LIKE the Kauai Coast backdrop, life ebbs and flows, transforming from dead calm to raging storm at frightening speed.
For 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton, everything changed in the blink of an eye in 2003 when a 14ft tiger shark ripped off her left arm just below the shoulder during a morning surf.
Despite losing 60% of her blood, she survived and made headlines around the world by getting back on her surfboard.
Doctors weren’t convinced she could recapture her championship-worthy form with just one arm but with the support of her family, she took on her rivals at the National Scholastic Surfing Championships on equal terms.
Based on the book by Hamilton, Sheryl Berk and Rick Bundschuh, the film recounts the young athlete’s inspirational true story, celebrating the power of the human spirit to overcome the odds.
When she questions her faith, a youth group leader invites her to Thailand, in the wake of the 2004 tsunami to help with the humanitarian effort. Surrounded by devastation, the teenager gains new perspective.
Swathed in heartwarming sentiment that occasionally errs towards mawkishness, the film is life-affirming and feel-good, building to a grandstand finish that leaves a small lump in the throat.