Full Name: Bethany Meilani Hamilton
Residence: Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii
Born: February 8, 1990
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 155 lbs
Husband: Adam Dirks (married 2013)
Children: Tobias (2015)
Pets: 2 shar pei dogs: Hanalei “Hana,” Kombucha “Buch”
Parents: Thomas and Cherilyn Hamilton
Brothers: Noah (8 years older, married to Becky), Timothy (4 years older, married to Kyah)


Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith and hope. At the age of thirteen, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark, which seemed to end her career as a rising surf star.  One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within 2 years had won her first National title. In 2007, she realized her dream of surfing professionally and since then her story has been told in a New York Times best selling autobiography and in the 2011 film, SOUL SURFER. Bethany is involved in numerous charitable efforts, including her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, which reaches out to amputees and youth, encouraging a broken world by offering hope to overcome through Jesus Christ. Using her platform as a professional athlete to promote living a fit and healthy lifestyle, she authored the book BODY AND SOUL in 2014. Bethany’s latest project, UNSTOPPABLE, a surf documentary which will showcase her as one of the best women surfers in the world, is set to release in Summer 2018, accompanied by a photo book and a children’s book. Her greatest joy is being a wife and mother, and she continues to touch and inspire lives globally as a professional surfer, and motivational speaker.


Awards & Appearances (+)

Prior to the attack, Bethany Hamilton was known as an up-and-coming competitive surfer. Since the attack and due to her phenomenal reaction to it, Bethany’s fame has broadened to reach international fans. With interviews and requests coming within hours of the attack, through now – over nine years later, Bethany has proven to be an unforgettable story, a media darling and positioned as a leader.



» Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award “Favorite Comeback Athlete” (2014)
» Top 10 finish for USA in Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles Maroc (Gazelle Rally 2013)
» “Stars in Danger: The High Dive” TV show – 1st place synchronized dive with Stephen “Twitch” Boss (2013)
» Chris Greicius Celebrity Award from Make-a-Wish (2012)
» Heal the World Award from Children Mending Hearts (2012)
» Natural High honoree (2012)
» ASP Peter Whittaker Award (2012)
» New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author: Soul Surfer (2011)
» Life of a Maverick Award, Cinequest Film Festival (2011)
» Nominated for VH1’s Do Something Awards (2011)
» Woman of the Year from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia (2006)
» Honolulu Citizens Award (2005)
» Mildred “Bob” Didrikson Zacharias Courage Award from the United States Sports Academy (USSA) (2005)
» USA Today – Free Spirit Award (2005)
» Woman of the Year from Gorbachev (Germany) (2004)
» Olympic Torch Honoree – Hawaii’s First Ever Triathlon (2004)
» ESPY Award (by ESPN) – Comeback Athlete of the Year (2004)
» FOX Teen Choice Awards – Courage Award (2004)
» Wahine O Ke Kai (Woman of the Sea) Award at the SIMA Waterman’s Ball (2004)
» Gene Autry Award – Courage and Inspiration Values (2004)
» First Pitch Honoree for both the Oakland A’s (2004) and the New York Yankees (2005)
» “Most inspiring Person of the Year” Award – Finalist (2003)



» Life. Self. Glamour.
» Time. Time for Kids.
» People. Teen People.
» Sport Illustrated. Sports Illustrated Kids.
» O Magazine.
» YM. Teen Vogue. Seventeen.
» New York Times.
» Los Angeles Times.
» USA Today.
» US News and World Report.
» Success. Esquire.
» Guidepost. Readers Digest.
» American Girl Magazine. AYSO Magazine. NINE. Wet. STM. Jetty Girl. Justine. Twist.
» Surfer. Surfline. Free Surf. Transworld Surf. SG (cover).
» Christianity Today.
» BILD Newspaper, Germany. Blond Magazine, Germany.
» In Touch Weekly.



