Shark Repellant Surf Gear: Friend or Faux?
Surfers and beachgoers alike have some of the same fears when entering the water, and the biggest of those is, you guessed it, sharks.
They’re a natural part of the environment we choose to spend time in, and at the end of the day, it is their house that were paddling in to. Living so close to New Smyrna Beach, the shark-bite capital of the world, we’re used to headlines sensationalizing another shark bite. Recently, there was a day where 3 people were bitten within hours of each other on the same beach (!!!), prompting officials to shut the beach down for a period of time. So, sharks are a very immediate reality to anyone going into the ocean, but not always a threat.
So, what can we do to keep them away, while keeping us AND the sharks safe?
Attending industry events like the Surf Expo, we saw some interesting options for shark repellant gear. From specialized items to strap to the bottom of your board that give off a sonic sound, to shark repellant wetsuits and board paint, to ankle straps, there was a lot to consider. They all tend to be a good chunk of change, ranging from about $100 to well over $500 and can be found online and in surf and scuba stores. The ones that came up with our research, and were mentioned in a surfer.com article from 2014 were the ESDS ankle strap and the Shark Shield kick pad attachment, along with Rpela, which attaches to the bottom of your board. We also found the Sharkbanz, which are interesting, as they are worn by the surfer, and not attached to a board system at all. All of them promise to do the same thing, repel sharks that are in your vicinity while you’re enjoying the surf.
Follow along over the next week while we talk about these different products and take a bite out of the juicy info!