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. Bethany also poses a considerable threat to the top seeds and, with her decorated track record as a wildcard, anything can happen. This event will be her ninth CT appearance.
“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,” - Bethany Hamilton
“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. Bethany’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 she 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,” she 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.”
Congratulations on your wildcard entry Bethany, we can’t wait to see you tear up the Surf Ranch amongst the world’s best!