Kiteboarder Nearly T-Bones Huge Whale in Wild GoPro Footage

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Sergio Camacho/Getty Images)

A kiteboarder had quite a surprise when he came close to t-boning a huge whale while off the coast of South Africa earlier this month. Professional kiteboarder Lasse Walker took to Instagram to share the experience, which was caught on his GoPro camera. You can see Walker get so close to the whale’s fin without any fear. “Just casual kitesurfing in South [Africa],” he wrote in the caption. “What a beauty!”

Followers of the professional kiteboarder had some thoughts about the experience. “Epic bro what a shot!!” one follower declared. Another follower then wrote, “Looks like it was going to give you a little smack with his fin if you didn’t get air.” 

According to the Whale Watching Handbook, southern right and humpback whales can be seen along the south coast from Cape Town to Mossel Bay in South Africa. They appear between June and December. Both species are frequently seen with their calves because they use the South African waters for valving and rearing. 

Meanwhile, Lasse Walker is a kiteboarder from The Netherlands. He kicked off his professional career in 2015 and is sponsored by Red Bull. “My father used to be a windsurfer,” he told Red Bull. “And that’s why I became a water sports enthusiast. It’s automatically gone from a hobby and passion to a professional career. I can decide for myself what to do and there are no rules.”

The kiteboarder has also achieved some amazing wins over the years. Including being in third place at the Cold Hawaii Games in 2021; Second place for the Cold Hawaii Games in 2020; And third place at the Red Bull Megaloop in 2019. 

Lasse Walker Opens Up About His Kiteboarding Skills in His Documentary ‘Skywalker’ 

While continuing to speak to Red Bull, the kiteboarder Lasse Walker reflected on his kiteboarder experiences. “I thought it was really cool that I could travel through my passion,” the kiteboarder explained about his career. “Because of this, I have kitesurfed in many special locations. My favorite place to kite remains Cape Town. Because of the super strong wind and the high and powerful waves, you can jump very high. As I became more famous, I got more sponsors and it started to feel more like work. Then you also feel pressure to perform.”

The kiteboarder also described how a big air jump makes him feel. “The feeling of flying so high and hard through the air is liberating. You feel like a bird. In addition, a cool trick gives me a lot of adrenaline.”

Walker then said that he used to do a lot of kiteboarding competitions with his friends to see who can jump the highest. “The urge to get to a higher level is very present. After all, you want to be the best in the world. The jump depends on so many factors. Stay in control, be able to steer correctly, be in balance and of course the waves and the wind.”