Bethany Hamilton has never met a challenge she couldn't overcome.
At 13, the Hawaiian surfer's life changed when she was attacked by a tiger shark at Tunnels Beach, Kauai. Hamilton lost her left arm in the attack.
Four weeks after the incident, she was back in the water.
At the time of the attack, Hamilton was at the forefront of a talent boom of young Hawaiian women who would go on to take the surfing world by storm, alongside Carissa Moore, Coco Ho and Alana Blanchard.
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Nowadays, 30-year-old Hamilton doesn't take questions of the attack – after all, she has said everything she needs to in her book Soul Surfer, which was adapted into a "very accurate" film – but the way she came out of it launched her to stardom of a different kind.
As she discusses in her newly released documentary, Unstoppable, Hamilton could have gone on to live a quiet life after losing her arm. Instead, she took the opportunity to show the world what determination can achieve.
"There's so much beauty in storytelling," Hamilton tells the Herald. "It's a way to encourage and inspire others.
"My life has been told in a lot of different ways through the book and the movie Soul Surfer, and the documentary captures my life so differently and really beautifully - and it's the real me."
Shot, directed and produced by American filmmaker Aaron Lieber, Unstoppable tells Hamilton's story beyond the narrative of the young surfer who lost her arm.
"We started the project about seven years ago. Shortly after I got married we decided to go for it. We had set out originally to make a short film, just 10 minutes of high-performance surf action, then a lot happened and we had documented a lot. The director kind of tricked us into making a documentary.
"I was like 'as long as I get to do some surfing, I'm happy to let you take the creative reins and go for it'.
"He saw a side of me that maybe a lot of people don't see and realised my story hasn't really fully been told in a way that captures me."
The documentary follows Hamilton's thirst to become a fully rounded surfer, adding aerials and barrels to her arsenal, as well has her journey into marriage and motherhood. It gives a glimpse into Hamilton's life as an actively competing sportsperson juggling professional and personal life before and after the arrival of her firstborn son, Tobias. The film crescendos with Hamilton charging Peahi, one of the world's most notorious big-wave surf breaks.
Located off the coast of Maui, Peahi is more often referred to as Jaws – a name given to it because of the size and ferocity of the swells, which is shown in the film as Hamilton feels the full power of the wave.
"The only way I could really explain it is I think big-wave surfers just have a bit of crazy in them, so maybe I'm a bit crazy," she says.
"Of course, things can always go wrong – that's why you have a safety team there and special lifesaving devices to go the extra mile as far as safety. It's no joke, but it's also something I felt really ready for.
"It's such an iconic wave. I always dreamed of surfing it and I had secretly dreamed of paddling it, but had never talked about it with anyone or put it out there or put myself in the position. After I towed it, I really wanted to paddle it so we went for it.
"That kind of emulates life – there's so many hurdles and challenges and fears that we have to overcome and face. On top of that I had just entered into motherhood and had gone through a lot of fears around that, trying to tackle a professional surfing career while being a young mum and a new mum and just adjusting to that and rebuilding my body's strength.
"The aspect of bringing in motherhood and family life was really cool to share. There's really little documentaries out there on professional sports athletes who are mothers, so I got excited about that because I realised I was feeling a lot of things many other mums out there feel.
"I really wanted to be honest and real about that part of my life."
Now a mother of two, Hamilton charged into 2020 in the hope of reaching the career goal that has eluded her so far – qualifying for the World Surf League Championship Tour.
While she has made wildcard appearances at CT events, including a semifinal finish in Fiji in 2016, Hamilton hasn't been able to crack the world's top tour on a full-time scale. She was close to achieving that in 2008, but fell on heat short of the mark needed to qualify. That year, Blanchard and Ho both qualified, as did Kiwi star Paige Hareb.
"The ocean is so daunting sometimes, especially some of the waves we compete in, they don't really emulate the type of surf you get on the World Tour," Hamilton explains. "You basically have to be incredibly well rounded and surf the junkiest surf there is and try qualify in that. I'm still working out some kinks in the competitive realm but it's been a fun challenge."
However, her plans for a 2020 surge have been somewhat skewed due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic which has cause almost all professional sporting leagues to be indefinitely suspended. Hamilton was expected to surf at the Piha Pro in Auckland earlier this month, but instead turned her trip to New Zealand into a vacation, visiting the South Island when the competition was postponed.
Whether or not surfing will return in 2020 remains to be seen, but Hamilton says she will continue to do what she can to inspire others through her Unstoppable Year project, which covers 12 topics over a 12-month span to help people change their lives.
"I definitely have a lot of things I look forward to in the future beyond surfing. We kind of just take it a year at a time, but semi-plan as a family. We have two little boys and definitely want to grow the family, so I don't know where we're going to go at this point. Either way I'll always be in the ocean doing my thing and mermaiding out there.
"It's cool to be able to find ways to give back that are beyond surf and just share some of the life lessons I've learned along the way and always aim towards encouraging people to live an unstoppable life."