Kauai's favorite daughter describes the wave seen 'round the world!
It is difficult not to stand up and cheer for Bethany Hamilton. The facts surrounding her extraordinary life are impossible to dismiss for even the crustiest nihilist. Let us review. As a thirteen-year-old she was surfing Kauai’s Tunnels alongside very good friend Alana Blanchard and family. It was early morning. A tiger shark, happening by, bit her arm off at the shoulder.
Three weeks later she was surfing again.
And over the weekend, six months after giving birth to a blonde son, she towed Jaws. The clip, of course, went everywhere and why would it not? Such inspiration! It was not Bethany’s first time. She towed a few years back and it was nominated for best girl’s performance in 2010.
This time, though, the surf was even bigger. I asked her about it with rain darkening southern California’s skies because I promised, yesterday, that I would! Her voice is sunny and bright. It is always sunny and bright.
This is something I’ve wanted to do again for a long time but towing has been kind of taboo out there. Like, what the boys are doing with their paddling is just incredible so I haven’t been back but this year I asked the boys if I could tow and they were down so I was stoked.
Could you paddle out there?
I could, I think, but I’d really have to pick the right day and the right conditions. It is really wild out there. Lots of water moving so…yeah. I could and it’s something I’d love for the future.
Walk me though how it felt?
It feels amazing. The thrill of that wave, the energy and what is happening is like nothing else. I surfed Honolua the day after and took off on a wave and it felt like I was just going really really slow. I’ve always been passionate about bigger surf and love tackling bigger waves but the power of that one is just insane. I totally see how those guys get addicted to it.
Would you ever put aside the rest and only chase big surf?
No, you know, I’ve been working really hard on my progressive surfing lately too. I love it all and am trying to be as good, all around, as I can be. Both are fun.
From what I’m seeing, it seems you are at the top of your game. Have you ever felt better?
I definitely feel I’m surfing better, restrengthening after the baby. I feel driven. Having a child could maybe do something else for other people but, for me, I’m just inspired.
And if you ain’t, well, then you are the crustiest nihilist! Her film, Surf Like a Girl, is 1/4 done, she says, and set to be released later this year. I am looking more forward to it than any other.