The surfing world is in mourning. Kalani David, a 24-year-old Hawaiian prodigy died on Saturday, September 17. That day, he was in Costa Rica to practice his passion when he suffered a heart attack and could not be revived. On social media, his friend, photographer Peter King explained: “Kalani passed away in Costa Rica today. He had a big meltdown while surfing. He had reconnected with his family here and was having a good time.” .
A tragic loss for the world of surfing but also that of skateboarding. Indeed, the native of Oahu had started practicing both sports at the age of 4 years. Particularly gifted, he won the ISA Junior Worlds in Panama in 2009, when he was only 14 years old. An exceptional performance, at the height of his talent.
Kalani David had Wolf Parkinson-White Syndrome
In 2016, Kalani David suffered a heart attack while skateboarding in Oceanside, California. After this scare, the sportsman revealed that he had taken tests and discovered that he had Wolf Parkinson-White syndrome. This congenital heart disease causes a deformation of the heart muscle which can lead to episodes of tachycardia and in rarer cases, heart attacks.
After suffering a second attack in January 2017, the Hawaiian made the decision to have open-heart surgery. An operation that unfortunately did not allow him to completely stop the seizures. Several months before her death, Kalani David said on Instagram: “With these seizures I keep having, my neurologist told me not to drive or surf until I stop having them. I mean, I could surf, but if I had one and wasn’t rescued in time, I would die or become a vegetable because I wouldn’t have enough air for my brain.” Only three months after these statements, the young surfing prodigy unfortunately succumbed to a crisis, while practicing his lifelong passion.
Kalani David © Instagram @kalanidavid