Laird Hamilton, one of the greatest non-competitive big wave surfers, discussed his lifestyle in an exclusive interview on Oprah’s Master Class. Hamilton grew up around the world’s best surfers, even his father surfed competitively. Following in his father’s footsteps as a surfer, Hamilton embraced the sport at a young age, but did not like the pressure and disappointment of competition.
He stated in the interview, “I saw the sorrow it brought him to be judged by a panel of judges.”
In his young age, Hamilton did enter a couple contests but once the money and aggression amongst one another began multiplying, he decided that competitive surfing wasn’t his future. He explained that he did not need something to bring out his aggression, but that he wanted surfing to be something relaxing and to feel good doing. From that point on, he has used his amazing gift of surfing as a form of art rather than competing.
Laird stated that his toughest competitor is himself. He said that there was never a point in his life where he thought, ‘Wow, I’m great at this!’ He always knew that he wanted to continue to excel in the sport. He challenged himself to new, unimaginable heights and is now a world-known and very respected surfer.