Laird’s Take on Nazaré

Big-wave icon Laird Hamilton calls into question Carlos Burle's ride and Maya Gabeira's skills

| posted on October 30, 2013

CNN reached out to Laird Hamilton from his home in Hawaii to get his thoughts on Monday’s heavywater fest at Nazaré in Portugal. In the interview, Hamilton argues that Burle’s potentially record-setting ride shouldn’t count, since he didn’t make the wave. Hamilton also says that Maya Gabeira had no business surfing that day, since she doesn’t have the skills to handle waves of that ferocity.

READ: Boys’ Club

Is he right? Your thoughts please, in the comment section below.

  • Jorge Martins de Carvalho Jr.

    Okay , now ask Garret McNamara about the wave of Carlos Burle and also the wave of Maya Gabeira . It´s a diferent comment that Mr. Hamilton had argued about . I agree 100% with the McNamara comments . Probably Mr. Hamilton is a little bit jealous…

    • yo momma

      Garrett WAS there, so that’s one more point against Laird’s opinion.

      • Luis Serpa

        so true

    • D

      What did McNamara say about it?

    • Lucas Martin

      Who cares? What Laird says is still true. Garret is not a judge, he can think what he wants. Dont be an hypocrite Jorge Martins de Carvalho Jr. We know Brazilian people are always trying to take advantage dumping piles of shit everywhere they go. If A brazilian cheats, all the country back him up, being fair or not. Doesnt matter. Their nationalism sucks bad. And this is an example of it.

      • Juliana Banana

        1. MacNamara just happens to hold the world record with a wave surfed in that same spot – and he was there, so I would believe his opinion should count.

        2. don’t think any of you have actually met the Brazilians in question in
        this article… because if you had, you would know that Carlos Burle is
        a real gentleman, and that Maya is a beautiful and sweet girl who just
        happens to have have more balls than most guys out there.

        3. I don’t think anyone in this country can criticize nationalism from somewhere else… “American pride” can be pretty arrogant too.

  • S

    Absolutely, he’s right.

    • Fábio Menegat

      shut up

      • Realism

        Not sure what is worse, you saying shut up or the 4 donkeys who approve it.

        • Fábio Menegat


  • Fábio Menegat

    Who is hamilton?

    • Andrew

      If you really do not know who he is you should not be commenting on what he has to say. He is arguably the best big wave surfer alive and in fact invented tow in surfing.

      • deeballs

        I think Fabio is being sarcastic. Im pretty sure he knows who Laird is.

        • Fábio Menegat

          Yes I know who it is. But. Shut up and do better.

    • Lucas Martin

      who is hamilton? what a stupid question is that one? go get back to your hole.

  • yo momma

    What I do know, is that either one of these guys (or Maya, for that matter), has a really big and unbreakable set of cojones. And I also know that Carlos did put it all on the line to get that wave and completing the wave seems a little irrelevant, considering the feat itself. Now, is Laird jealous? I don’t know, but truth is that as of late, he seems more focused on selling nutrient supplements and SUP that on big wave surfing.

    • Fábio Menegat


      • FredZilch

        Sorry, but I went to the same school of surfing as Laird. If you don’t make it to the other side of the wave (kick out) or the noncritical part of the wave you didn’t “make it”. I started surfing in 1962, and it’s always been that way.

        • Pedro

          It’s normal, you used to surf small waves in longboards back then so it would be a massive accomplishment to finish a wave. If I recall well back then and for decades to come the biggest wave ever riden, the one haunting anyones nightmares and which became a myth, was a major wipeout, in case Greg Noll’s wave at Makaha. Maybe Da Bull is from a different kind of school, as is Christian Fletcher who won last year’s Billabong XXL Ride of the Year award after a massive wipe out at Teahupo or Greg Long’s wave at Cortez where he got to be runner up at the same award, a wave where not only he wiped out in a very similar way to Carlos although in a much smaller wave but where he also almost drowned. I guess you and Laird went to a school of your onwn, but in most people’s schools if you drop a massive 90′ plus face all the way to the bottom just to ackowledge there no way to go and you endure a mountain of whitewater for awhile until it is safer to let go, you can claim you surfed that wave!

          • melanie, that tall lady@malibu

            i’d claim it, with a crunchy ending, but on that.

            and seriously laird, your gonna pick on a girl? a girl that rode that wave almost to shore in that crazy huge whitewash? i’m disappointed in you.

    • Venice Beach

      Completing the wave is extremely relevant.

      • Asier Etxearte

        Completing a wave in a +25 meters wave is bullshit if you have made all the way down the face, ride it for a while and then get swamped by an avalanche of white water.

        • Basel Alotaibi

          If you want to set a world record .. YOU have to complete it. There is no such thing like “over +25 wave is bullshit” .. well, if thats the case then site at your coach and watch the Kardashian is better for you. Because if you need to break the world record you need to urn it .. Nothing is called Bullshit .. Totally disagree with your comment with all respect.

      • yo momma

        Oh yeah? Tell me more about how you managed such a wild line up in the past few days, please! I agree with the fact that he didn’t make the wave. Nonetheless (i) he rode it; (ii) it was huge. That’s what counts. Point is: If you’re up and riding, you’re surfing! It’s kind of a universal truth. Look at competitive surfing, for instance: even if you don’t “make the wave” (meaning: you fall, you don’t manage to go around the first section, you get caught by the foam ball), it still counts as a ridden wave. So if you throw yourself at a giant wave (I’m not saying it’s the biggest ever ridden, that’s not my point here), you rode it and surfed it, even if you didn’t get out on the shoulder.

      • Pedro

        Tell that to the judges of the XXl that granted the Ride of the Year to Fletcher after a humungous wipe out at Chopes and gave the runner up title to Greg Long in a wave where not only he didn’t complete as he fell the exact same way Carlos did but also almos drowned. I wonder if Laird is of the opinion that as Maya Greg Long should be doing something else? Or if Billabong should change the criteria in the XXL awards? If he is he should have said it long ago. It is obvious that Carlos rode the wave all the way down the face and held it until it was possible, so yes, recognized or not, he rode that wave and if it is the biggest ever, he owns the record.

    • marcus

      fully agree!

    • morgan

      Completing is the difference between an ejection and an air. Completing is the difference between a 10 point barrel and a 2 point ride. Completing is very relevant. Does it necessarily call into question the world’s biggest wave ridden accolade? No, but is does mean on that page in the record books there should be an asterisk.

    • hosss

      Completing the wave is As relevant as catching the wave. OR else its called wipe out ya kook.

    • Lucas Martin

      Its not about having cojones or not. Its about making the wave. Go back to school. Or maybe go surfing, if you ever did it.

  • Beachbum S-Africa

    Still a fucking legend!

    • Stu Azole

      Saffa men, of course, not huge fans of chicks doing things other than washing dishes etc.

  • Fábio Menegat


    • Lucas Martin


  • Leon

    Someone is jealous..

    • Lucas Martin

      Mr. Hamilton is jealous? Hahahahahaha! You made me laugh hard. He just hates brazilians.

