The Select Guest
MEET | GABBY REECE
& LAIRD HAMILTON
Featured 8.8-8.14 | With two incredible careers, three ridiculously gorgeous daughters, one dog and 19 years of marriage between them, Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton are the true definition of #couplegoals. Maybe it's the fact that she's a world-renowned pro volleyball player, fitness guru, bestselling author and model, and he's a surfing legend, inventor of tow-in big wave surfing and stand up paddling, author, stuntman, model and adrenaline junkie. Or maybe it's the fact that they live a fairly nomadic and carefree lifestyle, splitting their time between two idyllic homes in Malibu and Kauai. Or it could be that they have dedicated themselves to others, to helping and empowering people to take responsibility for their own health through their words, their work and now, their new training lifestyle brand, XPT. Or maybe that they speak openly and candidly about what it takes to have a successful marriage; or that they truly practice what they preach, living honestly, cleanly and incredibly authentically. Most likely, it's all of the above.
Welcome to Gabby + Laird's week.
more about gabby
Gabrielle Reece is a world-renowned athlete, TV personality, New York Times bestselling author, model, wife and mother. At 6’ 3” the former professional beach volleyball player, and Nike's first female spokeswoman, Gabrielle Reece is the definition of both athleticism and feminine beauty. Gabby’s commanding presence, passion for healthy living, and fitness expertise makes her a popular leader in the world of health and wellness.
Born in California, Gabby is a mix of her mother from Long Island (where her height comes from), and her father from Trinidad (who died when she was five). Her trademark piece of jewelry, copied on a tattoo inside her right ankle, is a stylized sterling silver cross, worn by her father. Raised on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Gabby didn’t take up volleyball until in the 11th grade when she and her mother moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Gabby received an athletic scholarship to Florida State University where she majored in Communications and played two seasons of volleyball before accepting offers from the modeling world in New York. She was only a sophomore at Florida State University when Elle named her “One of The Five Most Beautiful Women in The World”. Despite the allure of high paying modeling jobs, Gabby returned to the FSU campus and set two school volleyball records in solo blocks (240) and total blocks (747). Both records still stand today. In 1997, Florida State University inducted Gabby into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
A Florida State star turned pro, Gabby trained hard to hone her skills in 2-person beach volleyball and competed domestically in the 1999-2000 Olympic 4 on 4 Challenge Series, and the 1999-2000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. In 1997, competing with the best global beach volleyball players ever assembled, Gabby’s 4-person team took first place at the first-ever Beach Volleyball World Championships. 1997 was Gabby’s fifth season as a team captain in the 4-person Women’s Beach Volleyball League (WBVL), and her fourth captaining Team Nike. Named the Offensive Player of the Year in 1994-95 and WBVL blocks leader, Gabby led the WBVL in kills four straight years in a row from 1993-1996.
In 1994 Gabby became Nike’s first female athlete to design a shoe, and Nike’s first-ever female cross-training spokesperson. Working with Tinker Hatfield, designer of the Air Jordan, Nike first launched Gabby’s shoe the Air Trainer, then the Air Patrol in 1995, the Air GR in 1997 and the Air GR II in 1998, and her shoe eventually became the first women’s shoe to outsell the Air Jordan.
A charismatic speaker, in spring of 2012, Gabby was invited to Washington, DC to speak at the annual TEDMED conference on innovations in health and medicine. Gabby also has an ongoing relationship with the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens, an initiative benefitting needy schools through the planting of organic gardens, by which she speaks to children about the importance of eating healthy and regular exercise (www.takepart/teachinggarden).
As a result of years of personal experience and experimentation for her relentless pursuit to elevate her own fitness led her to create the HIGHX program. In December of 2014, Gabby joined forces with Lifeline® to launch HIGHX Training and the HIGHX™ high intensity group fitness program emerged.
Together with her husband, surfing legend, Laird Hamilton, Gabby is an avid proponent of empowering people to take responsibility for their own health, plus a truly authentic example of healthy living. Together with their friend Crossfit Endurance founder and author Brian Mackenzie, Gabby and Laird launched a new all-encompassing fitness program called XPT in early 2016, offering training for both the elite athletes looking to increase endurance and fitness skills.
Her most recent book, My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper (May 2013), quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. Gabby boldly shared her personal story of real life ups and downs of, motherhood and career in order to encourage women worldwide to challenge traditional norms and find personal happiness. Gabby’s challenge to feminist definitions of the modern women sparked huge media interest, resulting in appearances on The Today Show, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Live from the Couch, Dr. Oz, Katie Couric, E! Chelsea Lately, The Jeff Probst Show and The Better Show, to name a few, she was also co-host of The View, and appeared on Access Hollywood. Gabby’s book continues to capture the attention of women everywhere looking for authentic, practical, and real-world advice on marriage, motherhood and healthy living.
