Paul talks about surfing with a whale and how it impacts him.

Me and the Whale


The surf has been flat all week, I guess I have no other choice than to work hard. At least I don’t feel guilty about not being out there riding every molehill (like Campbell calls them on Sprout) I can find, nor about surfing when there is so much eco-stoke to spread!

But the day came when I had no excuse. The water was so flat I wish I had an SUP to paddle for hours, and the whales were down at the beach for a visit. A friend and I decided to grab some longboards and try to get as close as we can to get some good pictures of our big friends.

The only sketchy thing is to know when you are intruding. I don’t want to be pissing off a mother and provoke her to slamming us with her tail. Maybe someone can tell me if that’s a realistic fear… Anyhow, we decided to be prudent.

As we paddled towards one, it slowly moved away. We then decided to paddle closer but slightly aiming to get beside her. We didn’t want her to think we were predators going straight at her.

As we caught up with her, it turned towards us…we froze…now we slowly turned away, as it kept approaching us. I turned the camera on, as I also made a slight paddle away from it, showing we weren’t there to pounce on it. I got as close as 15 feet away, we were freaking out! That’s when it decided it was close enough and went on its way.

It’s so amazing to see these majestic animals from so close, especially when you are inside the water, and you only have a laminated foam block under you. We looked at the beach and saw people taking pictures from far away. I realized how lucky we are to be surfers and watermen, and have this connection to the ocean which allows us to experience these kind of things in such a more intimate way than the rest of the people. My footage on video is not so nice, I guess I was more worried about living it through my own eyes. I did get a picture though that might give you an idea of what we saw.




Derek Dodds

Derek Dodds is founder of the world's first ecological surf company Wave Tribe, surfboard shaper, world traveler, author and Mini Simmons enthusiast.

View all posts

1 comment

Leave a Reply

  • What a great story. You are right, we (watermen) are real lucky to share such special connection with mother nature and to being able to experience it the way we do.

Meet Surfer Derek Dodds

Derek Dodds | Surfer, Shaper, Traveler
I'm Derek Dodds, the guy behind I love surfing, shaping, adventure travel, IPAs, useful gear, and all things related to the sea.