Bethany Hamilton, we all know the horrific story. The Rip Curl rider, aged just 13 at the time, was out surfing with her best friend Alana Blanchard at Tunnels Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, when she had her arm bitten off by a tiger shark.
We’ve read the books and magazine articles, and seen the cheesy movie telling her incredible story. But never before have we really understood exactly how she surfs with one arm? Practically speaking. In this new video [scroll down to watch] she explains how paddling isn’t as complicated as people think:
I don’t go in a circle when I paddle I go pretty straight. People are like, ‘how do you not go in a circle’ and I’m like, ‘well the fins are on the bottom of the board.’ It’s just kind of funny that people think I go in a circle.
She surfs better than most guys with two arms, so the revelatory interview not only explains the impossible, but also talks about Bethany’s plans for the future and why we won’t be seeing her in many comps this year:
I’m really losing my motivation for competitions. Surfing horrible waves and trying to grovel is just not my thing. This year I’m working on a film project with Aaron Lieber just to highlight my surfing ability.
If there’s anyone to draw inspiration for surfing from, it really is this girl. She just doesn’t give up, as she says:
It’s almost nice that it happened when I was young because you’re so much more adaptive. I started on a longboard and worked my way down and slowly adapted with perseverance. There’s always struggle days but I’m stoked I don’t give up.
WATCH THE BETHANY HAMILTON HOW DOES SHE DO IT VIDEO BELOW: