Most would agree that animals are not generally fans of surfing. Yeah, there’s the occasional one that seems to actually enjoy it, but for the most part, the animals that people put on surfboards look terrified. It’s no different for pigeons, at least judging by the images that Steve Young, a photographer from Jacksonville, snapped on Tuesday.
A guy named Cody Leutgens, who runs Surf City Surf School in North Carolina (follow them here!), was reaping the rewards of Hurricane Gert’s fury when he spotted a pigeon that was in a bit over his head. We’ll let him explain, because it’s much better that way. Here’s what he told WECT6:
“Paddling out near the pier, I spotted him struggling in the water, assuming a fishing line wrapped his wing. While paddling alongside the poles, an old, since-passed friend who had an affinity for wildlife and a knack for making the area a better place came to mind, so I felt compelled to inspect on his behalf. When I neared him, no lines were in sight and it seemed the bird was exhausted or maybe injured. He climbed aboard and rested a minute. I asked him if he was alright to go about his flight, but he didn’t respond. A wave loomed, and Pidge perched on the nose of my vessel. We stroked into the swell with ease and he held his composure for the drop. At max speed, he performed a little cheater feather hang five, then settled back until we went through the pier towards the beach. I carried him on our board to a piling bearing a mini tide pool and he scooted into the little salty bath for more rest. Seemed to like it, so I went back in the ocean. When I ended my session, he’d since left his zone. Halfway back, there was a cluster of pigeons, all but one of which fled as myself and a fellow surfer passed. I noticed his flustered feathers and knew it was Pidge, the wave carrier pigeon. As I kneeled and set my board on the sand, he came over and gave a little nod of retirement from his surf career, greeting his board one last time. All in all, a good sesh with a new homie. Me, the TI surf community, and the fella we lost some time ago would’ve all done the same for our surfing, flying comrade.”