START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Orcas Like to Surf?

Dolphins are seen with some frequency playing in waves and even riding them. Turns out orcas do the same, though they aren’t often caught in the act. This week, however, two lucky photographers were actually able to get some great photos of orcas gliding through the waves.

In New Zealand, Northern Advocate photographer Michael Cunningham was body surfing when he saw a large orca fin and then noticed the twenty-foot creature was surfing waves too. In fact, there was a pod of orcas riding waves. He exited the water, and started taking photos. The results are some of the only very clear images of orcas surfing. (See photos here.)

Orca researcher Ingrid Visser said Sandy Bay could be the only place where orcas surf like they were observed doing recently. (It isn’t clear though if only those orcas engage with waves that way, or if they are the only ones to be seen doing it.)

“They’ll often come right out of the back of the wave and breach out into the trough that follows behind. And that’s really exciting to see as well,” said Visser. (Source:

Orcas can weigh eight tons, and are very agile mammals so of course some surfers could be very intimidated to see them in the water when they are close by. However, orcas haven’t ever been tied to attacks on humans, like sharks. So the name killer whale is actually sort of a misnomer.

Mr. Cunningham noted there were a number of scenes that weren’t photographed which were just as touching, or even more so, including a calf riding waves too. Tim Rainger was also on the beach watching the orcas surf and took some very good photos.

Though Cunningham and Rainger didn’t capture video of the surfing orcas, last year in New Zealand a mother orca and calf were caught on video together:

Image Credit:  Tim Rainger

Related Links:
Wild Dolphins Walk on Water (video)
Porpoises Saved Dick Van Dyke
Baby Killer Whale Born at Sea World

Read more: Nature & Wildlife, Pets, Videos, Videos, Wildlife, ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
7:31AM PST on Nov 26, 2013

Muchas gracias.

11:38PM PDT on May 11, 2013


11:43AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Orcas are happy and so beautiful!

4:30PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012


8:21PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Nice! The smart animals know how to have fun!

4:26PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012


3:37AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

this video just makes me want to be a cetacean even more!

3:35AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

"Killer whale" being a misnomer, yes, except for the trainer at Seaworld, who was killed by the Orca she knew very well! Wild animals remain unpredictable - heureusement!

5:59PM PDT on Jun 7, 2012


2:20PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Love em' all,, especially the cantaloupe which I eat 'every' morning for breakfast...

Almond milk ONLY if you make your own. What you buy at Whole Foods (or wherever) is mostly water an…

Noisy dogs do not a happy neighbourhood make.

You are what you eat, so there are good reasons to think about what you put in your mouth.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!