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Here’s the Wild Idea

Mike’s Wild Idea: To turn the shark attack where he lost his leg into a life mission. To also photograph sharks, help preserve marine wildlife, and to help other amputees and shark attack victims get active.

When he was 18, Mike Coots was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding in Hawaii. He survived, punching the shark numerous times in the face, but it took his right leg.

Today, Mike is a marine life advocate, a world-class photographer, a competitive surfer, and advocate for adaptive athletes. He is full of amazing stories, and shares many including one about how he tested, researched and designed his own prosthetic leg so he could standup surf. He also shares how he got into running, how he helps other shark attack victims and amputees get back in the water, and how he decides which projects to say yes to.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You’re a surfer or bodyboarder.
  • You’re passionate about preserving marine wildlife.
  • You love photography.
  • You or someone you know is an adaptive athlete.
  • You want to hear an awesome story.

Key Takeaways

  • 2:30 – How taking pictures of sharks has changed Mike’s perspective on them.
  • 4:20 – What stigmas Mike is trying to break about sharks.
  • 5:30 – Why Mike wanted to learn about sharks and got involved in conservation.
  • 8:55 – Why you should watch Shark Water.
  • 9:30 – How Mike got into scuba diving.
  • 10:20 – The challenge of standup surfing with one leg.
  • 12:00 – The evolution of prosthetics.
  • 16:00 – What happened when Mike got a prosthetic endorsement.
  • 17:30 – The challenges of being an amputee surfer.
  • 19:05 – Mike’s fitness training regime.
  • 20:55 – Some of Mike’s most memorable surfing moments.
  • 22:05 – The creative outlet of photography.
  • 24:05 – How Mike decides what projects to say yes to.
  • 25:00 – The most important things in Mike’s life right now.
  • 26:15 – Beach running.
  • 28:20 – Mike’s first dream where he had a prosthetic.
  • 29:40 – What routines Mike has.
  • 31:55 – Mike’s perfect party.
  • 33:30 – Why it’s ok to start small.

Connect with Mike



Sharkwater film
ISA Adaptive Games
PADI video
Dana Edmunds Photography

Awesome book Mike recommends gifting

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson



Wild Ideas Worth Living on Facebook
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Instagram
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Twitter

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