Surfing prodigy Kalani David, 24, dead after suffering seizure while riding wave

Surfing prodigy Kalani David has died at the age of 24 after suffering a seizure whilst riding a wave.

The American former junior world champion died on Saturday in Costa Rica, according to local reports, via, leaving the surfing community in mourning. David, who suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, had suffered multiple seizures in the past prior to having a muscle growth in his heart, which was believed to be causing them, removed in 2017.

His friend and extreme sports photographer Peter King paid tribute on Instagram by writing: “Oh man. Love you Kalani. Only God knows His timing. Life isn’t easy. Always battling. Always Learning. Heartbreaking News.

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“He had reconnected with family there and was having such a great time. I’ll always remember your stoke when we’d shoot, skate (and) surf and how much hope you had for your future. God bless the family and extended family that were always there for you.”

David also competed professionally in skateboarding and had suffered a seizure at a California skatepark in 2016 which caused him to fall heavily.

Later that same year, a six-hour long episode almost ended his life at his home in Oahu, Hawaii before he underwent surgery the following year.

Since news of his passing broke, tributes have flooded in from the community, with Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning posting on Instagram: “Far out, that's heartbreaking. He was a great kid. That’s really sad.

"I remember him coming round to our Red Bull house in Hawaii as a 12-year-old and I was cooking a barbecue. Gave him some food and he automatically did the dishes without having to ask, but was classic at that age.

“He’d come check in most nights to see what was on for dinner, hoping it was another barbecue — haha always enjoyed chatting to him.”

Meanwhile, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater added: “Kalani was one of the most talented ever surfer/skaters on Earth, constantly pushing the limits every time he was on his feet. Condolences to the huge community of friends Kalani had coast to coast and across the globe.”


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