Bethany Hamilton: a power surfer | Photo: Cestari/WSL

Bethany Hamilton is one of the most popular sportswomen in the United States and the world.

She is followed by over 2.2 million fans on Facebook, 1.7 million on Instagram, and 1.5 million people on Twitter.

As a shark attack survivor, Bethany Hamilton was able to turn adversity into an opportunity, and to help change the world and inspire the lives of millions of girls and boys, women and men.

But the Hawaiian-born blonde is also a prolific surfer with dozens of trophies in her shelf and several best-selling books written.

Discover why Bethany Hamilton is such a magnetic person, skilled pro surfer, engaging public speaker, and active author. Dive into the blue world of Bethany Hamilton, a unique human being with a deeply religious sentiment:

1. Bethany Meilani Hamilton was born on February 8, 1990, in Lihue, in the Hawaiian island of Kauai;

2. She is 5'11 and weighs around 155 lbs;

3. Her parents Thomas and Cherilyn had three children: Noah, Timothy and Bethany, the youngest of the three siblings;

4. Bethany Hamilton was homeschooled from 6th grade, and returned to school for high school;

5. She started surfing when she was 7;


6. Hamilton won her first ever contest - the Rell Sunn Menehune - when she was only 8 years old;

7. At the age of nine, she "signed" her first major sponsorship deals with Rip Curl and Tim Carroll Surfboards;

8. At the age of 12, Bethany won the Open Women's Division of the NSSA National Championships;

9. On October 13, 2003, Bethany Hamilton went surfing with her best friend Alana Blanchard at Tunnels Beach, and lost her left arm when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her;

10. The Hawaiian lost 60 percent of her blood, but survived the shocking event;

11. Despite losing one arm, Bethany returned to surfing only one month after the attack;

12. Hamilton's shark-bitten surfboard and bathing suit are on display at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California;

Soul Surfer: a story of faith, family and surfing

13. Two years later, Hamilton won the 2005 NSSA National Championships;

14. On August 18, 2013, Hamilton married Adam Dirks, a Christian minister, in front of 300 guests;

15. Bethany and Adam have two children: Tobias and Wesley Phillip;

16. She surfed while six months pregnant;

17. Her nicknames are B-Ham, and Bethy;

Bethany Hamilton: one of the most inspiring surfers on the planet | Photo: Kirstin/WSL

18. The life of Bethany Hamilton has been poured into the biographical film "Soul Surfer," directed by Sean McNamara and released in 2011;

19. In 2007, Hamilton, her family and friends founded Friends of Bethany, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to inspire and give hope to individuals through Jesus Christ;

20. Bethany Hamilton finished runner-up at the 2009 ASP World Junior Championships;

21. In 2014, Bethany Hamilton was invited by Barack Obama to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast, and won the Surf 'n' Sea Pipeline Women's Pro;

22. She has two Shar-Pei dogs: Hanalei "Hana," and Kombucha "Buch";

23. In 2016, Hamilton surfed one of the biggest waves of her life at Jaws;


24. Bethany Hamilton authored the books "Soul Surfer," "Soul Surfer Devotions," "Body and Soul," "Ask Bethany," "Rise Above: A 90-Day Devotional" and "Be Unstoppable: The Art of Never Giving Up";

25. She was named Waterman of the Year 2017 by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA);

26. Bethany Hamilton starred in the movies "Heart Of A Soul Surfer," "Soul Surfer," "Surfs Like a Girl," "Unstoppable," and "Dolphin Tale 2":

27. How does she surf with one arm? Bethany Hamilton rides a standard shortboard with a small grip installed in the nose;

28. In the documentary "Unstoppable," the Hawaiian lands a frontside air reverse;


29. Hamilton's favorite phrase is "This is the life," and her favorite books is The Bible;

30. Bethany Hamilton also likes to play tennis and practice TRX suspension training;

31. She loves papaya, steamed broccoli, and fresh coconut water, but her favorite recipe is pesto kale salad with a lot of extras in it;

32. Bethany Hamilton believes in the words of the Nicene Creed, a Christian statement of faith written in in A.D. 325;

33. Bethany was one of the first surfers to get barreled at Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch;

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