Laird Hamilton at the screening of the surfing documentary "Riding Giants," at New York's The Coral Room, June 29, 2004. Hamilton, who is featured in the film, is a world-renowned surfer.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 215 pound Hamilton became a legend when he braved the colossal waves in Teahupoo, a surf spot off the coast of Tahiti.
Hamilton considers a big wave a wall of water up to 70 feet high, the equivalent of a seven-story building. These are the waves he lives for.
Hamilton describes surfing as this: "If all of a sudden you saw a block of buildings come alive, and it decides that it's going to start falling towards you -- you have to know where to go to get away from it."
Hamilton, second from right, with fellow cast members Darrick Doerner, Greg Noll, Jeff Clark and director Stacy Peralta, from left, at the Hollywood premiere of "Riding Giants," at the Egyptian Theatre.
From left, director Stacy Peralta, surfers Greg Noll and Hamilton at the New York screening of "Riding Giants," at The Coral Room, June 29, 2004.
Surfer Greg Noll, left, is featured with Hamilton in "Riding Giants." The two appear at the film's New York screening, June 29, 2004.
Hamilton speaks at the New York screening of "Riding Giants," June 29, 2004.
Hamilton on why he craves danger: "I know that if I scare myself once a day, I'm a better person. And I think everybody would be. I think it's part of actually existing."
Hamilton's wife, model and former pro-volleyball player Gabriella Reese, arrives at the "Riding Giants" premiere at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Reece, who stands shoulder-to-shoulder with her husband at 6 feet 3 inches, is holding the couple's baby girl.
"I really just love it [surfing]," Hamilton told 60 Minutes. "I think it's one of the few times in my life that I feel totally complete, like, this is why I'm here."