I’ve been lucky enough to meet movers and shakers on superyachts, private planes, and in their spectacular beach homes all over the world. But I’d never interviewed a famous power couple in a boiling hot sauna until I traveled to the Hawaiian island of Kauai to meet Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece.

Their view before the floods.

Hamilton had just finished work pouring concrete for the house they’re building on Kauai’s north side (pictured above).

This what the area was like after almost 30 inches of rain fell on the Hanalei Valley.

Now since Hamilton is one of the  most famous big wave surfers in the world, the couple winters in Kauai for the waves. But to them, living by the ocean goes way deeper than just surfing. “I grew up in Hawaii,” he says. “And when you’re raised in Hawaii, you have a cultural connection to the ocean. A relationship.”

And that’s why I wasn’t surprised when all the major news networks started reporting what Hamilton was up to in the aftermath of the flooding in Kauai like this report than ran on CNN.

“In an interview Thursday, Hamilton sheepishly told CNN he’s coordinated or conducted more than 75 rescues in floodwaters near his Kauai home, but he’s not asking for credit.
“If you have compassion, this is what you do,” Hamilton said. “These are opportunities to make a difference, when it really counts.”

You’d think they’d build a house on a cliff overlooking a famous surf break, right? Not exactly. Instead they chose a peaceful piece of overgrown hillside in Princeville. The reason? Because of a boat ramp. It’s one of only nine lots on the river with direct access to the open ocean.


Stay tuned to learn more about the house that Hamilton and Reece are building in Kauai (once the massive recovery process takes hold). And click here so you can help.