Pro Surfer Bio: Bethany Hamilton

Gwen M.

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Bethany Hamilton is an extremely inspiring and talented professional surfer. Hamilton grew up in Kauai, Hawaii, and was born on February 9th, 1990. She was the daughter of the “Queen of Hanalei”, and not so surprisingly grew up surfing. When she was six or seven, her dad started pushing her into waves and by age eight she knew she wanted to be a pro surfer when she grew up. Alana Blanchard has been Bethany’s best friend since they were nine. They surfed together all the time, and were really close. But it was hard financially to live in Hawaii, and both of her parents worked two jobs. One of her mom’s jobs was delivering magazines around the island. Bethany went with her very often because she got to surf a bunch of different spots around the island. Then, while surfing at Tunnels, she was attacked by a 14 foot Tiger shark. She was rushed to the hospital and was very pale because of blood loss. But she was so kind and positive that she said ” I’m just glad it was me and not Alana because I just love her so much.” Within four weeks, she was back in the water, learning to surf with one arm. It was challenging, but she made it! And the very next year at NSSA Nationals and she won it! She was training hard and doing well. Then, her and Alana ended up in the same heat, and Alana qualified for the World Tour and Bethany didn’t. She recalls just thinking “This isn’t how it’s supposed to go”. They wanted to qualify together, but only Alana did. Bethany was very upset, and decided to train harder and harder. She got married in 2013 to Adam Dirks, and they currently have two children; Tobias and Westley. She was in  a few movies and continued winning. Bethany Hamilton is an amazing surfer.