Laird Hamilton rides big waves. But he’s also a father, environmentalist, model, athlete and just one of the coolest guys we know. We sat down with Laird to get some music suggestions from his native Hawaii, talk a bit about surfing and life and play a quick game of match the wave break with the band.
To listen to Laird’s playlist, click HERE
Q: The ocean is a huge part of your life; you were literally born in it. If you’d been born in the mountains, what would you be known for?
A: How do I know I would be known for anything? You do something because you love it, by accident, by chance or good fortune someone recognizes it. The obvious answer is maybe snowboarding.
Q: When you’re riding a 70-foot wave at 50MPH, what’s going through your mind?
A: Not much else except focusing on where I am – in the moment – concentrating on what I need to do to make it a successful ride.
Q: Describe your perfect day.
A: My family, the sun, the beach, waves, and a nice meal or two.
Q: You split your time between California and Hawaii. Do your music tastes lean more towards Kauai or Malibu?
A: They orient towards rock-and-roll. I have a diverse taste but I like rock both places.
Q: In addition to surfing and stand-up paddle boarding you’re also an avid cyclist and all around fit guy. Do you listen to music while exercising (when possible)?
A: I do at times, it’s amazingly useful to distract me from the work. It helps with my mood, to give me a more positive attitude and to get me motivated.
Q: If you were going to put a song to “the heaviest (wave) ever ridden,” what would it be?
A: Jimmy Hendrix – All Along the Watch Tower
Mavricks – Rage Against the Machine
Teahupoo – Jimmy Hendrix
Pipeline, Oahu – Rolling Stones
Supertubes, Jeffrey’s Bay – U2
Superbanks, Gold Coast – AC/DC
Q: You described your book, Forces of Nature, as less of an autobiography and more of a Philosophy. If that philosophy had a soundtrack, what album would it be?
A: Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild Soundtrack
Q: Most people on the mainland don’t know much about traditional Hawaiian music. Can you recommend a couple bands/artists?
A: Brothers Pa’a Nui / Brother Israel Kamakawiwo’ole / Peter Moon