Laird Hamilton Speaks Out for Ocean Preservation Laird Hamilton Speaks Out for Ocean Preservation

Laird Hamilton Speaks Out for Ocean Preservation

by Amara Holstein

May 1, 2011

A world-class surfer widely regarded the best in the world at taking on big waves, Laird Hamilton ventures where few dare to ride: monster waves topping out at more than 35 feet tall. Not only is he a world class board rider, he's a little bit of a renaissance man with water sports. He works on preservation with the Surfrider Foundation and is also credited with inventing the foilboard, windsurfer, kitesurfer, and stand-up paddlesurfer (an ancient Hawaiian technique). He’s married to retired professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and, along with their two daughters, divides time between their homes in Malibu and Kauai.

G: Is it a tough sell to get surfers to care about conservation?
LH: No. I feel that surfers are especially caring about conservation. I believe those who engage with and in nature are most likely to care about it and want it nurtured.

G: Where’s your favorite place in the world to surf and why?
LH: Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii. I grew up on the island and many of my earliest surfing memories are tied to Hanalei. I have the pleasure now of paddling on the Hanalei River with my daughters. It is a special place.

G: People often forget that ocean health affects the life on land, too. You and your family live along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world; how are you and Gabby teaching your kids about the link between the oceans and life at home?
LH: Gabby and I are believers in the interconnectedness of us all—to each other, to the water, to the land. It is an important goal that our daughters understand this interconnectedness and share a sense of belonging to its maturation and resiliency.

GOOD: Describe your perfect day out on the water.
LH: With family and friends catching waves—of any size.




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Laird Hamilton Speaks Out for Ocean Preservation