Bethany Hamilton: Barefoot, Pregnant – and Still Shredding on Her Surfboard

03/14/2015 at 10:00 AM ET

Bethany Hamilton pregnant expecting first child Adam Dirks
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Since losing her left arm to a tiger shark at age 13, Bethany Hamilton has never been the type to make excuses. Lately, though, that’s starting to change.

Six months pregnant, the Amazing Race alum is still surfing breaks around her home in Kauai, Hawaii — but in recent weeks she’s started to realize that something’s different.

“It’s such a weird feeling to be surfing in the ocean while my baby is moving around inside me,” Hamilton, who’s expecting a son in June, tells PEOPLE. “It’s a cool feeling, but I noticed my balance is a little off and I fall more, so I’m having to focus.”

Hamilton, 25, insists that she tries “not to use pregnancy as an excuse. But there are times when I say to myself, ‘Oh gosh, that was a pregnancy surfing moment!’ ”

Bethany Hamilton pregnant surfing six months along
Splash News Online

Not that she’s about to hang up her board — at least not yet.

“My mom surfed all through her pregnancy,” says Hamilton, who married youth pastor Adam Dirks in August 2013. “I’ll probably keep riding until about eight months.”

Just three months ago, she was out riding at Oahu’s Pipeline break, home to some of the most treacherous waves on the planet.

“They were pretty intense, about 10 feet,” she says. “But now that my belly is getting bigger, I’m surfing smaller waves and having more fun.”

Bethany Hamilton pregnant expecting first child Adam Dirks

For more of our interview with Bethany Hamilton, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

— Johnny Dodd

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LaVonda on

Aaawww that is Sooo sweet!!!! Kudos to them.

JLM on

What an amazing young woman!

Lilah on


Biff on

Still out surfing… what is she gonna do when another shark bites off her other arm?

Summer on

This doesn’t seem very safe. Falling off of a surfboard is pretty high impact.

Alison on

I wish they had won The Amazing Race. They were so genuine!

JulieB on

Even if she wasn’t pregnant or not, isn’t she at a disadvantage in the water with only one arm? I get that surfing is her life and missing an arm isn’t going to stop her, but now she has the baby to think of

Jen on

I think it is wonderful and it is something she has done her entire life, so it should not be an issue. There are many athletes who keep doing what they know best through pregnancy and it is perfectly safe.

E on

Go for it! I’m guessing she knows the right time to stop for her.

drgrady on

They are an adorable couple! Congrats to them on their baby.

shelba on

Wonderful story.

Kate on

For people saying its not safe…. Neither is getting in your car while pregnant ( or not pregnant ) and driving to work….

Hea on

She is amazing!

Linda on

Many many congratulations. Fins baby names and meaning at BabyNamesCube dot com

Peppa on

No doubt her baby will be surfing by the time he’s six months old. LOL!

Olay on

So happy for her! Amazing woman.


Hiya, good website you have there

sydra on

Shut up “Linda”. We don’t come here for the advertising.

Tina Lewis on

Congratulations, Bethany and Adam!! ❤

Skeeter on

Congratulations Bethany & Adam! Blessings for a wonderful delivery and a beautiful baby.