  • Michael

    Laird, I love you and you’re a living legend in big wave riding, but either get out there and prove them all wrong, or shut up!!!
    It took balls (or cojones as someone else put it) to at least attempt to make the drop, so he didn’t finished the wave (got caught up on the foam, which, if I’m not mistaken was the same thing that happened to Mike Parsons and he won a Billabong XXL for that JAWS wave a couple years ago…) and she fell doing it, but man, they DID IT!!!
    Now go down there, show them how its done, or bow out gracefully from Big wave ridding and keep paddle surfing your way to retirement!!

    And yes, I’m a fan!! Just don’t be a sore looser!!

    • cris

      really? Um I think Laird actually does the authority to critique waves and riding them……you should shut up.

    • Bniza

      Shut up Michael !Laird is a surf god!! What he says goes!

  • TG

    Sexist? lol Hamilton’s absolutely right. Maybe some of the biggest sets ever surfed. Watch the video – she almost died – she shouldn’t have been out there – fact.

    • EJ

      Seriously — in sticking with your logic then Greg Long should NOT have been surfing Cortez Bank because he almost died. Try again TG, seems you’re a bit sexist.

    • Marcus B

      What about many men who died? They shouldnt be there then?

      • Jaguar Rio

        thanks, i thought the same

      • Jorge Martins de Carvalho Jr.


    • Jarryd Edmonds

      She obviously felt she was ready to be out there, but that’s neither here nor there, if the guy on the jet ski had picked her up properly the first run instead of hitting her with the sled and the skull dragging her under water later he would not have had to pull her out of the water unconcious and do resus on her

    • Dutch, 23/10, The video talks by itself. Do you still think she is not prepared?

      • Tony B

        Impressive! I didn’t know she was that good at tow-in surfing giant waves. She got hurt from being caught inside. Kind of like summiting and not getting back down a mountain.

    • Michael

      Sion Milosky, Mark Foo, Eddie Aikau….Bless their souls.

      Many a great surfer has died in this arena. Big wave surfing is inherently dangerous, putting your life on the line every single time.

      She shouldn´t have been out there is not a fact, it´s your opinion.

      You know what is a fact?

      Maya Gabeira survived a 5 minute hold down under a 70foot plus wave.

      You do know that right? From when she went down, to when the jet ski first attempted a rescue after she surfaced, 5 minutes had passed. Another fact? She succesfully caught a 40ft plus wave the day before at the same location.

      So a big wave surfer survived a 5 minute hold down under a 70ft+ wave, the day after catching some other monster waves, and it´s a fact this surfer shouldn´t be out there? LOL.

      An obviouis fact? Maya Gabeira needs to physically improve her leg strength so her ankle doesn´t break next time, the reason why she went down in the first place. But hell, if she beefed up, we would have to listen to a whole other bunch of crap articles relating to her lack of femininity and why Anastasia Ashley and Alana Blanchard are so much better surfers than her….

      • Damo

        Eddie Aikau did not pass away big wave surfing

  • Scott

    I, myself, see no sexism in Laird’s remarks. I have no idea of Maya’s training regimen for such waves, but I have seen what others who ride the BIG waves do. There is too that no matter how well you’ve trained, sometimes your time is just up. What happened on Cortez Bank with Greg Long attests to that: training is, by itself, not enough . . . there is an element of ‘luck?’ too, much of which has to do with you have in the lineup or on the ski behind you.
    And as for Laird’s remarks about “making it” . . . there is no objectivity possible here. This is a relatively “new game” (BIG wave riding)(and trying to objectify it/score it/grade it), with one group on this island saying it’s “This” while on a neighboring island it’s “That.” In surfing contests, if you don’t ‘finish the ride’ you score less points than if you did. It’s almost like the rules have been made before the game was even invented 🙂 Once Everyone agrees on the rules . . . Game on!

  • David Devine

    Of course Laird said that. He’s been trying forever to do what Burle has done. The only thing bigger than that wave is Laird’s ego!

    • Fábio Menegat


  • Bob Jr.

    Bad comment … shame!

  • Felipe Ferrazoli Ribeiro

    As a lot of declining legends, Laird is suffering from accepting his records are being broken … Congratulating those who are paving the paths he created would be much more honored.

  • h2ok9

    laird is spot on

  • Duke

    Well, Mr. Hamilton was very, very fast in taking other people’s credits for such an accomplishment. He WAS a legend of a big rider. Not anymore. Congratulations Carlos Burle !!!!!!!

  • Dude

    Every body know that exist a finish line in the end of waves, and who decide where is the finish line is this guy. And from the other side of the world he decided that the finish line is after something he don’t know, because from the other side of the word he didn’t saw. So please before ride a big wave ask to Laird where is the finish line of the wave, otherwise is a wipe out.

    • Jarryd Edmonds

      i would call the finish line when you pull off the wave or the wave closes out, from the footage it looks like he could’ve made it if he was whipped in further over

    • Margarida Cardoso Silva

      ye 😀

  • JFT

    Always admired Laird’s ability and foresight, but he really clowned it up here, IMO. This comment really put a spike in his argument: “In fact, I was invited to come to Europe on this particular swell by some locals that live down there and could’ve easily been there.” Anybody else smell sour grapes?

  • dang3rtown

    On the point of “did he make it?” I’m not sure Laird is correct. In my opinion, Carlos surfed through the crux of the wave, made the ride and then got hit by some whitewash at the end. Looked good to me. On the subject of Maya, I think he’s probably right. I also do not think it was sexist. Notice, he didn’t say “she shouldn’t be out the because she’s a girl”, that would be sexist, he said she shouldn’t be out there because she wasn’t prepared. That’s true and it would be true of any unprepared surfer.

    • Stu Azole

      she was prepared. No way to prepare for a 70′ shore pound that breaks your flotation device that I’m aware of.

    • Mikesim

      yes! Compare it to Bruce Irons’ winning wave at Waimea. He got killed in the beach break and still scored a perfect wave that day. I love Laird, love him! but he is incorrect here

  • Miguel silva

    For you guys have an idea how was the size of the waves, Garret Mcnamara did not surfed because he was afraid to do it ! The Brazilian surfer almost died ! ” There is nothing in the worl like this, this place is more powerful than any other in the worl ” Words of Garret Mcnamara. Come to Nazaré and you will see. Portugal

  • LG

    It is so impressive how international surfing community (I mean everyone but Brazilians) criticize so much Brazilian surfers! If won an ASP contest, because it was small, if ride a big wave it was a crap. This is becoming pathetic (better, it is pathetic).

    • Realism

      Don’t think so. Ricardo Dos Santos is amazing, Jadson Andre charged super hard in Tahiti a couple years ago. I don’t like Medina’s style but he rips beyond belief. No need to play the victim here just get out there.

    • Venice Beach

      Brazilians surf like they’re hiding a knife in their wetsuit. Generally you guys are annoying in the water.

      • Kalani

        they’re the worst. at any break they’re at, they think they’re surfing their home break and each wave is a party wave… most, not all of them. your worst nightmare on a surf trip… a boat load of brazzos rock up and ALL offload at the same time.

