Someone gave me his book. You can’t really read it, because it’s mostly pictures. Of him. The golden boy. Tan. Blond. Buff. And a few of him with his volleyball playing wife, who is hot. It has sections on diet. And yoga. And noni juice. And all kinds of other stuff that Laird likes to do. Apparently, he’s hanging upside down now. For 30 or so minutes a day. Says it “Changes his perspective.” He’s been on the cover of every single men’s magazine that exists - twice. In almost all of those articles, in his book, in all the videos of him surfing less than 30 foot swell, he’s talking about one or he’s on one – the SUP. He’s quoted as saying “once you walk, you don’t want to crawl again.” I mean, you kind of wish he was a little more like Noll. The Bull. The quiet type. A little rough around the edges. A beer drinker, not a noni sipper. Maybe even light one up after a session, drop a few f-bombs. But no. He’s a Preacher and a Profit. And His followers flocked to surf shops and online and anywhere they could get their hands on one. A SUP.<br /><br />Do you remember the first time you saw one? I was out with a handful of guys on a beautiful march day with light winds and head high pretty consistent surf. All of the sudden this madman comes.... standing up into the lineup on some kind of a… surf kayak! He gets out and…. he’s still standing up! Just hanging out about 20 yards from the rest of us with a paddle in his hand, standing. A set comes through and he’s wobbling and paddling and takes a couple of deep strokes and gets this massive surf kayak into a wave. He comes screaming through the line-up on this thing like it was set on rails. Might as well have been a J class sailboat. It was huge! No chance of a turn, a cutback, a carve. Just flying down the line. I was straight up f*&king mystified. I think I took a set wave on the back of my head as I turned with my mouth gaping and watched this guy ride this… THING well into the cove beyond the break. Then he turns it around, and heads right back out, and wobbled into the best of the set waves for the rest of the afternoon. And you know what - he had one on. Yep. You know it. The most essential item to a SUPer. A trucker hat. <br /><br />During the last swell, which was the first decent swell in a while, they were all over the place. I got out on Thursday morning at 6:15 and there were five guys in the water. All five were on SUP’s. Just dominating wave selection and leaving very little on the bone for people who like to catch a wave, stand up, then actually perform what SUPers do not know or understand – actual surfing maneuvers. Cutbacks, slashes, carving turns, floaters, airs (well, not for me…but….) We crawlers actually still surf. I ended up having to play US Marine and performed some outflanking. I got mine. As it started to get a little more crowded, a set came through and all five of the SUPers caught waves and came flying through the lineup on rails. Two to a wave. With the trucker hats on. I swear to you, one of them even a pair of Nike water socks on. Big smiles from these tourists as their surf kayaks created a wake through us lesser wave lovers. Those of us who, according to Laird, had not yet evolved to the glory of the… SUP, just had to frown back at them. I thought that somewhere, Laird was drinking noni juice hanging upside down channeling the Dali Lama and maybe singing songs with Eddie Vedder on the Uke while his hot wife made him some organic sustainable snack. And as I sat there paddling for position for the next decent wave while the 5 surf kayakers were paddling and wobbling their way back out, I said to myself and anyone listening: “F%$k you, Laird Hamilton, wherever you are.”
Last edited by Manisses; Sep 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM.
Hillarious post, loved it. There are some cats who can work the SUP, but they're few and far between. The wife and I were at her Dad's last B-day. Her Dad's an ol' IB rat and has been a local shaper since 1969, so most everyone there were his surf buddies or their kids, who are my generation. I asked one of the kids, who's married to my wife's best friend, if he had paddled out during the recent swell. He said, "Yeah, but I've been doing stand up" (he's actually pretty good). My wife, who only caught part of the conversation turned to us and said, "You've been doing stand up comedy? What does that have to do with surfing?" The old guard all seemed to find that hillarious. My wife's, friend's husband was less than amused.
Things change, change is strange. Lord only knows what wackiness my children's generation will bring to surfing.
Last edited by zaGaffer; Sep 13, 2012 at 07:15 PM.
surfed at a spot for this whole last swell that was a little more conducive to longboards and SUP's than where i usally surf. Most SUP's were exactly as described by the OP but one guy on a shorter SUP was sitting with the rest surfers, taking off way late and ripping better than most would on a mid length. He was in no way hogging waves. I was wholly impressed by this guy. Untill then I never saw someone do so much as a turn on an SUP, and yes he was wearing a trucker hat. What's with that?
made me think its not the SUP thats the problem, it's most people riding them and those people would be jerks no matter what they were riding. soon they'll have wave jets
Last edited by Peajay4060; Sep 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM.
Anyway... I have the book. "Laird Hamilton. Force of Nature. Mind, body, soul, and of course, SURFING." It's right here on the table next to my seat on the couch where I type nonsense on Swellinfo while pretending to pay half attention to whatever professional sports my wife and kids have on. Somebody gave it to me for Christmas two years ago.
I have read about 10 pages of it.
I'm not into hero worship, but the guy is quite a waterman, and there's no denying his talent.
Def agree, Laird is a waterman, and liked The Wave book...SUPs are pretty big in Hawaii where he lives. I rented a SUP in Key West and it was fun and a good workout(no waves obviously) but the feeling of being out in the water was nice and if I thought I saw a nice souvenir like a sea shell, than I took a dive.
I wouldn't SUP around VB, but think its worth it were the water is clear and calm you could paddle over a reef or something and explore.
Last edited by Kuono; Sep 14, 2012 at 01:08 AM.
Reason: brain fart