» “Dolphin Tale 2” film
» National Prayer Breakfast
» CNN: Anderson Cooper 360º, Breakthrough Women, Road Warriors
» NBC: Today Show. “The Biggest Loser” guest.
» Fox: Fox News, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”
» Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah’s “Where are They Now?”
» ESPN: ESPN News. ESPN Sport Center’s My Wish.
» Outdoor Life Network: “Fearless”
» ABC: Primetime. 20/20. Nightline. Good Morning America. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” guest. ABC Family’s “Switched.”
» TBN: The 700 Club.
» MTV: TRL. Teen Choice Awards.
» Nickelodeon: Kids Choice Awards.
» CBS: Inside Edition. The Early Show. “The Amazing Race” contestant (season 25).
» E! Entertainment: E! News, “15 Greatest Survival Stories”
» BBC, England. SternTV, Germany. Der Speigel.
» TLC: “19 Kids and Counting” guest, with the Duggar family.
» HLN “Salute to the Troops”
» Australia’s Sunrise TV
» Fuel TV “The Daily Habit”
» UK Ch.4: Richard & Judy show
» ACM Awards presenter (introduced Carrie Underwood’s performance)
» GMC: Gospel Music Awards Dove Awards (presenter)



» Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA)
» CIMA International Environmental Summit for Kids (Quito, Ecuador)
» Brooks Rehabilitation Celebrate Independence (Jacksonville, FL)
» VantagePoint Church (Corona, CA)
» Fellowship Church (Dallas, TX)
» Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL)
» Rock The Universe (Universal Studios Florida)
» Crystal Cathedral (Garden Grove, CA)
» Hillsong (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
» Christ Community Church (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
» Harvest Crusade & Harvest Church (Riverside, CA)
» New Hope Oahu (Hawaii)
» Squaw Valley Institute (Olympic Valley, CA)
» Bay Area Fellowship (Corpus Christi, TX)
» Impact Church (Scottsdale, AZ)
and many more!

Career Highlights (+)

Surfing has been a way life for Bethany since she was able to get on a board. Coming back from her attack, she found solid success in surfing competition, but now truly looks to make her mark as a professional surfer in the free surfing arena (chasing waves, getting photos/videos published, and “Living The Search”). Bethany currently surfs in choice events of the World Surf League (WSL), and upon invite, in other special events. Below is a list of Bethany’s surfing highlights dating back to 2003.


» 3rd Place: FIJI WOMEN’S PRO – Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji
» Tow surfed Pe’ahi “Jaws” on Maui and was nominated for Women’s Best Performance in the WSL Big Wave Awards


» 13th Place: SWATCH WOMEN’S PRO – Lower Trestles, San Clemente, CA-USA


» 1st Place: SURF N SEA PIPELINE PRO – North Shore, Oahu-Hawaii


» 9th Place: Supergirl Pro – Oceanside, CA-USA


» 9th Place: Telstra Drug Aware Pro – Margaret River, WA-AUS
» Quarter-Final Finish: Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang – Bali, Indonesia (Given a Wildcard, she’s the first woman to compete in this specialty barrel-riding event. Won her first heat!)


» 13th Place: Rip Curl Women’s Pro – Bells Beach, VIC-AUS


» 9th Place: Rip Curl Pro – Portugal
» 13th Place: Billabong Women’s Azores Island Pro – Sao Miguel-Azores Islands
» 9th Place: The Billabong World Junior Championship – Sydney, AUS


» Finished 14th on WSL’s World Qualifying series rankings
» 3rd Place: Rio Surf International – Rio de Janiero, Brazil
» 9th Place: Nike 6.0 Junior Pro
» 2nd Place: Billabong ASP World Junior Championship – AUS
» First World Tour event – got a Wild Card into the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach, HI.
» Tow Surfed at the famous big wave Peahi “Jaws” on Maui, Hawaii, sparking the passion for more big-wave surfing in the future!


» Finished 14th on the ASP’s World Qualifying/Star Series Rankings
» 9th Place: Rio de Janeiro International – BRAZIL
» 5th Place: US Open of Surfing – Huntington Beach, CA
» 9th Place: Arrive Alive Central Coast Pro – NSW, AUS
» 3rd Place: Roxy Pro Surf Festival – Phillip Island, AUS



» 5th Place: NSSA Regionals
» 4th Place: Women’s Pipeline Championship

» 5th Place: NSSA National Championship: 18-and-under Finalist
» ISA Hawaii Team Results: 4th at Brazil event and 5th at World Games event in USA.