    • morgan

      The brazilians here in hawaii are rude, but that doesn’t last long. After they learn they’re place, they become quite friendly.

      • Shiva

        And what you place MArogan? ! who do you think you are/… be in your place!!1 hahahaha pathetic

    • itwaslikethat whenIgothere

      Brazilians… Isn’t that a wax job? They show up here in Cali, call you off on waves they don’t make, then hop you from the shoulder on the next set. If they weren’t so awful everywhere they go, they would get respect.

      • Lauren

        Unfortunately i agree…i speak Portuguese and have spent time in Brazil and a lot of other places around the world where Brazilians surf and they just have zero etiquette and drop in all the time even on me, I’m a girl. I got dropped in on by a Brazilian on a double overhead bomb one day and ate shit bc of that fdp. obrigada cara…….

  • Todd Thompson

    I have to disagree with Laird on this.. I think if you make the drop and ride on and get pinched…. it’s still riding the wave. Go back to the old footage and stories of Greg Noll at Makaha in 1969 and the 3rd reef Pipeline ride…. He definitely rode those waves…. He got pummeled at the end of each, but he rode them for sure…

    • Martin Edmonds

      Exactly what I was thinking.

  • Bruno

    Laird…. all I hear is mimimimimimimimimimmimimimimimi

  • Nickstro

    There is so much merit in what Laird is saying – specifically about Maya. She is without doubt an incredible woman who makes 99% of male surfers look weak – however, without years of good experience, such as regularly surfing Mavericks, Jaws, Cortes etc. she ran a huge risk of drowning. There have been many wipeouts worse than hers – look at Meola and the Jaws crew paddling 25-30ft Jaws (blowing out eardrums, puncturing lungs), or wipeouts at Mavericks in much heavier breaking waves, or Koa Rothman’s Teauphoo experience earlier this year – Maya was not fit to handle it and although I have MASSIVE amounts of respect for what she has achieved and how she surfs, this was one of the more stupid things condoned by Carlos and the Nazare team.

    • Pavlo

      I think he’s right in saying Maya should not have been out there. Of all people, Laird would know. Just as I shouldn’t go out on an 12′ or 15′ day at Pipe or anywhere – I don’t have the experience, fitness or ability.

    • Jarryd Edmonds

      would have to agree, she obviously thought she was ready, carlos obviously thought she was ready, but considering this is the second time in two years she has nearly died she should maybe look at her training or career path, and their rescue techniques leave a lot to be desired for

    • Ivan

      Agreed as well… but does anyone have the ability to handle nature? You can train all you want. The wonderful and respected surfers who have lost their lives surfing big waves – it happened. It’s just too much. You get hit the wrong way and the air gets pushed out of your lungs in the beginning of a wipe out – it’s bad luck and only happens if you expose yourself to the possibility. Hell, you can take a board to the head in 4-foot beach break and say goodbye. Maya got a bumpy one… Two air drops before falling? Sounds like she is pretty experienced and savvy to even handle that. Glad they are alive and I look forward to seeing them in the water again. Train even harder and go get some more. Bring Laird along – he seems like a great guy. Work together – break boundaries and live well. Nobody’s sticking around so enjoy it!

  • Delphi

    BLA BLA BLA BLA…..keep babling Laird….you should just be quiet, because they did it and you sound so bad!!!!!

  • Marcelo

    Poor Laird. Seems so envious. He should just shut up to keep our respect and consideration as the legend that he is. Carlos did it and he’s not north american. What’s the matter??? Can’t you handle with that???

  • kalemanzi

    A very small percentage of the population gets to surf, and an ever smaller percentage gets to surf big waves like that. To bring it more down to earth into the realm of mere mortals, consider this: I have ventured out at times in 8ft days and it was way over my ability or comfort zone. I only managed to catch one wave, or even no waves in an entire 3 hour session, but the confidence boost after such a surf was incredible. Suddenly it was easy to paddle out on a 6ft day and to take the drop on waves I would have pulled out of in the past. Where do you actually practice to surf such big waves, if you don’t surf big waves? At some point you have to get out there and do it. Laird is entitled to his opinion, and he should have the freedom of speech to voice it if he is asked about it. My personal opinion, if somebody is willing to put themselves in a situation like that and they understand that they can die, it’s their business. Obviously it’s stupid if you are ill prepared. Maya already remarked that she would use a different life jacket in future because the one she was wearing got washed off / damaged, and that they should have had two jet skis and not one. With life threatening situations like this, having a dual redundancy and fallback plan is always best practice and if there is a failure then you pull the operation, you don’t continue without a fallback. Bottom line is what my wife always tells me. If the resulting photo is more worth than my camera, then I can venture into situations where I can destroy the camera. Otherwise, it’s not worth destroying it. Similarly, a life is more valuable than a world record. I am sure Carlos and Maya and all of us learned lots out of this experience.

  • socal

    It was amazing surfing no doubt but Maya has had some very close calls. If you made it in 90 percent on your own free will as Carlos said about Maya, you would be dead. There is no making it in 90 percent without a rescue. He is lucky she didn’t die like Laird said. She fell on a wave that looked makeable too which says it all. Remember at Teahpoo Code Red, she almost died as well but the jet ski saved her. Conquering these waves is legendary. Almost dying on them is pointless. pretty crazy no

  • DarthKater

    So many questions, so many opinions, so many points of view, from those who were there and those who weren’t. Laird is but one of the ‘go to’ experts when the issue of surfing big waves comes up and his opinion is exactly that, his opinion. I noticed in the footage that the surfers daring to ride these monster waves seemed to be exercising more caution than usual than on waves like Jaws or Mavericks.
    As far as the legitimacy of Carlos’ ride, some established questions need to be answered: what actually constitutes a legitimate ride (4 seconds, 8 seconds, etc.)? How long did he actually ride the wave? What about his location on the wave while he rode it? While viewing the footage, one can’t help but notice the majority of surfers were being snapped into the wave by the ski and seemed to be traveling under the power of the snap, rather than under the power of the wave. Most surfers seemed to be riding the top of the wave, just a few feet below the crest, and they were riding out of the wave before it actually broke. These are factors that should be included when determining if the ride was indeed ‘legitimate’. The closeness of the breaking wave to the rocks was without a doubt a factor in the surfers’s decision to ride the top of the wave and not the trough. A wipeout on one of these monsters considering the proximity of the rocks would have certainly resulted in injury or death, and the chance for a rescue would have certainly placed the rescuer in that position as well.
    Anyhow, whatever the outcome, I commend the surfers that did take on this wave and am thankful that no one was killed.

  • Tiffany Hassler Johnson

    Can he say Mavericks

  • Ryan Schroeder

    Impressive that Laird did the interview with a shirt on. Must have been strange for him.

  • Tiffany Hassler Johnson

    MAYA!!! Ur a beast….GIRL POWER!!!

    • N

      shut up.

    • Tingo

      Ha, you realize she wiped and nearly drowned right? Had to have her life saved by a male surfer? That’s her unconscious body being pulled out of the water in the video.

      • melanie

        go big or go home. she went big. you two fools stayed home.

