Big wave surfer paddles around Statue of Liberty

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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton traded in the pristine surf of Hawaii for the murky waters of New York Harbor on Thursday in a commercial promotion.

“The Statue of Liberty is pretty big. I’m glad it didn’t fall on me,” Hamilton said after paddling his surfboard around the Liberty Island.

The adrenaline junkie who routinely rides waves as big as many uptown apartment buildings said his jaunt around the waveless New York Harbor was a bit less challenging than what he’s used to on his home island of Maui.

“On December 3rd we surfed waves with 80-foot (24.3 meter) faces or bigger. That was exciting.”

Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; editing by Patricia Reaney