The World Surf League has announced that global surfing influencer Bethany Hamilton will rejoin the lineup against the world’s best female surfers at the first-ever Surf Ranch Pro presented by Hurley, Stop No. 8 of the Women’s Championship Tour (CT), September 6 – 9 in Lemoore, Calif.
It was an easy choice for the WSL Commissioner’s Office to select the 28-year-old, Kauai-born surfer after her display of barrel riding at the WSL Surf Ranch just weeks ago. Hamilton will no doubt be out to cause some upsets as a considerable threat to the top seeds and, with her decorated track record as a wildcard, anything can happen. This event will be Hamilton’s ninth CT appearance.
Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith, and hope. At the age of 13, she lost her left arm to a shark, seemingly ending her surfing career. Against the odds, the “Soul Surfer” returned to the lineup and went on to realize her dream of surfing professionally. Using her platform as a pro surfer to promote living an epic lifestyle, she has published books, taken on motivational speaking, and is nearly ready to launch a new App aimed to help her followers become unstoppable in their own lives and challenges.
“I’m so excited to be competing at the Surf Ranch Pro,” Hamilton said when learning of her Wildcard selection. “I love the idea of competing in a semi-controlled environment. It’s great to know what I’m getting with the waves and to be on the same playing field as everyone else. All of us girls are just going to be going to town, shredding it.”
Hamilton is currently at WSL Surf Ranch for a pre-event training session. She plans to focus on “Getting dialed in on the wave and fine-tuning my turns. I’m going to be working hard on what I have, and hone in on my own wave skill. It’s just mesmerizing that it’s really three waves in one, so learning how to maximize each section is going to be key in the competition. I’m excited to get out there and start working on it.”
Surf Ranch Pro marks her first event back after giving birth to her newborn son, Wesley, in March of this year. Hamilton’s strength and perseverance goes unrivaled, handling the everyday obligations of motherhood while still pursuing her career as a surfer and inspirational speaker. In April, Hamilton premiered her new film ‘Unstoppable’ at the Tribeca Film Festival which was well-received by audiences and critics alike.
She will look to be unstoppable once again in September when she heads to Central California to compete at the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro, the first time since 1985 that a wave system event will help decide a World Championship Title. Her goal is to put together a strong mental game plan, stay calm and not let nerves get the best of her.
“With all the people there watching, the energy is going to feel really different. It’s going to be amazing to compete amongst all the fans and be with all the girls again,” Hamilton said.
“We’re thrilled that Bethany has been awarded the wildcard for this historic event,” said WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “She’s both a world-class surfer and an inspirational woman and we can’t wait to see her performance at the Surf Ranch.”