        • Tiffany Hassler Johnson

          Aaaahhhhahaha!!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it boys!!!!

  • FredZilch

    I hesitate to bash Laird, he explicitly, and humbly declared he was expressing his opinion.

  • BM

    now ask Laird what he thinks about the wave that Koa “didn`t ride” at teahupoo. He just missed a opportunity to remain in silence.

  • tfellini

    An American trying to diminish Brazilian surfers’ accomplishments? Nonsense, I tell you! Nonsense!

  • esurfer

    It’s true what he said he wiped out period.I thought the same thing he said .People have taken bigger waves and wiped out on them and didn’t claim to make so why should he? yea he has ballz for trying but having ballz to try dose not give him the credit for surfing the biggest wave.A wipe out is a fail period no matter how big the wave.

    • Dude

      Yeah! You – mister “no one” – decided so the decision is made: it is a wipe out because mister “no one” decided it is a wipe out. Have you saw the place to see if the wave can be riden from that point before touch the rocks? Of course you didn’t saw, because mister “no one” is simply a “no one” 😀

  • Fabiano Santos

    easy to say sitting in a couch

  • none

    Everyone hates Laird here on Maui, thats why he doesn’t live here anymore! kook! What a douche

    • The Dude

      “Everyone” huh….u sure it isn’t just you and the rest of your group of friends who sit around the fire and wish they were 1/2 as good……

    • Stu Azole

      People in Malibu love him…

  • sb

    comment about Maya: Not sexist, though I can’t have an opinion on her preparedness. I don’t know her routine and fitness. Maybe Laird does ? probably not.

    About Carlo: Agree with Laird. He wiped out on the biggest wave ever, but he didn’t make it. Don’t know about any of your local breaks, but if I fell in the tube after riding it longer than ever before I wouldn’t paddle back out claiming it, you’d get laughed out of the lineup. The skill of anything in surfing is completing the goal, threading the tube, landing the air, smashing the lip. Any of those things aren’t great and don’t look good if you’re not controlling the completion. He didn’t read the wave properly, he fell. How difficult is big wave surfing if you get towed in and fall ? The skill of riding a wave is in reading it, especially in massive surf.

  • Kook ma gooch

    We should delete all Laird content, maybe then he will go away?

  • Sazerac Jeff

    I don’t know how you can argue with either or Laird’s points. If you fall off your board, how do you make a claim any bigger than “I wiped out on the biggest wave ever ridden”. And as far as Maya goes, she got her clock cleaned pretty good – so I’d say that Laird has a pretty strong pov there as well. If Laird drowns on a massive wave one day, that will be the wave that Laird didn’t have the skill to ride or at least the business riding that day.

  • pedro

    Where is Laird? you dont see him anymore charging big waves, where is he when jaws goes XXL? waiting to tow?? come on, he is totally jealous because people now are doing what he previously thought was impossible, STOP BEEN SO JEALOUS and go surf thoose waves

  • Alexander Irving

    ill agree with his statement if you want the record you finish the wave ride not wipe out. he has failed to do so, so he has no claim to the record. as old mate said he may have caught the wave but he wiped out in the biggest wave. we dont give records for half finishing in any other sport.

  • trashapple

    Does Maya paddle into Waimea, Mavs, Chopes or Jaws? If she hasnt proven that she can paddle into those waves then she has no business towing in…at least that kooky blonde girl from Santa Cruz paddles Mavs and Waimea..

    • Stu Azole

      yes, she has.

  • mauiwind

    Look, you either make the wave or not. No one should be talking about riding a wave when they get pummeled in the attempt. Here’s the problem: At what point is it considered actually riding the wave.? Is it if you make the drop, get on the face, ride it for a few seconds, OR, riding the wave till you make it to a safe area.? Unless we’re going to do it like cowboys at a rodeo, who stay on the horse or bull for a predetermined mount of time, there is only one measure for a successful wave ride.

    • Paul

      If you wipe out it’s not considered made. End of story there. As for Maya, how prepared can anyone be at riding waves of that size? There aren’t many precedents, you can train in 20 foot, 30 foot…but when it get’s to 50 and above it’s a matter of mental preparedness… she was testing herself physically, and for that I have respect for her. Yes she wiped, but she survived…people wipe on waves all the time, the physical side of it is survival in that situation. Anyone who can hold their breath that long is surely as prepared as they can be. Everyone knows the risks involved, she more so than any of us commenting here, and no matter how prepared or experienced you are there is always going to be that element of risk.

  • random beach observer

    What is apparent is that Carlos fell down during the course of the ride prematurely due to the white wash hitting him from behind. Therefore he did not complete the ride. Its that simple. If it were up to him he would have made the left turn successfully, and got over the shoulder of the wave and coasted safely to his buddy on the jetski. While it was a fantastic wave and a good drop, he did not complete the turn.



  • Dutch

    Laird, you suck!

  • Tofino-amino

    This was the biggest surfed/wiped-out on.Did n`t McNamara get the full ride credit for a different wave from the same swell?There are very few men and even fewer women who can attempt this with the right skills,I`m sure a few are willing to put their meddle to the test.Lairde was just being a person with an opinion,an ego,and possibly the skills to be out there(I noticed he had an invitation alibi that he turned down…Nope sorry…dont want to surf supermonsterhugeNazare`.),Lairde is also being a bit of a jerk to Burle.I would say there wasnt much of that wave left to ride….It was big but it wasnt a pretty wave,as they go.The McNamara wave was by far more photogenic and a full technical ride.If Burle,himself thinks he made it,why take that away from him?Which wave was bigger?…Maya nearly drowned,she does have the skills and just the fact she went out shows she clearly risked her life.pursuing the money an notoriety and claim.Of course there is huge money doing this….why else risk your life?Eventually someone will break the record and as defending champion,if you want to keep the title,you are out there doing it instead of making excuses on live TV news explaining what the difference between what making it compared to a wipe-out is, go out into the water,you survived,you surfed or died trying…

  • Zensurf

    Excerpt from an interview with the master G.Lopez:

    4. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve been given?

    Always to allow yourself the freedom to fail in whatever you try to excel at, thereby opening the door to the learning process of life and closing the door on one’s ego.

    • therealdmt

      Awesome quote!

  • Margarida Cardoso Silva

    Stop showing up jealousy and suck it up princess!

  • Teco Teco

    Maya won 5 of the last 6 XXL big ride contest and she rode that wave very sucessfully on the 23rd october. On the 28th she almost die, yes, but she proved she can do it 5 days before. The wave she rode was so hard, so full of bumps that anyone, including laird could has fallen if he was there trying to made it. Yes, laird has more techique, but she made the wave, the footage is there and 5 days after she fell and almost die. But she knows she can die. Still she goes. She really wants it. It takes desire to done that wave and she has that and some technique, not as laird, but she trained as hard as anyone for the last 7 years. She does her best and she is the best woman big rider in the world. Fact.

  • Lisbon surfer

    Imagine Garret Mcnamara say that the waves were too big for him ! He was afraid to go. ! was what he said. For this man say a thing like this…The Devil lives in the waves of Nazaré.

