Bethany Hamilton

Mackenzie Luca


  • Born February 8, 1990 in Hawaii
  • Began to surf when she was 4 years old
  • When Bethany was 5 she made a decision to have a personal relationship with Jesus
  • Eventually became home schooled
  • At the age of 8 she entered her first competition where she won both her short and long board divisions
  • By the age of 9 she received her very first sponsorship from Rip Curl and Tim Carroll surfboards


  • In 2003 while surfing with her best friend Bethany was attacked by a shark
  • Left arm severely severed nearly to the shoulder

  • Career in surfing is put on pause, may not ever return or be able to surf following the attack
  • Having to learn how to do simple things like get dressed and surf

Overcoming Obstacles

  • Determined to get back into surfing

  • Resumed surfing just after one month of the attack
  • Practiced day to day to become the surfer she was before the accident
List of Achievements:
  • First place at Surf and Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro Event in March of 2014

  • First place Explorer Women’s division at the 2005 NSSA National Champions

  • Began competing on the pro circuit in 2007


  • Demonstrated that the loss of an arm was not an obstacle stopping her from reaching her goals in the future
  • Used her story to inspire others and encourage others to never give up or lose hope