The life of a professional waterman, whatever their sport, is epic! Not only do they live everyday in Surf T-shirts and Boardshorts, riding awesome waves. They get paid to do it! Understandably this miserable lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Yeah right! Your thinking. I could manage living in a Surf T-shirt and riding waves in amazing places as a job! You probably could. The thing is though what do professional watersports athletes have to do when they’re not riding the best waves and getting a tan? What’s the other side to it?
Since he first burst onto the water sports scene, way back when. Laird Hamilton has been at the very front of every pioneering water sports development you can think of. This all round involvement in all things water, has gained Laird a life as a water sports megastar. Sponsored by Surf clothing giant Oxbow, Laird is never short of the latest Surf T-shirts and gear for his billionaire lifestyle.
First making his name in conquering monstrous waves and pioneering the ‘tow in surfing’ technique, inspiring a generation. Laird is an icon and a legend in big wave surfing. Aside from this achievement Laird is also a great ambassador for all kinds of watersports and is very much the leading light in the waterman concept. Whereby you use whatever watersports equipment you need to to make the very most of the ocean no matter what the conditions are like. All this involvement with the watersports world obviously enhances his worldwide fame and has people from every sport saying his name.
The thing is though, with all this fame, and all this involvement. Would you really like to have the life of what is watersports greatest pro? Let us explain a little deeper. Being sponsored by a huge brand such as Oxbow means you have to give something back to the brand and we don’t just mean a few signed pictures! Meeting fans, talking to reporters, giving feedback on the latest products, the list of extra duties goes on. When you then consider that Laird has dozens of sponsors, all with their own criteria for him to perform. You start to get an idea of the flip side of being a water sports mega star and living life in a paid for Surf T-shirt, riding massive waves. Doesn’t sound quite as perfect now does it?
Fortunately, Laird’s generous personality perfectly suits his famous figure. Reporters rarely, if ever, have a bad word to say. We recently visited an Oxbow store in the UK that had the privilage of a visit from Laird and we were told of how Laird insisted on waiting at the store until he had seen every person from the huge crowds that swamped the streets. Without this attitude to his fans and his duties, Laird’s life could quickly become a bit of a struggle to keep motivation.
For this reason, we’re not sure the amazing lifestyle seen in the promotional videos is actually as appealing as we may think. It’s certainly a lot more work than first thought.
But if you think you could put up with the constant media attention, crowds of fans, reviews, reports and promotions. Then maybe a life of riding great waves, living in Surf T-shirts and being paid for the lot is right for you. If so, we’re jealous of you! Happy surfing!