Shore";

14. In 1995, the Californian was Kevin Costner's stunt double in the Hollywood blockbuster "Waterworld";

15. Gabrielle Reece, Hamilton's wife, is a former professional volleyball player who competed in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in the 1999-2000 season;

Gabrielle Reece: she is a former professional volleyball player | Photo: Reece Archive

16. Gabby and Laird married in 1995;

17. Heavy drinking and anger nearly cost Laird his marriage with Gabrielle;

18. Hamilton three daughters - Izabella, with his first wife, Maria Souza, a Brazilian bodyboarder and clothing designer, and Reece and Brody Jo with Gabrielle Reece;

19. In 1996, Laird Hamilton was considered one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine;

20. In 1999, Hamilton completed a 50-mile windsurfing cross from Oahu to Kauai in less than six hours;

21. In 2002, Laird doubled as James Bond in "Die Another Day" and served as the stunt coordinator for the movie's big wave sequence;


22. Laird Hamilton was one of the first watermen to attach a hydrofoil to a surfboard and go surfing big waves;

23. On August 17, 2000, Laird Hamilton was towed into the so-called "Millennium Wave," at Tahiti's Teahupoo - it is still considered one of the heaviest waves ever ridden;

Millennium Wave: Laird Hamilton rode one of the heaviest waves of all time on August 17, 2000 | Photo: Tim McKenna

24. Laird Hamilton loves big vehicles, but he learned to drive on farm trucks and a 1972 VW Beetle, his first car;

25. In 2007, a naked Laird Hamilton saved the life of Brett Lickle, his tow partner, using his boardshorts as a tourniquet;

26. On August 27, 2014, Hamilton shot the Malibu Pier on his SUP at high speed during the infamous Hurricane Marie swells;


27. Laird Hamilton is the co-designer of Golfboard, a battery-powered vehicle for golf courses;

28. In 2015, Laird and Gabrielle took their clothes off for ESPN's Body Issue;

Laird and Gabrielle: the naked photo shoot for the 2015 ESPN Body Issue | Photo: ESPN

29. Laird Hamilton knows how to surf (big waves), but he is also an accomplished windsurfer, kiteboarder, stand-up paddleboarder, water skier, and golfer;

30. In April 2018, Laird used his boat to rescue people around Kauai from devastating floods;

31. The life of Laird Hamilton can be explored in the books "Force of Nature," "Fuel Up," and in the movies "Laird," and "Take Every Wave";

32. As a businessman, Hamilton developed superfoods, apparel, high-performance training programs, and high-tech gadgets;

33. He also makes appearances as a public speaker on topics such as risk-reward, teamwork, innovation, healthy lifestyle, and fitness, overcoming adversity and setting and achieving goals;

34. As an environmental activist, Laird Hamilton fights offshore drilling and promotes ocean conservation;


35. The big wave surfer was one of the surfers selected for the most intense "Point Break" surfing sequences;

36. Hamilton believes coffee is the only healthy energy drink you need in your life;

37. Laird is a fan of ice and cold baths because they improve, blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and raise testosterone;

38. Hamilton has a workshop/laboratory he built two decades ago;


39. Laird Hamilton would like to see stand-up paddleboard racing in the Olympic Games;

40. Laird Hamilton says man-made wave technology and surf pools aren't still big enough for him to be excited;