Kiteboarder Gets Whacked by a Whale

If you haven’t seen the footage already, here’s a clip of the now-famous Kiwi kitesurfer that had an encounter with a whale.

When I first heard this story, I couldn’t help but think it was another piece of outrageous sensationalism. Then, I thought about those times when I’ve surfed alone or gone free diving and remembered the real fear that crept into my mind: There’s a whole world in these waters — a world that is wild and unpredictable.I’ve heard many a story from my surfing pals about shark and whale sightings. My ex-boyfriend surfer told me about three encounters he had with large sea mammals that remain some of the most vivid and outrageous Ive ever heard: he was once pulled into the wave of the day by a playful seal; he surfed right next to a whale that was so big he thought it was a megalodon; he fought off two territorial elephant seals to secure his spot in a lineup.

These kinds of occurrences, though rare, get you so close to nature and the wild that sometimes you rethink your own existence.