Bethany Meilani Hamilton (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released. She now has a new movie called Unstoppable where she shows the struggles and happiness of her family. Hamilton has been in the World Surf League for quite a few years.
She was the first woman surfer to surf in the Rip Curl Cup in 2012.
Hamilton was born on February 8, 1990 to Tom and Cheri Hamilton, on the day of a double rainbow. She has two older brothers Noah (born in 1981) and Timothy (born in 1986). She began surfing at the age of 8 and gained her first sponsorship by age 9. Hamilton was home-schooled from 6th grade through high school. She is a Christian. In early 2012 Hamilton met youth minister Adam Dirks through mutual friends. They became engaged in 2013. The couple was married on August 18, 2013 at an estate on Kauai's north shore, near where she grew up. The couple have a son named Tobias, born in 2015. In 2018 they had a second son, Wesley. She also has two shar pei dogs named Hanalei "Hana" and Kombucha "Booch".