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This Is What It’s Like to Surf the Biggest Waves in the World

1 minute read

Laird Hamilton knows what it’s like to float above water. The big-wave-riding surfer has for years been pushing the limits of just how much water he can take on. With jet skis towing him into areas surfers usually can’t ride, he’s conquered 80-foot waves in places like Tahiti.

“When you understand the energy that’s packed into a big wave and you see one coming… there’s very few things that you will do on this planet that demand the kind of attention that that demands,” Hamilton says. “There’s just nothing like it. It’s magic.”

Watch his story above.

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Write to Julia Lull at julia.lull@time.com