Soul surfer Bethany Hamilton signs autographs and meets fans



Image via Xtreme Sport 4U
  • Image via Xtreme Sport 4U

Image via Xtreme Sport 4U

This Saturday, you have the chance to meet inspirational surfer Bethany Hamilton. Remember her? The 13-year-old badass surfer who had her left arm bitten off by a 14-foot tiger shark and then went back to surfing? She will sign autographs and meet with fans at Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, currently the world's largest surf shop at 52,000 square feet.

A surf shop that covers more than an acre is astonishing, yes, but that's nothing compared to Hamilton's miraculous comeback story. She didn't let a shark attack end her career as a rising professional surf star. Shortly after her attack, with determination and faith, she returned to the water and won her first national title. That's an amazing feat for a surfer of any age.

Hamilton has since realized her dream of surfing professionally, and told her story in an autobiography which was turned into the 2011 film Soul Surfer, starring AnnaSophia Robb (Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Free copies of Hamilton's documentary Heart of a Soul Surfer, a movie that digs deep into the heart and soul of a surfer destined for success, will be given away. To score one, all you have to do is support her Friends of Bethany Foundation by purchasing the signature series sandal by Cobian.

Grab your wetsuit (optional of course) and be sure to get there early – only the first 100 people are guaranteed a chance to meet Hamilton.

When: Noon-1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6

Where: Ron Jon Surf Shop, 2151 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.