Footage of a dolphin-surfer encounter at Kalbarri, near Perth, Western Australia shows 13-year-old, under-14 Western Australia surfing champ Jade Gradisen feel the brunt of the mammal returning to the water after a spectacular jump, as reported by Perth Now.
National Geographic reports that adult bottlenose dolphins can weigh up to 1,100 pounds, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that the creature’s nose punched a circular hole right through Gradisen’s board.
“It dived out of the water and I just jumped off my board and tried to get out of the way,” Gradisen was quoted as saying. “The dolphin landed on my shoulder and the back half of my body. The dolphin reacted, I think, really shocked — almost as shocked as I was. Its nose went straight through my board, it must have hurt a bit.”
Gradisen stated that because the dolphin’s leap was so great, he had a “few seconds” to react and remove himself from between his board and the body of the mammal.
The surfing publication, Stab Magazine, used the pun “it was on porpoise” in the Facebook preview for their feature covering the surfer-dolphin video. Stab, the Daily Mail, and Perth Now, as well as Jed Gradisen himself, have stated that the animal seen in the surf video is a dolphin.
The U.S. National Ocean Service states that porpoises have shorter, blunter snouts than dolphins and differing fin shapes. The service describes dolphins as having more “elongated” bodies and porpoises’ bodies being more “portly.”
Both porpoises and dolphins are thought to possess “extreme intelligence” and while both make sounds, dolphins are described as being “more talkative.”
Dolphins are reported to be able to swim at speeds up to 18 miles per hour. The dolphin in the Jed Gradisen video may have been 10 feet in the air or more. The Daily Mail described the surfer as being “lucky” to escape unharmed.
Other than the broken surfboard and a memory he won’t soon forget, the Western Australia surfer suffered no ill after-effects from his run-in with the dolphin.
The video was shot at Kalbarri, a Perth surf spot, by Gradisen’s father Andrew when he was filming Jed and another older son, Ben, who is reported to be the Western Australia under-16 surfing champ.
Stab Magazine says that Jed Gradisen “proper rips.”
The Western Australia surfer is sponsored by O’Neill, a surfing equipment and clothing company started in Santa Cruz, California. Video of Jed and Ben Gradisen surfing at Margaret River shows the young surfers’ powerful styles.
Besides being able to jump over 10 feet in the air, bottlenose dolphins are said to live up to 50 years in the wild and grow up to 14 feet long.
Recently, a Russian scientist published claims that beyond seemingly being able to communicate with each other through the use of “whistles, clicks, and body postures” that dolphins can actually formulate and understand “words and sentences” that make up a “spoken language.”
National Geographic states that “marine mammal experts remain unconvinced” of the claims made.
“It is complete bull, and you can quote me,” Richard Connor with the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth said with regard to the dolphin communication research published by Vyacheslav Ryabov with the T. I. Vyazemsky Karadag Scientific Station in Russia in the Elsevier journal.
Marc Lammers with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology explained that the Ryabov research failed to consider the “highly directional” nature of dolphin clicks and stated that the method with which the scientist recorded them as being on “the very edge” of their effective range.
National Geographic concluded that while most scientists agree that dolphins and other marine mammals are able to communicate that “evidence is still lacking” that the animals use any type of actual language.
[Featured Image by Stab Magazine/Vimeo]