  • knobend

    it’s tow in so it does matter if you make it.

  • Blue

    Maya doesn’t have the skill to be out there?! Why? Because she fell? Does that mean that Greg Long doesn’t have the skill to surf Cortes Bank? Maya is charging and pushing boundaries. You are saying that because she is a woman.

  • blue

    Maya doesn’t have the skill to be out there?! Why because she fell? Does that mean that Greg Long doesn’t have the skill to surf Cortes Bank?

  • Just sayin

    I’m no expert but I think making the wave matters, I also dont think the waves that day or the wave in question was not 100′. Everytime I see pictures of the break something tells me that the buildings and cliff in the forground have an effect on how big the waves look…

  • Luis Serpa

    come to portugal and try it!!! don’t talk about things you really don’t no…

  • Tudo

    I cringed when I heard Laird weigh in. I respect Mr. Hamilton.
    Waves on this scale, to make the drop and ride for awhile is good enough.
    It’s so massive, you CAN’T make them all. “Eddie Would Go” as they say.
    Maya has been working her way up for a long time with alot of hard work. I give her credit for being out there; you’ve got to learn by doing sometimes. That was a rough wave face that would have taken most guys out! All respect to Carlos as well.

  • Theodore Verdone

    DA BULL…..

  • Chris Dixon

    This whole thing is made even more interesting by the fact that Laird rescued Maya after a brutal flogging at Teahupoo in 2007.

  • phathedbrother

    Maya trains super hard for big wave surfing and to assume she wasn’t prepared is just that… assumption. She broke her ankle, got run into by a jet ski and was slammed by a massive wave and was held under for 5 minutes. Who would do better in that situation. Drop the judgement and be happy she’s alive!

  • marcus

    I agree about Maya Gabeira skills but who cares? I don’t have
    great skills to do air on skateboarding but have broken my shoulder trying it.
    If you don’t go for it you will never do it. What is amazing about surfing is
    exactly the adrenaline and living in the edge. So Laird Hamilton, with all the
    respect you deserve … relaxes and let them play! About Burle, common!
    He is there for fun. It really matters if he completed the full
    wave or not. My opinion is that he was there, dropped and had fun.

  • martyman

    Laird is a pioneer of the BigWave game and knows as much or more than anyone in the game. His comments are relevant as he actually understands whats involved in calling a wave its proper size, judging wether the wave was actually ridden or shoulder hopped and if someone is/was actually trained and ready for for conditions like that. Its funny that it takes an egomaniac like him to bring a bit of reality to the situation lol.

  • Maui Tony

    Laird’s absolutely right!

  • gringo

    He has the experience and the quals to make an opinion,compared to most people commenting.

  • kelly slater

    His head is way too big

  • Francisco

    The rescue of carlos with maya is a disaster. Why give the rope? Why not bring it to the bank within the jet ski? That makes no sense. I am the only one who thinks so?

  • Matthew Miller

    i find some of the nuance of what Laird said in the video and what you wrote about what he said underneath is slightly different. Laird has always said that a big wave which you wipe out on shouldnt really be included in the definition of “ridden a big wave”, which he has been saying even before this, at the Big Wave Roundtable a while ago. see the link He also said, “its hard not to expect to ride the biggest wave and NOT wipeout on it.” Ultimately he put himself and Carlos in the same group of people, and voicing where big wave riding should be heading. If anything, his aim is to raise the bar on accurate appraisal and recognition of Big Wave Riding, which he has been doing even before this day, I dont see him as pouring ice on Carlos`s achievement if I listen to the video carefully. If you follow this sport, big wave riders push each other to higher levels while still being friends, because its how they push themselves too. For those of us outside of big wave riding, it sure looks exciting no matter who is going down a 80 – 100 foot waves.

  • splintersurf

    Laird doesn’t have to prove anything. If you’re questioning his ability you clearly don’t know anything about surfing. Anyone can get towed into a massive wave and fall. I give them credit and balls for going out there, but I do agree with Laird. The ride wasn’t complete. Have you ever seen someone got a 10pts ride in a surf contest for falling or not completing a wave? the answer is NO! Try again!!

    • Pedro

      Exactly, everyone can be towed into a massive wave make 90′ plus wall drop all the way down to the base, hold on for awhile with a mountain of whitewater roaring behind and the dive in front of the rocks for a beating of a lifetime, you could too I have no doubts!

    • Pedro

      And off course no one has ever saw a surfer getting 10 points while not finishing a wave and even less no one saw Christian Fletcher winning last year Ride of the Year in the XXL awards after a humungous wipe out at Chopes or Greg Long being runner up in a Cortez Bank wave he didn’t finish and where he almost drowned!

  • fellow surfer

    darn, surf has finally make it trough politics… it is a shame that mr Laird there, pointed out that Carlos did not make the wave. If you take a closer look you can see, he had ad least a solid 10 seconds ride on that monster, before being catch by the whitewash. at the same time there was no where else to go anyway.
    a shame to hear such words from someone who’s follow by loads of fellow surfers and who is supposed to be a pioneer on his career…
    shame Mr. Laird. I just don’t agree

  • P. R.

    I was invited by the locals… suckin his soul through the hole pipe

  • Bill N

    Oh shut the f*ck up all you wankers… Laird is right and he’s the only guy here (except for myself) that has ridden HUGE waves. The rest of you are posers including all the f*ggots at surfer mag. None of you have an opinion with us so f*ck off! lmao

  • JAM

    Big up for Maya! It’s a personal choice whether you go or not and like Shane Dorian said once in a interview, it does not matter how prepared you are, if things go wrong in the wrong spot, that’s it for you, male or female. Maya is obviously hooked, and we all know there’s no backing down once you’re at this level. Big waves like this do not happen all that often, so you either take on them or watch and then regret about what you could have done. So i admire Maya, she is a brave woman and people need to respect that. What about Carlos’s wave, well i kind of agree that he didn’t complete the wave, but then we saw Shane Dorian with his Monster Paddle Award, for a BOMB that he kinda got smashed on :D. But then he was paddling, which is something entirely different from tow in surfing, Carlos got the wave, and from what i see, didn’t really make it to the bottom as well, so no i don’t think it should count. I mean in a competition you don’t see a guy who made the wave, lose to a guy who wipes out right? About Laird…this guy is a legend, he showed everyone this exiting new thing, so what everybody is going crazy about today is because of him. What he wants is probably just to surf with his friends and nobody around in giant Jaws. Unfortunately it won’t be happening again, so i’m truly sorry about him. My guess is he already has another playground, but nobody will know about it any time soon :).

  • Egg

    During this interview there is repeated footage of a surfer actually making the wave. His name is Andrew Cotton, a British surfer and team mate of Garret Mcnamara and is one of the lads I grew up surfing with in Croyde Bay, Devon, England. No one seems to be acknowledging his ride. Although I have a huge respect for anyone who has the guts and skill to ride waves like these I have to say that I agree with Hamilton, if you didn’t make the wave then you cant claim it as the biggest wave ever ridden. basically you can claim respect for having the guts to be out there but you didn’t have the skill to complete the ride. At least that’s how I see it.

