Forget Sharks, This Surfer Had to Overcome So Much More

Surfers are known for their “hang-loose” no worry attitudes. But one thing that most people tend to overlook is their relentless spirit and the will to overcome all odds.

The real Soul Surfer and the accress pose
Bethany Hamilton (on the left) and actress AnnaSophia Robb (on the right) pose to promote the heroic story depicted in the movie Soul Surfer. This is one of the many examples of the resilient spirit of surfers. Source: Moviepilot.de

Meet our own soul surfer Braiden Maither.

On the surfer destination site, The Inertia, fellow wave crusher Cheyne Magnusson details the remarkable story of this up and comer.

Maither first caught Magnusson’s eye with his impressive skill-set, but also his tenacious work ethic. It also helped that Maither went to high school at Magnusson’s Alma Mater, Lahainaluna High School in Hawaii.

Similar to the menacing shark that put Bethany Hamilton’s surfing career and life in jeopardy, Maither had something lurking in the water he never expected.

Cheyenne writes that just 6 months after signing Magnusson to his Body Glove surf team, the once young prospect’s promising career met its deep sea menace.

It’s name was ankylosing spondylitis.

Braiden’s entire lifestyle, passion, and goals all seemed to come to a sudden end at the hands of the chronic spine disease.

“Being a surfer and having that taken away from you so abruptly would be like telling the average person they can’t breathe oxygen anymore,” Magnusson said.

But like Hamilton did in her own story, Braiden wasn’t about to let his dream be stripped from him that fast. So with the help of treatment, his road back to surfing started to look a bit less choppy.

After ankylosing spondylitis seemed to end his surfing career, Braiden overcame the struggles of living with A.S. and finally got back on board.

That is, after he had spent three months in and out of hospitals with an undiagnosed disease, five months in rehab, received a weekly shot to keep inflammation down, and participated in daily yoga.

But regardless, Magnusson was just happy to see him finally back on the board.

“It’s inspirational to say the least,” Magnusson said.

Although they are known for their laid-back attitude, surfers sure have one hell of a fight in them.

Oh and check out this gnarly wipeout featured on Body Glove’s Youtube page.


Some say surfers don’t get the spotlight they deserve, so pass this story along and raise awareness for our shredders and for all those living with ankylosing spondyltis. Who knows, maybe this ends up on the silver screen some day.

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