Richest Athletes
Net Worth:
$2 Million
Feb 8, 1990 (34 years old)
5 ft 10 in (1.8 m)
Surfer, Producer, Writer, Actor
United States of America
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What Is Bethany Hamilton's Net Worth?

Bethany Hamilton is an American professional surfer and author who has a net worth of $2 million. Bethany Hamilton began surfing while in elementary school, and at the age of 12, she placed 2nd at the National Scholastic Surfing Competition in the Women's Division. A shark attacked her in 2003 and ripped her left arm off just below the shoulder. Despite losing her arm, Bethany decided to return to surfing and went on to win the National Scholastic Surfing Competition in 2005. The previous year, she won an ESPY Award for Best Comeback Athlete and a Courage Teen Choice Award. Hamilton speaks around the world about living with her disability and about her faith. She published a book in 2004 about her recovery, called "Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board." The book was adapted into a 2011 film called "Soul Surfer," and Bethany did all of the stunt work for the film. Hamilton has also published the books "Devotions for the Soul Surfer" (2006), "Rise Above: A 90-day Devotional" (2007), "Ask Bethany: FAQs: Surfing, Faith, and Friends" (2007), "Body and Soul: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun, and Fabulous Life" (2014), "Ask Bethany: Bethany Answers Over 200 Questions from Girls Like You" (2014), "Be Unstoppable: The Art of Never Giving Up" (2018), "Unstoppable Me" (2018), and "Surfing Past Fear" (2022). In 2014, she appeared as herself in the film "Dolphin Tale 2."

Early Life

Bethany Hamilton was born Bethany Meilani Hamilton on February 8, 1990, in Lihue, Hawaii. She is the daughter of Cheri and Tom Hamilton, and she has two brothers, Timothy and Noah. Bethany was just 3 years old when she learned how to surf, and she started surfing competitively when she was 8. By the age of 10, Hamilton had earned her first sponsorship. Bethany's mother homeschooled her during her middle school and high school years, and Hamilton's father worked as a waiter at a local café.

Shark Attack and Recovery

In October 2003, 13-year-old Bethany was surfing at Tunnels Beach, Kauai, with her best friend, Alana Blanchard, and Alana's brother and father. While Hamilton was lying on her stomach on her surfboard, talking to Blanchard, she was attacked by a tiger shark measuring more than 14 feet long. The shark bit off Bethany's left arm just below her shoulder, and after the Blanchards helped get her back to shore, Alana's father used a rash guard as a tourniquet, wrapping it around the stump of Hamilton's arm. By the time Bethany arrived at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, she was in hypovolemic shock and had lost more than 60% of her blood. Hamilton's father was already at the hospital because he was scheduled to undergo knee surgery, but he gave up his place in the operating room for Bethany. Hamilton later said that she didn't feel much pain after she was bitten but that she did feel numb when she was en route to the hospital.

Bethany Hamilton

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When news of Bethany's attack broke, a family of fisherman showed authorities a photo of a 14-foot-long tiger shark they had caught approximately a mile away from where Hamilton was attacked. The fisherman had killed the shark, and they reported that it had pieces of a surfboard in its mouth. After comparing the measurements of the shark's mouth with the measurements of Bethany's broken surfboard, the police concluded that it was the shark that had attacked her. The surfboard Hamilton was using when she was attacked is on display at Oceanside's California Surf Museum as part of an exhibit titled "Courageous Inspiration: Bethany Hamilton," as is the swimsuit she was wearing at the time.

Return to Surfing

Against the odds, Hamilton returned to surfing just one month after the shark attack. She initially used a custom-made board that was thicker and longer than the standard, and also had a handle for her right arm so she could paddle. Having taught herself how to surf with one arm, Hamilton entered her first major surfing competition in early 2004: the NSSA National Competition. She came in first place. Hamilton came in first again at the competition in 2005. Hamilton has returned to using standard competitive performance short-boards. However, in early 2023, she announced that she was boycotting all World Surf League events due to the organization's decision to allow transgender women to compete with other females.

Soul Surfer and Other Books

In 2004, Hamilton co-wrote an autobiography entitled "Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board." The book details the events around the shark attack, as well as Hamilton's recovery and attention from the media. "Soul Surfer" was later adapted into the 2011 feature film of the same name, directed by Sean McNamara and starring AnnaSophia Robb as Hamilton. Her parents are portrayed by Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid.

Hamilton has penned many other books since "Soul Surfer." Among them are the Christian devotional books "Devotions for the Soul Surfer" and "Rise Above: A 90-day Devotional"; the self-help books "Body and Soul: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun, and Fabulous Life" and "Be Unstoppable: The Art of Never Giving Up"; and the children's book "Unstoppable Me." Her mother also co-wrote a book about Hamilton's attack called "Raising a Soul Surfer: One Family's Epic Tale."

Media Appearances

Since the shark attack, Hamilton has appeared frequently in the media. In addition to being a guest on such shows as "20/20," "Good Morning America," "The Today Show," and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," she competed in the 25th season of the reality series "The Amazing Race" in 2014. Appearing alongside her husband, she came in third place. Hamilton also competed on the game show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" and made appearances on such reality shows as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "19 Kids and Counting." On the big screen, she played herself in the family film sequel "Dolphin Tale 2," and was the subject of the 2018 documentary "Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable."

Personal Life

Bethany met youth minister Adam Dirks in early 2012, and they became engaged the following year. The couple married on August 18, 2013, and they have welcomed three sons together, Tobias (born June 1, 2015), Wesley (born March 27, 2018), and Micah (born February 14, 2021).

In March 2023, Bethany announced on her blog that she and Adam were expecting their fourth child.

Friends of Bethany

Committed to charity, Hamilton has her own foundation called Friends of Bethany. A Christian organization, it supports youth and amputees through the promotion of Jesus Christ. Friends of Bethany offers four outreach programs. Beautifully Flawed is a retreat for women between the ages of 14 and 25 who have experienced limb loss, while Shine Forth is a community event involving inspirational storytelling. Anchored in Love, a conference for young women 12 and up, is an annual event in San Diego with guest speakers. Finally, The Forge is a retreat program for young male amputees.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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