It’s amazing how many surf gadgets and gimmicks have come and gone. And I’ll be the first to admit I totally have given in to the sales pitch from time to time. The Turbo Tunnel fin with the hole in it, the Wax Grater, the bottled “Special Surf Wax Remover” from Ron Jon’s…..Guilty.
The latest one making the circuit is SharkBanz, which is based on an idea that was shown on a video during Shark Week several years ago. I thought the people in the video were aiming to sell some type of anti-shark cage, they put a briefcase-sized piece of neodymium into a small tank and baited a couple of sharks in crystal clear water. The sharks did turn away, but they had to get CLOSE. With A LOT of magnet.
So, essentially, the SharkyBands idea is if you pick up some of those neodymium magnets from the craft store or the hardware store, encase them in some silicone, you can charge $65.00. That’s it.
The problem is that 5, 10, 40 SharkBanz aren’t enough to deter a hungry shark. If YOU hadn’t eaten in two days, and someone barely pinched YOU while you were reaching for that last piece of Meat Lovers’, would it stop you? Didn’t think so.
But, if you need piece of mind, here you go. For a heck of a lot less.
I picked up a package of neodymium magnets, some 1/4″ ID clear flexible tubing from the hardware store, and I already had a bit o’ leftover caulk from a bathtub recaulk recently.
So, I put the magnets in the tube sleeve, and sealed each end with a dab of caulk, so no water can intrude into where the magnets are.
Next, to make something that would be stretchy, waterproof, and could be attached to the magnet securely, I looked to my fad collection of those silly Rainbow Loom rubber band loom things. Confession day. Sad.
Since this is silly and stupid from the get-go, I’ll add a layer of crazy. I think it was around that same year that somebody found that sharks are fearful of poisonous sea snakes. That’s like the elephant and the mouse. So, the next gimmick was black and white striped wetsuits, surfboard stickers to cover the bottom your board, blah blah blah. So, I’ll use black and white rubber bands for this project to make snakey-poo.
I did a 5 pin fishtail on the Monster Tail loom (they’re cheap right now since the fad is kind of over- you could probably score one off a teenager in the family, or at a Goodwill. I used 8 white rubber bands, alternating with 6 black rubber bands. I made a length of about 10-11 inches to go around my ankle.
Since this design is like a tube, I can insert the little sealed case of magnets inside, like the “head” of the snake towards the end of the ankle bracelet.
I did a few more rubber bands to encase the magnets, then finished off the end, and attached it to the other end using one of those plastic loops that come with the bands.Time to test!
I went out, about 7:45 AM at the notorious Cocoa Beach Pier, at a spot that had a particularly active bait ball of fish popping up like water fireworks. Yay! Maybe there’s something out there. I am wearing my shark covered swimsuit, and I painted my toenails a nice metallic green. The anklet held up just fine for about 2 hours of surfing little waves, and even with a lot of fish movement around me, I didn’t even get bumped. Well, can I sell these now? It’s not EXACTLY like the other guy’s, it’s just more stupid. One data point should be ok. As long as you haven’t gotten attacked, it’s 100% effective. Was this on Shark Tank? Please tell me Mark Cuban laughed at this.
I was more interested in whether or not the caulk held up and kept the magnets dry, so I cut the anklet open, and gave it a good inspection. I only let the caulk cure for 24 hours, and it held ok.
The truth is, there’s sharks in the ocean. At least you hope there’s still some.