  • sufisufi

    you’re a bit jealous laird…

  • Jimmy the Saint

    Laird is entitled to his opinion, and lets face it he is probably more qualified to comment on surfing in the over 50 foot range than anybody. Having read Susan Casey’s great book Wave, the similarities of what happened the day Laird rode massive Egypt and Monday’s surf is uncanny. Laird had to save Brett Lickle (I think it was him) and then went out and rode what was estimated to be a wave of 120 feet. Laird ( I have never met him) comes across as a little abrashive in the media, and nobody is going to thank him for promoting SUPs but the guy is a total legend, he is clearly very intelligent, and having rewatched Carlos’s wave I can see what he was getting at, though in my opinion Carlos made the drop so it counts. All just opinions, we are all entitled to them, and as Surfer has elected to put a comments section up – free to voice them too. But one question I have for those who say it is just sourgrapes from Laird’s perspective is why didn’t he come out last year after GMACs wave and make a similar comment?

  • Daffyd

    We need to separate wave records into into two categories. Differentiate between paddle-in and tow-in. There’s a difference in being dragged onto a face with a jetski when compared to paddling in after positioning and then catching a wave by yourself and unassisted. (But having the jet skis for rescue is a no issue)

  • Andrew

    I wonder whether Laird would say the wave he towed Koa Rothman into at teahupoo “counts”

  • Roberto

    Resuming: Laird got jealous. Didn’t? Go there and prove to us. I’m a big fan of his, but come on! No need to belittle Brazilian surf… If it was a hawaiian, american or australian guy maybe his answer would be different…Shame on you Laird.

  • raul

    Laird’s comments go to the skill and acumen of riding big waves, regardless of whether the one riding them is male or female. I also agree–without in any way diminishing Carlos’s feat of taking off on that bomb–that you do have to finish the ride, otherwise we get into matters of degrees of completion, time on the wave, etc. , which muddle the discussion. By starting and finishing the ride, you have a clear line by which to then judge just who’s taken off on the biggest wave. Cheers.

  • Chief Mongo

    Hamilton is a legend to those that surf big waves, so I take his opinion with high regard. Those people who commented below that Carlos “made” that wave are crazy. He got pulled in, went straight down the face, and didn’t attempt to make any sort of bottom turn… That’s not surfing a wave. That’s wiping out – just like his partner did (who almost died to boot). I completely agree with Laird.

    • Pedro

      Hahaha! That’s not surfing a wave? You mean droping the biggest waal of water ever surfed all the way down to the bottom just to understand that there’s no way to escape either way because right there were the rocks and left there were like some megatons of foam and then the white water all the way to the beach a more than 400 yards away where no sky cam go, hold on to dear life for awhile with all that whitewhater all over him until it was safer to let go is not surfing? It is what? Ridiculous by any criteria one can imagine. Last year both first, Christian Fletcher and runner up Greg Long at the XXL awards rode waves that ended in whipeouts, humungous wipeouts, Greg Long was exactly the same as Carlos only in much smaller wave, and in that wipeout he almost drowned. Did Laird said anything back then? Did he say anything about last year’s G Mac’s wave in Nazare that didn’t even broke? No, he didn’t as he didn’t advice Greg Long to start loking for a new job as he did about Maya.

  • gui

    Laird jealous

  • Claudio

    Vanity sucks Mr. LAIRD

  • Pedro

    You obviously have absolutely no idea about what you’re saying. Nazare drags exponencialy more water than any wave on the planet due to the canyon effect, plus you’re in very deep water and in a beach break, which means you wiill, as Maya was, dragged all the way to the beach more than 400 yards away with no chance a sky will get to you, plus it is generaly bumpy. In any of the places you mention there’s more risk you get hurt on the reef, but way less risk of drowning or get smashed against the rocks. Don’t be foole by what may look like a mushy wave a listem to those who have surfed there. Look at what Shane Dorian said on a day where the swell was 12 feet “As far as intensity, power and size goes you could compare this wave to
    anywhere, whether its Cortez Bank or Jaws or Mavericks,” said Dorian.
    “The waves I saw today were absolutely enormous and if you had paddled
    into the biggest waves today, you would have paddled into the biggest
    wave ever paddled. I have no doubt about that.” Monday was 14 feet with 14 seconds, now imagine what it’ll do with 30 feet swell with 18 seconds!

  • Chief Mongo

    @ Pedro – I’ll point you to the surfer at 1:08-1:23 into the clip – that surfer made that wave – or surfed it. I don’t know how to say it any simpler for you. What if Carlos got swallowed up 20 feet earlier? Would that still be “surfing” the wave? He didn’t even make it to the bottom of the wave. NO BOTTOM TURN. Nothing. What Carlos did is get towed into a giant wave and straight line it until it swallowed him. No riding or surfing a wave. If I saw you doing what Carlos did in the video on 5 foot beach break, I wouldn’t say you surfed the wave unless you were a beginner and I was trying to make you feel good about yourself… Not the case here. If Carlos wants to claim it, it’s up to him – but that doesn’t mean I have to agree – and I don’t.

    • Pedro

      I don’t know how to say it any simpler to you, as Greg Long last year, Carlos didn’t fell twenty feel earlier, he fell after enduring awhile all the whitewater, but he made the whole drop and rode the wave where it let him avoiding going straight to the rocks. He didn’t exited the wave clean as happens in many big and small waves, but he surfed it, he didn’t wipeout, and since he surfed for a long while he can claim he surfed the biggest, if it was in fact, wave ever. Go read the rules of the Billabong XXL competitions, both in Ride of th Year and Biggest Wave, the only ones available when it comes to big wave surfing, or watch many of the entries and even some of the winners, including last year, who didn’t complete their rides, exactly the same way Carlos didn’t, but were obviously considered anyway.

      But if you want to believe that someone that dropped a 90′ plus wave all the way down to teh bottom and didn’t fell, even when he was caught by a montrous mountain of foam, didn’t surf that wave and just wipedout, be my guest, it’s a free world after all!

  • jo

    Nazaré is an extremely scary place. Hundreds of fishermen have disappeared in these waters, including 3 fishermen who disappeared the very same day these waves were surfed a few miles up the coast in Figueira da Foz.

  • Thiago Netto Campos

    l hamilton sucks, better go sup and sell suplements go out there and get bigger, his teahupoo session became quite average for these days, he was a pioneer, now he kooks

  • joesdogmagee

    laird is a total douch.he is a sell out,ruined his own secret spot by publisizeing it ,now tow in is crowded. he surfs great,he’s an innovator,but a complete kook in that he just does it to make a living and keep his notoriety.hollywood kook at its paramount.sorry dude,get a job.
    your dads a good guy,low key,keeps to himself,great his lessons didnt rub off on you i dont know,—no soul,commercial hack

  • joesdogmagee

    laird,you are a kook.a commercial, egocentric dork.

  • Lucas Martin

    Yeah! Lairds da main!

