“Soul Surfer”: Adventurous, Fun, and Exciting


Bethany Hamilton is a girl who has been through more than just going on professional surfing tours.

Bethany Hamilton is a girl who has been through more than just going on professional surfing tours. She was up on a board before she could walk and her parents slowly pushed her throughout the phases of becoming a great surfer. By the time Bethany was eight, she was competing in surf competitions. On one Halloween, when she was thirteen at the beach surfing with her best friend, Alana, Bethany was suddenly attacked by a twelve foot tiger shark. She lost her left arm and is truly a living miracle. Somehow Bethany got the courage to go back out into the water, and not only did she just learn to surf again, she excelled at it.


Coming soon to theaters is a movie version of Bethany's life story. Dennis Quaid (Tom Hamilton), Helen Hunt (Cheri Hamilton), Anna Sophia Robb (Bethany Hamilton), and Carrie Underwood (Sara Hill) all star in this one of a kind movie. As a Colorado Kids reporter, I was fortunate enough to attend the red carpet premier and sit down with both Anna and Bethany. I found that Anna was inspired by Bethany's story, and it was a quick yes when they asked her to be in the movie. Anna was extremely excited to play a character that actually existed. Bethany grew up on the island of Kauai and Anna is a Denver native. Both girls learned to surf in Kauai. Anna is seventeen and Bethany is twenty-one.


"Soul Surfer" was mainly pointed to faith based audiences and people who are looking for a film that would lift their spirits. The movie starts when Bethany is a perky teenager who is a major surfer. Bethany is excited to go to regionals just as tragedy strikes the Hamilton family. Bethany was out taking her morning surf with her best friend, Alana, when a sudden tiger shark thinks that her arm is its bait. Her father is in the hospital having knee surgery and her mother is at home. Alana's family comes to her aid in her parent's absence. The story covers a young girl's enlightening journey to becoming a professional surfer while going over hard spots, but reaching her goals.


Both girls were happy that the directors didn't put any men in bikinis to do the stunt surfing like they did in another surfing movie. They didn't shoot the whole film in Hawaii. They actually filmed some of it in Tahiti because the waves were a lot better. To shoot the scenes after the shark attack, they molded a stump to look just like Bethany's and put it on Anna's arm. Then they wrapped a green screen around the rest of her arm. To make the editing easier Anna would have to have her arm either behind her back or in the air while filming. They had to edit out her arm in seven hundred and fifty shots.


Bethany has a number of tricks she uses to do everyday things. For instance, she drives using one arm and sometimes uses her knees. She also has a specific surf board designed for her needs. Bethany seems so strong because during the attack she could stay calm. Everyone kept telling her to not lose consciousness. She actually trained Anna to surf along with her old coach Russell Lewis. Bethany and Anna are both very amazing girls in their own ways. It's very interesting to see the capabilities of them.