Bethany Hamilton and Alana Blanchard are great surfers and great friends.
They have a strong bond and one of the most famous friendships in the surfing community, but who are they, how did they meet, and what brought them together?
Who is Bethany Hamilton?
Bethany Hamilton is a pro surfer and philanthropist.
Born in Lihue, Hawaii, back in 1990, Hamilton has won major events in Australia and the United States, and she has surfed all over the world.
To the average non-surfer, Bethany Hamilton is best-known for an event in 2003 in which she lost her arm in a tiger shark attack.
The brutal attack and resulting recovery was the subject of the 2011 film Soul Surfer, which was based on Bethany Hamilton’s 2004 autobiography of the same name.
Who is Alana Rene Blanchard?
Alana Rene Blanchard was born in 1990 in Kauai, Hawaii.
It’s said that she was taught how to surf by her father Holt Blanchard when she was just 4 years old and by the time she was 9, she was competing.
The former wetsuit and swimwear model has won several surfing championships over the years and was a long-time sponsor for Rip Curl.
Alana Blanchard is engaged to Aussie surfer Jack Freestone with whom she has two children.
Are Alana Blanchard and Bethany Hamilton Friends?
Alana Blanchard and Bethany Hamilton have been friends since second grade.
They were born just a few weeks apart and with their passion for surfing, they clearly had a lot in common.
Blanchard was actually with Bethany on the day that she lost her arm.
The two friends were just 13 years old at the time.
They were surfing at Tunnels Beach, Kauai, and they were chatting at the time of the attack.
Hamilton was lying flat on her stomach with her arm in the water when the 14-foot tiger shark pounced and took her arm.
Holt Blanchard and Byron Blanchard, Alana’s father and brother, were at the scene and helped to drag Hamilton out of the water.
Both of the girls featured in the Soul Surfer movie.
Their parts were played by AnnaSophia Robb and Lorraine Nicholson but the girls served as stunt doubles for the actresses playing them.
What Happened Between Alana Blanchard and Bethany Hamilton?
Blanchard and Hamilton have remained close over the years.
In fact, a couple of years ago Bethany published an homage to her friend on YouTube, showing clips from their younger days.
Summary: Bethany Hamilton and Alana Blanchard
Bethany Hamilton and Alana Blanchard have been through a lot together, and their friendship is seemingly just as strong today as it has always been.
You can learn more about the pair by following them on Instagram @AlanarBlanchard and @BethanyHamilton.
Featured image: By rod marshall – Flickr: Alana Blanchard surfing snapper rocks, CC BY-SA 2.0