  • Mik

    I’d say Carlos made the drop on the biggest wave ever ridden, and then it closed out on him. Gnarly. Beyond gnarly. XXL for sure

    Maya may not be the most talented big wave charger, but she is a charger and that’s 90% of the big wave credential? I’m so glad she survived, but having had a near death experience myself (allergic reaction to scorpion bite / after surfing) I don’t look at death as a negative. It was a peaceful, expansive, spiritually rich experience. So if she’s willing to go all in for her passion, then I respect her. There is no harm dying when you are living your dreams. She has stepped into an arena that 99% of the male surfing world doesn’t want anything to do with, and she is making her way forward. How rad is that?

    I also respect Laird’s opinion. Anyone criticizing him needs to look again at footage of him carving full-speed turns on massive, 60 ft Jaws. Shredding. He opened the door at massive Teahupoo, which meant not only dealing with the drop, but dealing with other issues that were equally intimidating. Laird is gnarly. Calling him old is ridiculous. He just picks his battles based on what excites him. I don’t think Nazare interests him, at all. Ialso don’t think that Laird cares what you or anyone else thinks, especially if you haven’t surfed in his realm. Personally, if he has an opinion, I tend to listen, because he’s smart and he lives by his views. Maybe the only thing to add is that so do Carlos and Maya. I respect them too.

    I’ve never surfed anything over 18’… I could… But I have no interest in dealing with the intangibles. That makes me admire these three all the more.

  • Basel Alotaibi

    Well, Everyone can tell that Laird was jealous .. but he had a point. All the waves that was on Laird’s record .. had been completed, Don’t care about Greg noll nor anyone else. Compare Laird with Carlos only.. DONT GET ME WRONG .. Carlos DID excellent but Should have finished it to shut everyone else’s mouth. unfortunately, He did not.

  • Jeff Morris

    Has Laird done anything significant in the last 15 years? Why isn’t/wasn’t he out there or in any of best swells (chopes/cloudbreak) of the last ten years. Either way, his current role is of a commenter and an observer, not as a contributor.

  • dphillips

    Laird’s Fair.

  • Andy Goodson

    Andrew Cotton from Croyde, UK did complete another xxl nominated biggest wave ever ridden but no mention of his wave in your blog or indeed most or any US based media. Is it because he is British he is not getting similar attention?.

  • Bubu

    i’m surfing for 32 years,and i did surfed big waves,small waves,contests,and everithing…The point is that Big Wave’ssurfing is just a part off a a Surfer’s life,like contests in Martial Arts,there is so much more in our magical sport…So what’s the point behind that except money or fame or egos or whatever…At least,in the eighties we did it without cameras or magazines,i did surfed in Nazare,in big Parlementia,almost drowned,with guys watching on the cliffs,two in the water,me and my friend,no jetskis!!
    What i mean is do it for yourself,i disagree with Laird,the truth is that carlos made it…He was in the water,did take this wave,and ride the biggest part.Nonetheless,it is always subjective to say a wave’s size,but ask Carlos,when you ride it you know,…Bubu from Oléron’s Island.

  • Jeremy

    I am not American or Brazilian (I am French), so I can say that I can give my opinion without defend any country. The point is that Carlos rode the wave the same way as Greg Noll rode a massive wave in makara (he fell on this wave) and the same as Christian Fletcher and Greg Long surfed their massive waves and also fell. Actually doesn’t matter if he rode 5 seconds, or 15 seconds, in my opinion he surfed the biggest wave ever surfed (until today). And It’s so sad to see some Americans saying that Carlos didn’t made the wave and saying that brazilian surfers are this or that, just to defend Laird that really seems to be jealous.
    PS: If Maya is not prepared for this swell, who is prepared?

  • dante rondo

    Come on Laird ! With all respect for your big wave bravado…Maya has proven she is a charger ! So maybe she is a female and so you do not think she should have been out there because she has less testosterone in her bod ! But the same scenario could have happened to a male…Why were you not there ? It is easy to make judgements. And draw more importance to yourself…Next interview try to redeem yourself…Like far out Carlos rode that wave and survived and far out we did not loose Maya ! Get over yourself/ego !

  • Dude

    If you look from other side you can see the rocks in the left side, so he cannot go there, or if they went there the ride was smaller, and the wave is already closed completely when catch it, so what else had those wave to ride?
    Check it out:

  • jiblet65

    this spot has some large mountains of water, there’s no debating that. I just don’t think it has the power that the waves at Jaws or Mavericks do. this wave topples over and rolls through while Jaws and Mavericks heave out and explode like a bomb going off.

  • scott

    All the comments on this topic are 50/50 agree with Laird or disagree Regardless of Laird’s viewpoint his interview is one of the best interviews I have ever heard from a surfer in a non-surf media setting. kudos to Mr. Hamilton proving that not all surfers speak like Spicoli nor like Garret McNamara for that matter!

  • bob

    stop speaking Laird it makes you look stupid…

  • ScaryJerry

    Haters gonna hate brah! surfing on CNN!? gross…

  • Ze Mane

    I agree that Laird does not have to prove anything. He is so awesome, handsome, great neck, great personality. He is not jealous at all.
    How could a demi-god like him be anything but perfect. If jealousy is negative, then it does not belong to Laird.
    The waves were not that big. I have seen bigger waves on my local beach. And actually, I have seen Laird surf bigger waves than that. Laird did not want any cameras that day. That is just the guy he is: Humble, shy, media avert. Just a plain old good guy glad to help out those in need.
    Burle is a mean person. I heard he is afraid of mice. He is not brave. That monster wave? Probably a backdrop video shot against a green screen.
    Thanks God for Laird to point out that Carlos wave was not for real.
    Finally, in my book, you need to surf a hundred foot wave, then finish the drop, then go to a safe place, then have a diet pepsi, then wait for the jet ski.
    If you merely ride it, the wave breaks, the first whitewater comes and you are clean, and then the second whitewater comes, and you are caught up, then everything else you have done doesn’t mean anything. Either you make it up to Laird’s standards, or you get nothing from us.

  • Pedro

    Yes, thank you!

  • Pedro

    I am sure you would love and I have no question with your sexual preferences, although I don’t share them, but regarding the size, I am sure it is just fake advertising. I’d say half, if that much! Enjoy!

  • Pedro

    You probably have an ego the size of Laird’s one and the same lack of manners, but stop putting yourself on your toes to pretend to look taller than you really are. Whatever you say you have done or still do has no place here in a forum where we’re all anonymous, for all I know you are lying your teeth off. It doesn’t matter also the way you measure your waves, you can even measure them from the top if it makes you feel more macho, but whatever way you measure them it doesn’t mean that you know what you’re doing or saying, and it also doesn’t mean that you ever got yourself on top of a surfboard much less ever surfed big waves. And for what you wrote it is pretty obvious that you don’t have any idea of what surfing big waves is all about. And keep also your unwritten rules, whatever they may be, to yourself, because what matters here are the facts, the rules in place, the XXL ones, and the arguments. You brought none into this discussion, only bad manners. You and Laird can go tell Greg Noll that he is a bullshiter because he never surfed that wave at Makaha he claim he did, because he didn’t finish it. Tell him it was just a wipeout and that for decades we were all wrong considering it the biggest wave ever ridden. You can also go and tell most the winners at the XXL awards to give their prize moneys and awards back because they didn’t follow your criteria and your secret unwritten rule that says you must finish the waves in order to claim you surfed them, and while at it tell it also to the ASP judges who give high scores, including 10 to so many unfinished waves.
    All those guys weren’t surfing according to you, but to anyone with a pair of eyes connected to a at least pair of neurons, and who knows what surfing is all about and who watched Carlos riding that mountain of water for more than 100 yards, knows he surfed that wave to the bone, he did whatever was possible to any surfer do on that wave. So stick to your theory and believing that a guy that dropped a 90 feet wave and rode for more than 100 yards didn’t surf that wave, like I said it’s a free world!