» Champion in NSSA National Competition
» Champion O’Neill Island Girl Junior Pro tournament.


» 5th Place: First competition with one arm: NSSA Regional Event
» NSSA National Championship: 18-and-under Finalist


» 2nd Place: NSSA National Championships
» Returned to surfing with only one arm: Nov 26, 2003 (26 days after the shark bite)

Bethany's Timeline
  • Apr 2015

    Age 25 / 2015

    Announces pregnancy of first child, a son! • Speaks at churches and events around the USA • Releases signature sunglass collection with Crush

  • Jan 2014

    Age 24 / 2014

    Speaks at National Prayer Breakfast • 1st Place at Surf N Sea Pipeline Pro • Releases Signature Sandal through Cobian Footwear • Releases new book “Body and Soul” • Nominated for Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award “Favorite Comeback Athlete” • Compete’s on CBS’s “The Amazing Race” season 25 • Cameo appearance in “Dolphin Tale 2″ film

  • Jan 2013

    Age 23 / 2013

    Competes on FOX’s “Stars in Danger: The High Dive” • Top 10 finish for USA in Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles Maroc (Gazelle Rally) with Chrissie Beavis – A women only off-road competition in Morocco • Speaks and Competes in Trident Challenge at Never Quit Never event in Florida with LT Brad Snyder • Engaged and Married to Adam Dirks! • 10 Year anniversary of the shark attack

  • Jan 2012

    Age 22 / 2012

    Guest appearance on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” • Honoree at Children Mending Hearts Gala • Traveled to Japan to visit tsunami victims with Samaritan’s Purse and Hope Japan • Honoree at Natural High’s 12th Annual Sunset Splash Gala • Featured on AOL/PBS’s MAKERS • Speaks at churches and events around the USA

  • Jan 2011

    Age 21 / 2011

    Movie about Bethany’s story, Soul Surfer, hits theaters on April 8, 2011 starring AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, and more! • Travel around the USA, France, UK, & Ireland to promote the release of the movie • Surf trip with Rip Curl in Indonesia, sustained arm injury with nerve damage • Movie nominated for several awards: Teen Choice Movie Drama, Teen Choice Movie Actress Drama (AnnaSophia Robb), ESPY Best Sports Movie, Satellite Award for Best Music Score (Marco Beltrami), Artios Award in Casting Independent Features (Joey Paul Jensen) • Appearance on ESPN Sport Center’s My Wish • Appearance on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” with the Duggar family • Nominated for VH1′s Do Something Awards • Soul Surfer releases on DVD & Blu-Ray (Aug 2, 2011) • Became an Auntie! (Aug 13, 2011) • Surf trip to Mexico • Surf & Charity Trip to Maldives with +H20 • Movie wins ICM (Inspirational Country Music) Faith, Family & Country Award!

  • Jan 2010

    Age 20 / 2010

    Theatrical Movie, Soul Surfer, about Bethany’s story begins production in Hawaii • Special appearance on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (season 7, episode 24: Carr Family) • 2 Tahiti Surf trips 😉 • Boat trip with Rip Curl girls to the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia – a Tip2Tip adventure

  • Jan 2009

    Age 19 / 2009

    2nd place at the World Junior (under 20) Championships in Sydney, Australia! • Re-featured in many top US networks/shows: Inside Edition, 20/20, ESPN, E! Entertainment • Competed on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” – FOX’s hit game show, and won $25,000! • Sumatra & Bali, Indonesia surf trip with brothers! (story featured on • 3rd place at the Rio Surf International (WQS) in Rio de Janiero, Brazil! • Featured on Surfer Mag’s IN THE LINEUP video! • First CT event – got a Wild Card into the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach, HI • Brookwell McNamara Entertainment and Sony’s Affirm Films announce a FEATURE MOVIE about her story • Finished 14th on ASP’s World Qualifying Series Ratings • Tow Surfed at the famous big wave Peahi “Jaws” on Maui, Hawaii, sparking the passion for more big-wave surfing in the future! (Dec 2009)

