Anti-Shark Attack Hack

Just to preface this, if you are in between a juicy bait ball and a starved shark, a well timed punch between the shark’s eyes is the best defense. 

Having said that, there are a lot of gimmicks out there claiming to prevent a shark from attacking in the first place. A lot of pricey gimmicks, of course.

They spent A LOT of money, yo

 
There are SharkBanz, shark deterrent wetsuits, and shark repellent stickers to cover the bottom of your surfboard. While I’m not exactly impressed with the small neodymium magnets that so many surfers have been buying for $50+, I’ll actually admit that there may be something to the notion of a shark’s avoidance of poisonous sea snakes. At least enough for the shark to take avoidance measures over prey. Somewhat.
A shark’s vision isn’t the sharpest, so high contrast objects get the most attention- they’re easier to discern. Sea snakes are very poisonous to sharks, and have distinctively high contrast (black and white striped). 

Typical sea snake, unloved by sharks….

 

Since objects are usually spotted by a shark from below, rather deep in the water column, I figured the best place to put my “sea snake” would be within the back 1/3 area of my surfboard on the bottom. This area is usually somewhat parallel with the ocean floor whether I’m sitting, paddling, or surfing on my board, so it would be the prime location. If a shark looks upward, the “snake” would be visible from below. Or so the theory goes.
I used plain bright white and black duct tape for this project. This combo ensures optimal contrast, especially when waters can become murky at times.

I placed my duct tape supplies about where I was going to tape across

I put the white duct tape down first, then the little black cut strips of tape on top

Look at that shark SWIM AWAY! Wow!

I dig it with the Core Surf octopus sticker! Extra scary to any shark!

 

Hey, I don’t warranty ANY of this, yo. If you honestly want to believe any of these gimmicks are going to work 100% of the time, well….bless your heart….

He’s buying it

DIY Shark Repellent Band (*Results May Vary)

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.

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SharkBanz. Not for timekeeping.

Discovery Channel Video Showing Sharks and Magnets

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.

imageI 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.

 

Both ends sealed.


 

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.

imageSince 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.

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Ooooooh. Sooooo scared. Not.


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 imagelength 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.

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“It looks so….real…ly creative.”

Time to test!

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I went out, about 7:45 AM at the notorious Cocoa Beach Pier, at a spot that had a imageparticularly 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 imagebumped. 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.

Woo Hoo!

The truth is, there’s sharks in the ocean. At least you hope there’s still some.

I’m gonna eat ya….