Big Wave Surfer Laird Hamilton shares a day in the life of his typical nutrition and water activity schedule when a decent size swell arrives.
With Laird’s summer workout combination of 90 minute functional training sessions, alternated with his innovative pool workouts, is considered highly demanding by most people’s standards, it is really just a warm-up for the “real deal”.When he is back in Hanalei Bay with his fellow big wave surfers, Laird’s real work begins. Anyone who has made the journey out to Kauai to spend a few days with Laird when he is at full-tilt, has seen first-hand the intense pace he and his tow-in partners maintain when the “big swell” is in.
Of course, with all Laird’s physical activity comes plenty of healthy eating and proper nutrition supplementation to make sure that he has the all essential nutrition necessary to support such an intense schedule. But like most other world-class athletes, Laird has his own tried and true nutrition routine that he has perfected over years of personal experimentation. So for those of you who like to live vicariously through Laird’s big wave exploits, or if you are just looking to pick-up a few tips for how to perform your best, here is a typical Laird Hamilton big wave day.
Typical Laird Hamilton Big Wave Day
5:50 A.M. – Hydrate
Laird has recently been drinking a giant glass of water to start the day, and to get the pipes working; mixed with ¼ tsp. of Himalayan salt and fresh squeezed lemon.
6:00 A.M. – Father Daughter Bonding Breakfast; Laird and Brody share a morning smoothie
Brody is an early riser like Laird, while Reece sleeps in a bit longer. Brody loves her morning time all to herself with her Dad. This time of year Laird adds two full scoops of Whey protein for himself (staying warm in the surf burns up to an extra 400 calories an hour), plus adds ½ scoop for each girl. Then mixes in a serving of Greens, as well as a broad concoction of fruits, nuts, and other ingredients to increase the calorie count.
6:15 A.M – ESPRESSO
Laird drinks a cup of his Superfood Coffee and Creamer.
6:30 A.M – Quick Surf Check
Calls to the crew
6:45 A.M. – ESPRESSO
Possible a second cup of espresso and quick commute to his river front work shed
7:00 A.M. – Gear Check and Load-Up
(jet ski fuel check, rope and radio equipment inspection, board selection, and mount-up)
7:30 A.M. to 1 P.M. – 5 hour morning Foilboard session
(20 or more 2 to 3 minute rides each)
1:30 P.M. – Massive Lunch with the Boys and / or Gabby
Laird’s lunch is usually a major sushi and sashimi chow-down, typically consuming enough food for two grown men. A combination of up to 8 assorted raw fresh fish and vegetable rolls, plus plenty of locally caught Ahi. No bread or pasta, just lots of close-to-the-source local foods, including plenty of fresh fruit and coconut water that is hand-picked and straight from the shell.
2:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. – Afternoon Ocean Session
Foilboard session 2, tow-in or afternoon SUP session, (10 or more additional rides per person)
5:00-5:30 P.M – Stretching, Meditation
5:30 P.M. – Sunset River Paddle Board Session
40 minutes or more of high intensity stand-up paddle boarding
6:30 P.M. – Dinner with the family
Gabby cooks almost every night. Always plenty of high quality protein such as very lean steak seasoned with sea salt, served with a variety of vegetables, quinoa, and a big salad.
8:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. – Quiet Time
Reading, nightly walk with the kids, Gabby and Laird personal time.
9:35 P.M. – Bed
Laird winds down early to recharge for the next day. He is admit about getting enough sleep 7-8 hours.
The friends and family who take turns rotating into Kauai throughout the winter months to be a nearby spectator to the daily exploits of Laird and his co-extreme big wave surfers, get to momentarily immerse themselves in this high-energy and high-risk routine. Better yet, a few brave souls even get to occasionally join in. But to maintain the pace of a big wave surfer day-in and day-out requires significant prior conditioning and discipline. So when you start to feel like maybe your 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity a day is a bit tiring, remember, Laird and team get that much exercise in by 9 A.M, just as a warm-up to 8 hours more of intense physical activity.