When you watch Bethany Hamilton surf today, it’s easy to forget she has one arm — because she rips. Since the accident in 2003, when she lost her left limb to a tiger shark, Hamilton has gone on to have three children, surf Jaws, win contests, produce two films documenting her journey, and start a non-profit, the Beautifully Flawed Foundation.
Before Hamilton lost her arm, she was making a name for herself in the surf world via her talent and contest results. But after the attack, she gained recognition worldwide for her determination to get back in the water, her faith, her positive attitude, and her unwavering love of surfing.
“The greatest challenge since the accident is getting up on my board,” Hamilton said shortly after her attack. “I’m definitely getting more used to it but at first it was hard. I continue to surf because I love it. I would encourage others to take up surfing because it’s a way to get good exercise, it’s a fun sport, and it’s not that dangerous.”
In the above video, a young Hamilton discusses getting back into life and surfing after the accident. If only she knew then what the future would hold for her.