I was watching an episode of Iconoclasts that featured Laird Hamilton and Eddie Vedder. For those who don’t know, Laird is a really good surfer and Eddie is the lead singer of Pearl Jam (one of my favorite bands).
I mainly watched it to see an interview with Eddie, but ended up learning a bit more about Laird Hamilton as well. Laird is regarded as one of the best surfers ever even though he has never surfed on the professional tour. He helped come up with the idea of the tow in to catch the really, really big waves and butchered an air chair to come up hydrofoil surfing (as seen in Step into Liquid). He’s also an accomplished water skier as well, so I’m hoping he won’t mind me tweaking a quote from him on Iconoclasts.
Laird was talking about his surfing philosphy, but I think it also applies to water skiing just as well.
[Water skiing] “…like art or music, the great thing is there’s no wrong way to do it. The only wrong way to do it is if you’re not having a good time.” – Laird Hamilton
This is something I’ve long thought. Whether you just finished your first run on skis, nailed your first front flip off the ramp, or just taken another of countless barefoot runs, everyone ends with a big smile on their face. My niece had to compose a song on the piano about one of her favorite memories this past year. Her inspirational memory… her first time skiing.
Granted this quote is more often phrased “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right,” but I think Laird’s version puts a much more positive spin on it though. It implies that whether your skiing for your first time ever or just nailed a trick that has rarely ever been done by anyone, if you had fun, that is all that matters.