  • Jan 2008

    Age 18 / 2008

    3rd at the Roxy Pro in Australia – her best yet finish in a professional surfing competition! • First year full-time surfing on the WQS (Women’s Qualifying Series) Pro surfing circuit – traveling around the world for competition and training – end of the year finished 14th in the world on the Pro Qualifying Series rankings! • Bali surf trip with Rip Curl • Tahiti surf trip (with brothers) for training • Countries visited: Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, Portugal, & Tahiti • Meetings with Hollywood movie production team begin

  • Jan 2007

    Age 17 / 2007

    Father-Daughter surf trip to the Mentawais, Indonesia • Released personal documentary “Heart of a Soul Surfer,” which toured film festivals around the world (February 2007) • Started doing a lot of ‘motivational appearances’ worldwide • Surf trip to Puerto Escondido • Family surf trip to Mentawais, Indonesia • Nias, Indonesia surf/mission trip to help with community assistance program through Holidays with a Purpose • Surfer Poll & Video Awards – Bethany nominated for Best Female Performance; Bethany’s Documentary nominated for Best Documentary. • Mexico Missions trip with church youth group • Appeared in the movie Down The Barrel • Soul Surfer™ book series published by ZonderKids, including: the Soul Surfer Bible, Ask Bethany, Rise Above (a 90-day Devotional), and the Soul Surfer Fiction Series: Clash, Burned, Storm, & Crunch.

  • Jan 2006

    Age 16 / 2006

    2 back-to-back trips to the Mentawais, Indonesia – one was a Rip Curl Girls Search surf trip, the other was with Walking on Water for the filming of their surf movie and Bethany’s documentary. • Mexico Missions trip with church youth group • Family surf trip to Samoa • “Soul Surfer Devotions” book published

  • Jan 2005

    Age 15 / 2005

    Visited Thailand with World Vision – brought orphans back to the ocean for the first time since Tsunami, and promoted tourism. • Received the “Mildred Babe Dirdrikson-Zacharias Courage Award” from the United States Sports Academy • Claire’s stores release “Bethany Hamilton / Soul Surfer” jewelry and accessories • “Stoked” and “Wired to Live” Fragrance/cosmetic line released by Revelations Perfume & Cosmetics • Speaking career begins with a church appearance at Willow Creek Community Church • WON the US national under-18 surf championships! (2005 NSSA National Championships, Explorer Women’s division)

  • Jan 2004

    Age 14 / 2004

    35th Annual Gospel Music Awards – presented an award • The MTV Teen Choice Awards – received special award for “Courage” (Aug 8, 2004) • Received the ESPY “Best Comeback Athlete” award from ESPN • Honoree recipient of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award • Featured in top US TV shows and International magazines & newspapers • The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) awarded Bethany a special “Wahine O Ke Kai” Award, which in Hawaiian means “Woman of the Sea.” (March 2004) • Best Selling autobiography SOUL SURFER released in 2004 by MTV Pocket Books and Simon & Schuster • European book tour, and Scholastic events • Visited wounded US Soldiers in Germany.

  • Jan 2003

    Age 13 / 2003

    2nd at the NSSA National Championships (July 2003) • Attacked by shark, left arm traumatically amputated to shoulder (Oct 31, 2003) • Returned to surfing with only one arm (Nov 26, 2003) • Received International TV, magazine, and newspaper recognition • Dad created a handle to go on my surfboards to help with duck-diving

  • Jan 2002

    Age 10-12 / 2000-2002

    Sponsored by Angel eyewear and Gallaz shoes • Moving up the rankings in Amateur surfing competition, placing high and winning many events.

  • Jan 1999

    Age 9 / 1999

    First major surf sponsorships: Rip Curl and Tim Carroll Surfboards.

  • Jan 1998

    Age 8 / 1998

    First real surf competition: Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championships on Oahu, Hawaii.

  • Jan 1995

    Ages 2-5 / 1992-1995

    Learned to surf with Mom & Dad • Accepted Jesus into my heart, beginning my faith journey

  • Feb 1990

    Born / February 8, 1990

    – At Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii to Tom and Cheri Hamilton, and older brothers Noah and Timothy.

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