This month we're all about the beautiful state of Hawai'i, and there's no one better to give us the inside scoop on his home state than big-wave surfer, and The Ultimate Waterman Ambassador, Laird Hamilton. We asked Laird about some of his favourite things to see, do and eat in the Aloha State:
Where do you live in Hawai'i?
My home island of Kauai.
Which is your favourite Hawaiian Island?
Ooh, that's hard to say. I love them for different reasons - the amazing wind on Maui, raw nature of Kauai, expansiveness of Hawai'i (or the Big Island) and diversity of Oahu of beauty and things to do.
Where do you like to surf and which beach do you recommend for travellers wanting to surf?
I surf and hydrofoil on the outer reefs on our North Shore. For travellers wanting to surf, I'd recommend Waikiki in Oahu, Kalapaki Beach in Kauai and Thousand Peaks in Maui.
What are your top places to eat?
Dolphin Restaurant, Kauai, Mamas FishHouse on Maui Roy's on Oahu.
What is the most important thing to pack on a holiday to Hawai'i?
A good pair of flip flops and something you can wear comfortably in the water.
What are your must-do Hawaiian experiences?
- Go to the top of Haleakala (largest dormant volcano in the world).
- Lahaina whale watching.
- Swim in the ocean.
- Take a chopper ride to observe the interior parts of the Island. Really exquisite.
- Get on one of the charters to observe the NaPali Coast.
What is the best thing about Hawai'i?
The magnificent nature, it's the most remote archipelago in the world and because of that the air, the water, the land are special and make it unique. I also love the true Hawaiian culture. The Hawaiians are warriors with such loving hearts. I have learned a lot through the Hawaiian systems of living and handling things.
The Ultimate Waterman competition starts on Saturday 12th March 2016 at Takapuna Beach, Auckland with the 16km Outrigger Canoe endurance race. Seven other disciplines will unfold throughout the country over the course of the next eight days, with the winner being decided on Sunday 20th March 2016 at the Auckland Viaduct. For more information about The Ultimate Waterman and their events happening around New Zealand this month, visit their website here.