A humpback whale mother and calf surprised surfers and onlookers Saturday when they caught a large set wave at the Banzai Pipeline and rode the swell long enough for J.T. Gray to capture the moment.
While it’s common for dolphins to ride waves, this is extremely rare behavior for a large whale species.
“The whales were 75 to 100 yards east of Pipeline and playing for a while, then swam to about 10 yards outside of the lineup,” said Gray, or North Shore Surf Photos. “A set came in and the bodyboarder, Guilhermetamega Tamega, caught the first wave, and the humpbacks caught the second.”
Gray added: “Whales frequent Hawaii in the winter months, but never that close to shore.”