By Pete Thomas/GrindTv
Laird Hamilton, a legendary big-wave surfer, made headlines Wednesday by helping to rescue a surfer in distress in enormous surf at Surfrider State Beach in Malibu.
But it's what Hamilton did on Tuesday evening that has captured the attention of surfers monitoring highlights during a powerful swell generated by Hurricane Marie, off Mexico about 1,000 miles away.
Hamilton shot the pier on one of the larger set waves, and the dangerous feat was captured on video.
Hamilton, who owns homes in Hawaii and Malibu, was on the beach when he spotted a surfer who had lost his board and was in distress. Hamilton swam out and helped pull the man to shore, with the assistance of others.
“Oh, he was happy, he was thankful,” Hamilton told ABC News. “His eyes were big and he was appreciative that he was back on the land.”
As for shooting the pier, a feat that involves surfing between dense wooden pylons at wave speed, it's danger is obvious. But not so dangerous, perhaps, for someone of Hamilton’s stature (most people refer to him simply as Laird).
The footage shows Laird, who was on a standup-paddleboard, catching one of the larger set waves and riding it toward the pier. The wave was so large that it almost scraped the bottom of the pier.
“The guy’s nuts,” says the person videotaping, a moment before Laird shoots through the pylons without incident, drawing applause from the beach.
Hurricane Marie is weakening rapidly, but the largest swell to hit Southland beaches in years is expected to last into the weekend.