He has always felt safe around them in the water, but one Margaret River surfer will never look at dolphins the same way again after a close encounter left him with a broken arm.
Troy Robinson said he was surfing at Ellensbrook when he found himself surrounded by about 30 dolphins.
"It was amazing, they were so close," he told the Augusta-Margaret River Mail.
But as the water got foamy and a group of them began coming towards him on a wave, Troy realised he might be in trouble.
"Next minute, I ducked, dived under and it was like a torpedo hit me," he said.
"I think [a dolphin went to jump] and it came up under me."
He described the dolphin as about 6ft long and "solid".
"It put a hole in my board and you can see where it scraped its nose along it."
His left arm also took a beating, snapping one of the major bones. With one completely useless arm, Troy resurfaced and paddled himself to shore with his good arm.
He drove to Bunbury Hospital where he stayed overnight and had surgery to reconstruct the bone with a metal plate.
He said while it was almost unheard of, he had learned of two similar cases in the state since; one man has broken ribs from a dolphin swimming into him and another was injured when a dolphin landed on his legs.
"Maybe it's mating season or something but they seem to be really hyped up," Troy said.
Read more:Augusta-Margaret River Mail