Eight years after she lost her left arm to a shark, the 21-year-old pro is cruising waves in Bali, Tahiti, and as a stuntwoman in the new film Soul Surfer, based on her autobiography. Here she talks barrel riding, homemade pudding, and beginner's luck.
Best Beach
Polihale, near my house in Kauai, Hawaii. It's miles of white sand with lots of shells, blue ocean, and no buildings whatsoever. Sometimes I stay to watch the sunset and camp under the stars.

Best Wardrobe Staple
A casual beach dress—loose, comfortable, and cute. I'll wear one over a swimsuit, and I'm pretty much always in a swimsuit.

Best Surprise
My mom gave my brothers and me a Shar-Pei three years ago—a wrinkly, rascally dog named Hana. I bring her to the beach and she relaxes while I surf. I tried to get her on the board with me a few times, but she wasn't into it.

Best Way to Combat Nerves
Before a competition, I stretch while listening to calming music like "Over the Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz [the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole]. And I'll walk down the beach, away from the crowd, to have a moment of quiet and focus on what the ocean is doing.

Best Thrill
Barrel riding, when your whole body is inside the wave and you're surrounded by clear blue water on all sides. When the wave first curls over your head, it's an amazing adrenaline rush. Not many people get to experience that.

Best Experiment
I like to create healthy dessert concoctions. One of my favorites is a mix of avocado, chocolate, banana, mint, and honey. You put it in a food processor, and it tastes like a rich, chocolaty pudding.

Best Escape
My brothers and I go surfing every Christmas morning. It's not as crowded as usual—everyone is home opening presents.

Best Quickie Workout
Tennis! I've only recently gotten into it, but it's superfun. It's good to be a beginner again.

Best Advice
Love God, love others, and worry about yourself last.

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