tandup paddleboarding has become a beach vacation mainstay. It’s a good workout, yet leisurely enough to fit right in with relaxing shoreside vibes. Even with the occasional tumble from a rough wave, it’s generally not a contact sport.
One paddleboarder in Australia learned that this chill activity can turn into a high-impact one in an instant. Andrew Hill was recently paddling around Gracetown, when he was suddenly taken out by a dolphin. The animal jumped out of the sea and slammed directly into Hill!
Who knew Flipper could be so flippant? Thanks to photographer Lucas Englert, who captured and shared photographic evidence of the surprising encounter on Instagram, we now know.
In the caption, Englert compared Hill to a crash-test dummy as the dolphin deftly dumped him into the ocean. One moment he’s paddling peacefully across the water, and one split-second later he’s tumbling under the surf.
Check out the viral video below.
Hill was heading away from shore toward a pod of dolphins who were surfing a wave. You can see the dolphins zooming under the surface of the water as Hill approaches. He later speculated they were herding fish and he simply got in the way. Or, maybe the dolphin was going for a fin high-five and underestimated his strength.
“Hat off to him, he collected me really well,” Hill told Australia’s 7 News Sydney.
Whatever the dolphin’s motivation, we can all enjoy the video knowing that Hill is safe and sound. The crash looked brutal, but he popped up with no injuries and compared the slam to a legal rugby tackle. Though he may have sustained a dolphin-sized dent to his ego, Hill looked healthy as he chatted about the Flipper fly-by with the news station.
“The lesson here, do not get in the way of a hungry dolphin,” the anchor from 7 News Sydney concluded.