    Oh and I’m not sure you’re aware but it’s been at least 25 years since people stopped kicking out, but would be the difference between kicking out and what Carlos did anyway?! The only difference is his board, if he had a 200 yards leash, would end on the other side of the wave but he would have surfed exactly the same and would end up in the exact same place. Kick out? Big lol! Anyway I’ll tell Carlos to bring a 200 yards leash next
    time just to make you guys happy!

    To finish this non discussion I leave you the words of Skindog Collins about this subject. He says it all and if it wasn’t for your inflated egos you and Laird could learn something from him!

  • MauiShark

    It must be hard to be among the original ‘Slayers of Dragons’, then see others slaying dragons. ‘Whose dragon was bigger and meaner?’ ‘Who has the necessary skills to take on the beast?’ Out of my realm. Maybe the problem is more what has become the norm in all aspects of life: Commercialization bastardizes everything. Imagine the ‘Ancients’ witnessing someone surfing Pe’ahi on a blow up toy. Like the Indian in the old commercials seeing what has become of his land, they too may have a tear in their eye.

    It’s a balancing act. You discover something new, in a sense you own it. Then you tell the World about it and make movies. Others want to be a part of it. Then money is dangled in front of everyone for slaying the biggest, baddest dragon, now they really show up! What once was your baby and a spiritual experience, became a circus. Maybe Laird has a tear in his eye over what ‘Big Wave Surfing’ has become. You pretty much have to own that too. You built it, and they came. That must be hard. Especially for someone who is bigger than life and not allowed to have feelings. Aloha.

  • Herbert

    At least she tried. She was out there. Where the fck was Hamilton? Burle rode the biggest wave ever until he got pounded. Period. Burkhart, please go out there and show the world how to ride it properly. Let your surfing do the talking! In the meanwhile… Shut the fuck up! Suck it!

  • james

    Aside from all the “he rode it; he didn’t” (looks to me like he made it way past the critical part of the wave), watching the videos of the Burle rescuing Maya, it looked like he kind of f’ed up. She had her flotation device on and her head above water 20 yards from shore. He passes her a few times but fails to snag her. Then he tells her to grab the tow rope and he tows her, face down, for about 10 seconds. Then she’s out cold, face down. Looks like Maya pretty much made it past the worst and then got taken out by her tow partner. So many things can go wrong in those situations. So much water moving.

  • Pedro

    There two accomplishments Laird doesn’t have he is not a big wave world champion, Carlos is, and he didn’t rode the biggest wave ever and Carlos did!

  • Pedro

    Your homosexual tendencies don’t bother me, I just don’t share them, but if makes you happy gor for it! As for your size, it is surely just erroneous advertizing, I’d say half that size if that much, otherwise you would be posting on the topic!

  • jeff

    laird is pissed cause once the damn spot light aint shinning on his vagina

  • barney

    laird you need some tampons for all the whinning your doing . why dont you shut up and show us how it is done . the man who gets arrows withouts paying

  • Liv

    People aren’t granted the title of eating the biggest burrito because they attempted, they’re given it because thay finished if. Burle attemted but didn’t finish. I don’t think he should be given the record.

  • jesusr medina

    Laird should shut-up and continue drinking his nutrient supplements, may be then he may be able to match Burle’s accomplishment.. for now all he does is talk rubbish as he always have done ! period.

  • Leo

    Let’s just leave it all behind and go surfing.Carlos, Laird and Maya, they all make mistakes, but better, way much better than mistakes, they accomplished huge things by doing what they do best, they inspire so many to do better, and beleive me, somebody will, soon, very soon…but that’s called evolution, devotion, and self discipline! There’s no right or wrong here, but extreme people who do amaaaaaazing and definetly charge, ohhh yeah! And by the way, i’m actually from Brazil, and everytime i get out there, my main focus is to have fun, enjoy life and respect all brothers, after all, we are all a big family!

  • guy

    Laird is so eloquent! He would fit perfectly in my kid’s 2nd grade class.

  • Mak97

    Sour Grapes me thinks.

  • Mak97

    In fact, safety notes aside you might even think Laird is becoming the Billy Mitchell to Carlos Burles Steve Wiebe of Surfing.

  • Nate

    So when I kick out of the whitewash because the wave closes out, does that mean I didn’t complete the wave? This wave was a close out, he had to have gotten out of it eventually. What would you have him do, ride it to shore and that’s called complete? In my opinion, it was as close to a completed ride as any ride on a close out. Would people have different opinions if he would have jumped off his board here instead of being taken by the whitewash?

  • Jody

    Laird, sorry but you are wrong. Let’s remember that Nathan Fletcher got XXL Ride of the Year for a wave at Teahupoo…. he fell on it too. There are so many excellent big wave surfers now, so move on over Laird. I feel like if you feel the need to diss someone, you better have been there riding the waves that day too. Maya was there. Where were you, Lance?

  • Julie

    Awesome wave!! Awesome balls of steel to ride it… (credit where credit is due) being said he didn’t make the wave in the traditional sense – still hats off to him.. should it count – hecks yeah… should it be considered largest wave surfed for the record – No

  • Owl Byrd

    I’d have to chime in and just say that as far as getting a giant check, literally, on an awards show like the XXL there are different categories that help to sort out who achieved what. Best wave, biggest wave, worst wipeout etc. I’ts sort of left to the judges to determine what get’s nominated into the top 5 in each category but that doesn’t stop people from evaluating who surfed the biggest wave and for how far/long. Personally I give serious props to any of those guys just for suiting up and letting go of the towline. Bigger props for the guys who are paddling into bigger and bigger beasts these days. As a general rule with so many different conditions and elements in play for some of the world’s heaviest waves, I’d say if you make it to the bottom of the wave and can measure it at that instant than it’s official. In some cases it’s almost impossible to overcome the amount of water being pulled up the face while outrunning the immense cascade of the “lip” that is coming down all at the same time. It’s really a serious physics challenge since the conditions of swell, wind, tide, sea floor all have an affect on what is even possible at the end of any given day- the judges put that all together… As far as biggest wave is concerned I’d say if the bottom or near as can be achieved given the preceding elements is not reached, then it should go into another category like the worst wipeout or else make a new category; Best Try and let it be. Just my humble, 15 foot face maximum wave height, 30+ years of SoCal surfing, non-expert, armchair opinion.