Surf Phenom Kalani David, 24, dies after suffering a seizure while surfing the waves

Surfing and skateboarding prodigy Kalani David, 24, died Saturday after suffering an epileptic seizure while surfing the waves in Costa Rica, according to multiple media reports.

David had a congenital heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which can trigger rapid heartbeat and seizures. Although he underwent heart surgery six years ago, David continued to play the sports he loved.

Born and raised in Oahu, David started surfing at a young age and skateboarding when he was just 4 years old. By the age of 14, David was already a top surfer and skateboarder. This was the year he won the gold medal at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Panama.

“Kalani was one of the most talented surfer/skateboarders on the planet,” Kelly Slater wrote. “Constantly pushing the boundaries every time he was on his feet. Condolences to the huge community of friends Kalani had from coast to coast and around the world.

David suffered his first seizure six years ago while skateboarding in Southern California. He shared on Instagram that he fell on his face and woke up in an ambulance. The episode briefly stopped his heart and triggered three more seizures in the hospital.

Months later, he had a seizure in bed for about six hours until friends found him. That’s when he underwent surgery to remove extra muscle from his heart.

Despite his health problems, David continued to surf and skate. He told Stab magazine after the operation that if he had to choose between surfing or skateboarding – or death – he would choose death.

Fans and colleagues took to social media to share tributes to David:


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