Laird Hamilton is one ripped surfer. The man was introduced to the surfing world primarily through his exploits as a big wave pioneer, and, in particular, in Dana Brown's Step into Liquid. Hamilton, of course, is a well known waterman, and a surfer that all surfers respect and admire. Hamilton has recently penned a book, entitled Force of Nature – Mind, Body, Soul, and, of course, Surfing. It's a great book.
Laird's book is a different kind of surfing book than you'll find anywhere else. First, the photos are stunning, showing Laird Hamilton making the drop on some of the world's craziest waves. That Tahitian beast, Teahupoo? Check. On an SUP? Check. Jaws on a hydrofoil? Check. Jaws on a SUP? Check. It's all here.
But this book is more than just dropping into big waves, as the title suggests. Indeed, the book is divided into Mind, Body, Soul, and of course, Surfing, although there's a good portion of surfing every couple of pages. Hamilton struck the right balance – not being overly philosophical, overly “nutritional” or sappy. And while the book is a quick read, Hamilton manages to cover a lot of ground. We go from reading about Laird's favorite boards (ranging from a 16' gun to a 5'11 tow-at board) to Laird's caffeine preferences (espresso), but all in a very light and cool way.
This book is part inspirational story, part biography, part cookbook, part exercise regimen (including yoga and a workout that can be done anywhere, without free weights.) All of this is a description of how Hamilton and his family live their lives. We should all strive to live in the same way he does. (As an aside, you won't knock SUPing when you see some of the stuff Hamilton can do on those big logs.)
One of the funniest parts of the book is where, superimposed on Hamilton's body while he's SUPing, Hamilton describes all of the spots on his body where he's been injured. This guy has seen some serious, serious stuff. He's sliced into his leg with a power saw, speared himself clean through the cheek with the nose of a surfboard, and endured countless breaks and bruises. It cannot be said that Laird Hamilton has just floated through life and his injury list proves it. Cool idea, and props to Laird Hamilton for taking all manner of watercraft and injury in pursuit of waves.
Oh, and by the way, let it be known that Laird Hamilton is ripped. Seriously ripped. The guy is just in fantastic shape. He's a role model for any aspiring waterman or surfer.
Published by Rodale and available on Amazon.com, Hamilton's book will make for a great Christmas present for someone looking to make a lifestyle change (and learn how to live and surf better).