One of the best days of surf in the history of the Supergirl Pro is currently producing a-frames up and down the beach in Oceanside and I’m sitting in a tent across a cocktail table from Bethany Hamilton. Neither of us can stop stealing glances at the surf.
Ostensibly, we’re conducting an interview. But, that’s servicing the outer layer of both of our identities – hers being one beholden to media obligations, perhaps the least glamorous part of the life of a professional surfer. Mine being in the employ of this here website. Peel those back and you uncover two surf turkeys whose respective addictions make it hard to concentrate when there are waves in the distance ideal for mind surfing. Or, better yet, actually surfing.
Nevertheless, Hamilton obliges in answering my silly questions with a radiant smile while a booming PA system feeds contest commentary to spectators within earshot.
Of late, the professional surfer and mother hailing from Kauai has been on a bit of a heater. Film fests all over the world have lauded her latest documentary flick, Unstoppable, as a triumph. Having seen it, I’d have to agree. It documents Hamilton surfing a Pipeline specialty event while pregnant, learning to stomp airs with Shane Beschen, and paddling into a wave at Jaws. In her own words, the 29-year-old is surfing better now than ever.
But it turns out Hamilton also has strong opinions about the Women’s Championship Tour, too. Namely, that the women should be given the opportunity to surf in Tahiti and finish their season at Pipeline like the men. Oh, and that the tour seems to favor rights over lefts.
“It’s a very biased tour… the WSL needs to figure that out,” she tells me before looking back out at the horizon. In my head, I’m thinking she just spotted an ideal air section and stomped an air reverse in her mind before we move on to the next question.
Filmed and edited by: Jordyn Romero. Special thanks to JP Petrini and ASA Entertainment