GoPro captures a close encounter between stand up paddle boarder and orca (Video).

Watch a Stand-Up Paddle Boarder Make “Friends” With an Orca (Video)

Watch a Stand-Up Paddle Boarder Make “Friends” With an Orca (Video)

Slate in motion.
Feb. 5 2016 12:46 PM

Paddle Boarding With an Orca

An aquatic close encounter.

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    I’ve tried stand-up paddle boarding. It’s hard. My balance is not nearly where it needs to be to maneuver choppy water while standing up on a large, unwieldy surfboard-like contraption. It’s just not going to happen. That isn’t the case with the guy in the GoPro video above, Lukas Reilly, who appears to be a pretty solid SUPer.

    How I can I tell? Well, for starters, he manages to stay upright despite an orca coming up from behind and bumping him. And then continues to do so as one of the only known predator of great white sharks circles him, continuing its investigation. Orcas usually don’t attack people in the wild, but that couldn’t have been comforting.  

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    It’s all thoroughly impressive—and viewed from afar, pretty cool. So props to you, Mr. Reilly. Had that been me, sheer panic would have propelled me off the board and straight into the ocean. 

    A.J. McCarthy is a Slate writer and producer.