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Surfing swans put on a wave-riding clinic on Australia’s Gold Coast

Four of the large birds surprise beachgoers at Kirra by dropping into the surf, and showing remarkable style and poise

Image of surfing swans is courtesy of NBN News

Image of surfing swans is courtesy of NBN News

Mention black swans to anyone on Australia’s Gold Coast and surfing will likely come to mind.

That’s because four black swans on Friday dropped into the lineup at a surf spot off Kirra, a Queensland suburb, and began to ride waves with remarkable style and poise. You could say they were ripping.

The rare event was videotaped and generated local headlines.

“We’ve seen Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater [out here], but not four black swans,” Kelvin Mills, a Kirra local, says in the News 9 video posted above, referring to pro surfers who are currently in Hawaii vying for the world title.

(NBN News also has video footage of the surfing swans.)

Mills had never seen black swans, let alone surfing swans. And what makes this footage so unusual is that the birds were not merely swept up by waves. They were actually riding the surf, seemingly for fun.

The first swan in the clip catches a wave to shore, oblivious to wading humand. It then paddles back out, using its wings to get over oncoming waves, instead of duck-diving beneath the waves the way surefers do.

The three other swans then drop in at once and ride the “party wave” together.

Dolphins do this fairly regularly, and killer whales have been seen riding waves. But swans? This could be a first.

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