Gabby’s health and fitness tips have appeared in Shape, Men’s Fitness, and Elle magazines. She is a contributing editor for Yahoo Health, and has written for The Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Named in People Magazine’s “Best Bodies 2016” issue (June 2016), Gabby has been a consistent inspiration to women to stay in shape at any age, even during pregnancy. Competing at the highest levels of woman’s volleyball throughout most of her life, including when she competed professionally at five months pregnant in the summer of 2007. After a brief hiatus to start her family, Gabby returned to competitive pro beach volleyball’s AVP Tour in the summer of 2010, including an invitation to be the captain of Team Nike for a 4-on-4 exhibition tournament, and in May 2010 she was a feature trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser.
Gabby has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for Women, Travel & Leisure Golf, Women’s Sports & Fitness, Outside, Elle, Shape, Self, Harpers’ Bazaar, Volleyball, Fitness, Life, Vogue, Experience Life and People, and has regularly appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, the Ellen Degeneres Show and Chelsea Lately, as well as other top tier entertainment shows. And she has appeared in several feature films, where she played a pro beach volleyball player in ‘Cloud Nine’ with Bert Reynolds (2004), a guest star in ‘North Shore’ (2004) and as a physical trainer in the film ‘Gattica’ (1997).
A pro in front of the camera as a TV host. Early in her television program hosting career, she won a huge following by taking risks road-lugging, white water kayaking, drag racing, surfing, and sky diving on “MTV Sports” and “The Extremists with Gabrielle Reece”, and later she was a commentator at the 1998 Goodwill Games. She has hosted ‘Insider Training’ on the Fit TV/Discovery channel, where she provided an behind-the-scenes look at professional athletes’ exercise and nutrition regimens (www.fittv.discovery.com/fansites/insidertraining). And she was a featured host of ESPN and NBC’s “Gravity Games”.
In the spring of 2016, Gabby became the host of NBC’s new hit fitness competition series “STRONG,” once again bringing together her TV hosting experience and her fitness expertise. From executive producer Dave Broome (“The Biggest Loser”) and Oscar-nominated iconic film star Sylvester Stallone, the series matches 10 everyday women with the world’s most elite trainers to help realize their natural greatness and conquer obstacles that were once unfathomable.
When Women’s Sports & Fitness named Gabby one of the ‘20 Most Influential Women in Sports’ (August 1997) someone asked why they picked Gabby for the issue’s cover, and the magazine’s editor wrote, “Because I believe she represents, finally, the answer to all the image-questing pendulum swinging of the decades gone by. Who is the female athlete? She is everything once thought to be an inherent contradiction. She is strong and beautiful, sweaty and feminine, tough and ladylike.”
more about laird
Laird Hamilton is an American athlete, surfer, author, inventor, stunt man, model, producer, TV host, fitness and nutrition expert, husband, father and adrenaline junkie. He is regarded as one of todays best known big wave surfers. But at 6’3”, 215 pounds, with an uncommon combination of balance, flexibility, and strength, Laird Hamilton is unique. In addition to riding many of the biggest waves on the planet, Laird is known as the world-renowned innovator and guiding genius of crossover board sports including tow-in surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and hydrofoil boarding. In short, Laird Hamilton is the essential Water Man.
Over the last decade Laird has transcended surfing to become an international fitness icon and nutrition expert. Many of today’s top professional athletes and celebrities look to Laird for training guidance, including instruction in his unique underwater resistance workouts. Partnering with his wife, pro-volleyball player and TV personality Gabby Reece, along with Crossfit Endurance founder and author Brian Mackenzie, Laird created XPT--a unique and powerful fitness training and lifestyle program featuring these unique water workouts, performance breathing, recovery methods, and high-intensity fitness and endurance training for both elite athletes and those seeking every day fitness. Laird’s first book, Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and, Of Course, Surfing (Rodale Books, 2008), has become the go-to manual for people seeking inspiration for a healthy lifestyle and hit the New York Times Bestseller list within two weeks of publication. He is also a contributing editor for Men’s Journal, where he writes about his own fitness, health and nutrition philosophies.
Laird has also appeared in a number of feature films and surfing documentaries including Radical Attitude (1992), Wake Up Call (1996), Step into Liquid, (2003), Riding Giants (2004) where he also served as executive producer, and as a stunt man or surfer in The Decendants (2014), Water World (1995), Die Another Day (2002) and Point Break (2015). In addition to his film work, Laird has appeared on numerous television shows such as Oprah’s Master Class, Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes, Chelsea Handler, Conan O’Brien, Steven Colbert, and The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Laird has a passion for helping others live happy, healthy lives, as exhibited through his work with charities such as the Surfrider Foundation, Race Across America, Pipeline for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis, Rain Catcher, Muscular Dystrophy and City Of Hope.
Laird lives with wife Gabrielle Reece and their daughters on the Hawaiʻian island of Kauaʻi six months out of the year during surfs’ swell season and during the offseason, in Malibu, California.