Bethany Hamilton

Continuing What You Love From a Life Changing Disaster

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Bethany Hamilton was born on February 8, 1990 in Lihue, Hawaii. She grew up in a family who had a large background of surfing, along with her brothers, Noah and Tim. Bethany was home schooled so she always had extra time to practice surfing. She learned how to surf by the age of 5 and started competing by the age of 8.


Bethany Hamilton is living in Hanalei, Hawaii. She is married to Adam Dirks. They got married in August of 2013. Bethany spends her time sharing her stories through speaking engagements. Along with speaking, she had wrote a book, "Body and Soul: A Girl's Guide To a Fit, Fun, and Fabulous Life" in 2014. In 2015, Bethany had become pregnant and gave birth to her son, Tobias on June 1st.
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Morning of October 31, 2003 Bethany went out to surf with her best friend Alana Blanchard, Blanchard’s father, and brother at Tunnels Beach in Ha’ena. Bethany was lying on her board and all of a sudden felt a strong pressure on her left arm. She didn’t feel any pain, until she looked into the water and saw it all turn red. Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. She also noticed the shocked faces of her friends. Bethany was rushed to the Wilcox Memorial Hospital.


Bethany had many surgeries performed and was released out of the hospital a few days later. She returned surfing just after one month after the attack. Bethany had said "It was Jesus Christ who gave me peace when I was attacked by the shark. They had to get me to the beach, which took 20 minutes of paddling."


  • at age 9 she earned her first sponsorship

  • in May 2003 she won her age group and open divison of Hawaii’s Local Motion/Ezekiel Surf into Summer event

  • finished second in the open women’s division of the National Scholastic Surfing Association National Championships at San Clemente, California

  • won the 2005 Explorer Women’s division at the NSSA National Championships
Bethany Hamilton Inspirational Video


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