Friday, May 02, 2008

Surf Fridays!

Happy Friday! I was all set to post about some modern California surf shacks that surfers are styling down in SoCal. But I needed a serious shot of adrenalin. Next week we'll get some style. Today, a jolt to go with your coffee.

Is Laird fearless?

“No, I don't think Laird is fearless at all. I think that's what's so interesting about Laird and athletes like Laird," says his wife, Reece. "They are just as afraid, but they deal with it differently -- because if they didn't have fear, I don't think they'd be as good as they are.”

Hamilton considers "a big wave" a wall of water up to 70 feet high, the equivalent of a seven-story building. And these are the waves he lives for.

“It would be, like, if all of a sudden you saw a block of buildings come alive, and it decides that it's going to start falling towards you -- and you have to know where to go to get away from it,” says Hamilton. “If you're up on top of it, you have to know how to get down it and get away from it.”

What he’s describing may seem like a nightmare to some. “Some people seek nightmares out,” says Hamilton. “I mean, scary movies are popular.”

Does Hamilton understand why he needs this danger in his life?

“Probably not. I know that if I scare myself once a day, I'm a better person. And I think everybody would be. I think it's part of actually existing," says Hamilton.

"I think that we've gone so far away from that physical fear. A dinosaur was chasing you in pre-historic times and wanting to eat you. I think we need some fear.”

Why does he continue to do it?

“I really just love it. I think it's one of the few times in my life that I feel totally complete, like, this is why I'm here,” says Hamilton. “When I'm out there and I'm doing it, I don't have any doubts or any questions. I'm living it, and that's it.”

Surf movie tip:

I highly recommend renting the movie Riding Giants. Not only is Laird Hamilton featured, it's got great stories and photos from the 1950's bad boy of surfing, Greg Noll. And for you NorCal dwellers, the film wouldn't be complete without Mavericks. Directed by former skater Stacy Peralta, who previously directed Dogtown and Z-Boys.

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