Laird Hamilton

2018, Houston, Texas

Walter E. Dandy Orator

Laird Hamilton is best known as an American big-wave surfer and pioneer in the world of action water sports. In addition to his affinity for the water, Laird is an inventor, author, stunt man, model, producer, TV host, fitness and nutrition expert, husband, father, and adrenaline junkie who continuously pushes the limits of human possibility.   

A hard-charging athlete, Laird is a renowned innovator and guiding genius of crossover board sports including tow-in-surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and hydrofoil boarding. Over the last decade, Laird has become an international fitness icon and nutrition expert, training top professional athletes and celebrities. Partnering with his wife Gabrielle Reece, Laird created Extreme Performance Training (XPT), a unique training and lifestyle program featuring water workouts, performance breathing, recovery methods, high-intensity, and endurance training.

Laird is the author of the bestselling book Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and, Of Course, Surfing (2008). He is also a contributing editor for Men’s Journal. He has appeared in a number of feature films and surfing documentaries including Step into Liquid (2003), and Riding Giants (2004), where he also served as executive producer. He performed as a stunt man and surfer in The Descendants (2014), Water World (1995), Die Another Day (2002), and Point Break (2015). In addition to his film work, Laird has appeared on numerous television shows such as Oprah’s Master Class, Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes, Chelsea Handler, Conan O’Brien, Steven Colbert, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Laird has a passion for philanthropy and works with various non-profit organizations to help others live a happy, healthy life.

General Scientific Session II
Monday, October 8, 11:50 am­–12:15 pm
A Conversation with Laird Hamilton: Risk, Reward, and Overcoming Fear