Perhaps more than any other sport, surfing is of a piece with nature. Sure, you can make an argument for mountain biking, cross-country skiing, or even distance running in the right terrain, but surfing is a sport in which nature chooses the time and place for its athletes, not the other way around.
Nature doesn’t only mean the swell forecast and ocean-floor topography, but wildlife, too: Sharks, jellyfish, sea lions, dolphins, and… orca whales.
Although the above video is entitled “Orcas chase surfers out of the water!”, the visuals depict something less frantic: a pod of orcas giving a group of sea lions a scare, while nearby surfers watch from the lineup—or simply keep surfing.
The rare near-shore sighting in Trofino, British Columbia, was captured by videographer Adam Chilton in February. As Chilton explains in a follow-up interview with Epic TV, humans are safe from wild orcas, and evidently the surfers knew it.
The real problem for surfers, says Chilton?
“Sea lions. Sea lions get pretty aggressive.”
No cause for alarm there, though. Sea lion attacks on humans are only slightly less rare than wild orca attacks, which is to say they almost never happen.
Best just enjoy the show.