He became a surf champion after a shark attack | Inspiring

This surfer from South Africa lost his leg during a shark attack, but a year later he became a national surf champion. It’s most inspiring to see that the attack took so much away, but also gave something back. Watch his story here.


Surf Champion

Caleb Swanepoel lost his right leg during a violent shark attack in 2015, but the 21 year old is now the South African adaptive surf champion. Even more so, he will even travel to the US to compete in the World Adaptive Surfing Championships with the South African national team.

2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship

National championships held on five continents lead to the world championship from December 8-11 at La Jolla Shores Beach in California. Teams from France, Australia, Chile, Brazil, USA, Hawaii, and South Africa compete in this 2016 edition.

The divisions will be as follows:

  • two athletes AS-1 (Surfers that ride in a standing or kneeling position).
  • one athlete Upright (Surfers who ride a wave ski and sit in an upright position but propelled by a paddle).
  • one athlete Assist (Surfers who need assistance catching waves).
  • two athletes AS-2 (Surfers that ride in a standing or kneeling position).
  • one visually impaired athlete.
  • one athlete Prone (Surfers who ride lying down).

The event schedule will be as follows:

  • 7 December – ISA Adaptive Surfing Symposium.
  • 8 December – ISA Adaptive Surfing Clinic and Opening Ceremony.
  • 9 – 11 December– Competition.
  • 11 DecemberClosing Ceremony.


I don’t know if I’d consider Caleb lucky per se, but he hopes if he ever gets attacked again, it’s his right side and not his left. What a way to look at it. Other recent shark attack stories, include those on Mick Fanning and a man who saved himself in a rather unusual manner. We all get that creepy feeling every now and then, but hopefully we never have to experience something like this.

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