She was just 13 when a 15ft tiger shark ripped off her left arm on Halloween.
But despite the trauma of the life-changing injury, Bethany Hamilton loves surfing as much as ever – with the 28-year-old calling it her ‘healing place’.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV, Bethany explained: ‘Traumatic things happen to all of us at one point or another.’
Now a mother of two, she reflected: ‘I was surfing less than a month [after the attack]. I was just such a resilient 13 year old that wasn’t going to let something like this hold me back.’
Bethany also returned to the waves just a few weeks after welcoming her children, three-year-old Tobias and baby Wesley.
She explained: ‘I feel like I have a tendency to bounce back pretty fast, you know.
‘I’m such a mermaid. The ocean has been such a healing place for me.’
Bethany and her husband, youth minister Adam Dirks, have been married for five years.
She said they were enjoying life as parents.
‘I still feel like I have so much to learn as a mom but it’s amazing to be able to share life with my two little guys and thankfully my husband and I make an amazing team.’
While she still adores the ocean, Bethany now perfects her surfing at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, in Lemoore, California.
The private artificial wave pool features the world’s longest man-made open-barrel wave.