Bethany Hamilton receives support after slamming WSL's eligibility rules for transgender women

Hamilton spoke out against the World Surf League's rules in an Instagram video

Surfer Bethany Hamilton found some support online from fellow athletes after she spoke out against the World Surf League’s (WSL) rules governing transgender women competing in events.

Hamilton said in a video posted to her Instagram on Saturday that she would not be participating in WSL events if the rule remains. The WSL said transgender female athletes need to maintain a testosterone level of 5 nmol/L for at least a year to participate in the women’s division.

Hamilton said in her video she would rather see WSL create a new division.


Bethany Hamilton in Australia

Bethany Hamilton of Hawaii surfing in Round 2 of the 2020 Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach on March 8, 2020 in Sydney. (Matt Dunbar/WSL via Getty Images)

"I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent – and I think it's really hard to imagine what the future of women's surfing will be like in 15-20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change," she said.

After raising questions, Hamilton received some support online.

Olympic gold medalist skier Julia Mancuso and NCAA All-American swimmer Riley Gaines expressed support for Hamilton in the Instagram comments section of her video.

"I support you Bethany," Mancuso wrote. "Thanks for speaking up for all women and girls out there. Those are all interesting questions to navigate this difficult topic and let's hope we can keep fighting for the future of womens sports."

Gaines added: "THANK YOU for using your platform to share this. I can't express how inspiring this is."

Former competitive surfing champion Shane Dorian also added his name to those who supported Hamilton.

Bethany Hamilton surfs in Hawaii

Bethany Hamilton of Hawaii surfs in Heat 1 of the Elimination Round at the Billabong Pro Pipeline on Jan. 30, 2022 in Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Tony Heff/World Surf League via Getty Images)


"Speak your truth! Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe," he wrote. "Don’t listen to people who hurl the word transphobic at anyone who’s beliefs don’t align perfectly with theirs. These are complicated problems with no clear solution. Regardless, there many people who love and support the trans community who agree with you on these issues."

Hamilton went on to clarify her points in the comments.

"I was messaging with a friend who is a part of the (LGBTQ) community and I really don’t think at this point there is a solution that will please everyone," she wrote. "There are different world views and that is part of life. I may not have the perfect answer. But I do feel the way I do and will continue to stand firm in what I shared here.

"I mentioned Testosterone because that is how the Olympics and World Surf League decide if you can compete as a women."

Bethany Hamilton swims

Bethany Hamilton of Hawaii surfs in Heat 5 of the Round of 16 at the Billabong Pro Pipeline on Feb. 2, 2022 in Haleiwa, Hawaii. (Brent Bielmann/World Surf League via Getty Images)

WSL Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer told The Inertia on Friday the decision the league made was unanimous.


"The WSL is working hard to balance equity and fairness and it’s important for a policy to be in place," Miley-Dyer said. "We recognize that the policy may need to evolve over time as we get feedback and see new research in the field."

Fox News’ Maureen Mackey contributed to this report.