“After making ‘Soul Surfer,’ I feel like so much of my raw, real-life surf talent got overshadowed by my shark attack,” says Hamilton.
Many people would love to see her give the ‘QS another shot, but for the time being Hamilton’s perfectly happy traveling the world in search of waves like this.
“There have been kids overcoming major surgeries or going through rounds and rounds of chemotherapy who watched ‘Soul Surfer’ while they were in the hospital,” says Hamilton.
“I just did two media tours when I was in California, which involved like 25 interviews, and at the beginning of every single interview they introduced me as ‘a shark attack survivor,’” says Hamilton.
Hamilton’s strength is her ability in powerful, pumping surf, similar to the waves she grew up surfing in Kauai.
But over the past few years, Hamilton’s been trying to reclaim control of her narrative, showing people that she’s not a victim–she’s a world-class athlete.
Along with everyone else who had followed Hamilton’s story, I knew the publicized version of her surf career, and how much the shark attack turned it all upside down.
After missing World Tour qualification for a third year in a row, and with increasing demands placed on Hamilton the public figure, she took a step back from competition.
“Soul Surfer,” Hollywood’s dramatized version of her story in which Hamilton was played by the actress Anna Sophia Robb, garnered $47 million at the box office after its 2011 release and earned her the adoration of audiences worldwide.
While on a trip with Peterson and Hamilton, Lieber was immediately impressed by Hamilton’s abilities, which would have been dazzling even from a surfer with all of their limbs intact.
It’s not untrue, but it’s also just a tiny part of Hamilton’s life story–the story of a woman, a mother and a world-class athlete whose best surfing is still to come.
Hamilton understands why she’s become a media sensation–there are few storylines more compelling than a surfer surviving an attack from a 1,400-pound apex predator and then returning to the water.
In just a few seconds, Hamilton transformed from an up-and-coming surf star into a shark attack survivor.
The first year they asked me, Adam and I had committed to doing ‘The Amazing Race,’ and to me, that was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime chance, so we were excited to do it,” says Hamilton.
The moment Hamilton hopped back on a surfboard after losing her arm, she became “Bethany Hamilton, the shark attack survivor”.
WE all know the story: On October 31, 2003, then 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm after being attacked by a 15-foot tiger shark at home in Kauai.
In 2016, Hamilton towed into oversized Jaws, showing the world that she excels in waves of every caliber.
Bethany Hamilton achieved worldwide fame after losing her left arm in an infamous shark attack.
It’s clear that even with a growing family and an exhausting life as a public figure, Hamilton still sees herself as an elite surfer first and foremost.
Despite leaning into her responsibilities beyond surfing, Hamilton never stopped chasing quality waves and improving her surfing.
“Half of the problem with qualifying was just dealing with paddle battles and surfing crappy waves,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton had recently been invited to make a guest appearance on “Destination Baja Sur,” a reality fishing show apparently popular among deep-sea fishing enthusiasts.
IN her book, Hamilton tells a story about flying to New York with a friend, not long after her attack, to present at the Dove Awards–basically the Grammys of Gospel music.
But Hamilton’s accustomed to making strange media appearances that have nothing to do with surfing.
“We went down to Tahiti for a swell and got a really good afternoon at Teahupoo–which was a dream come true,” says Hamilton, pictured here inside a heavy drainer.
While filming her new surf movie, “Unstoppable,” Hamilton has checked many things off her bucket list.
Read more here: Surfer Mag