Stab Magazine | Hawaiian Prodigy Kalani David “Grateful To Be Alive”

Hawaiian Prodigy Kalani David “Grateful To Be Alive”

Four seizures and a stopped heart nearly kills the surf, skate cross-over star.

news // Aug 30, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hawaiian surf and skate prodigy, Kalani David is “grateful to be alive” after a seizure caused his heart to stop beating, before triggering three more seizures. The world-class skater and surfer had just completed a run at Oceanside skate park when the first seizure took hold. He had just enough time to tell a friend he didn’t feel well before he “fell on his face” and started convulsing. He awoke in the back of the ambulance before suffering three more seizures in hospital. 

“I was skating with @max_jenson @tonechapo @travisrivera and all of a sudden I went into a seizure, fell on my face and woke up in an ambulance also my heart stopped. I had 3 seizures after that when I got to the hospital. So grateful to be alive!” he wrote on Instagram. 

Kalani told Surfing Magazine the seizures were likely the result of Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome, in which “there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart (that) can lead to periods of rapid heart rate.”

The condition causes an extra muscle to form on the heart which speeds the heart up to a hazardous rate. Kalani will have surgery to have the muscle removed in the coming days and the condition will keep him out of the water for a while given the obvious danger a seizure and loss of consciousness poses in the ocean.

At 14-years-old Kalani was a skating prodigy, finding himself ranked above Bob Burnquist and Bucky Lasek on the Dew Tour’s Bowl Series. That same year he travelled to Bali to compete in the World Junior Championships at Keramas, which is where I met him. He was one of the form surfers of the contest, throwing down huge aerial manouvers on his way to a fourth round loss to current World Tour surfer, Conner Coffin (ranked 24th). Asked about the decision to pursue skating or surfing as a career he’d told me: “If it was life or death, and I had to choose skating or surfing, I’d choose death.”

Four years later he is still one of the most captivating cross-over talents in action sports. Stab wishes him the best on his recovery.


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