Riding the tiger shark
Say you’re well into your fifties, and you’ve done a lot of surfing in your life. You live in Kauai, and you surf every day in Hanalei Bay. You know what’s what, and you know that the tigers sharks swim out there. But why worry about them? You can’t worry about them.
Then one day you’re riding one.
That’s what long-time surfer and board producer Jim Rawlinson did last week. He told Bernie Baker, at Surfer magazine:
[The shark] came from behind and hit me. I saw this boat wake and I thought to myself, “Oh god, this is for real!” and my board went nose up and as I was in the air I slid down because there was nowhere else to go. I was straddling the shark’s back. I was sitting on him, in front of his dorsal. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I was thinking his nose isn’t as pointed as you think they are. . .
At that point I said to myself, “This is serious stuff, I’d better not make a mistake,” and there were all of these slow-motion thoughts in my mind and I looked down at the shark and he was real calm and I was calm and there was almost like a peaceful connection. Then I thought to myself, “I should undo my leash and start swimming.” I didn’t realize the leash had already been bitten through when he took the tail block off, but I started swimming back over to my board and the shark was gone so I just got back on it.
Neither Rawlinson nor the shark were the worse for wear. The surf board, however, suffered a good deal. Check out the photo through the link.