Shark Shield, the once touted solution to our shark fears, leaves us further in doubt about our shark-resistant future. I posted a while back about a test of theirs that went as wrong as it could go when a female white shark swallowed the device whole! (post) In principle the Shark Shield is simple. Sharks use a very sensitive organ in their snout to detect minute electrical fields generated by their prey’s muscle movements conducted through the water (or in our case, the surfer’s muscle movements). Shark Shield emits an electrical field (conducted through the salt water) that would in theory startle and repel sharks. Reasonable thinking. [more after jump and a video on the device]
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I never really knew that as a surfer I would have such big transportation problems, well at least not until I saw these machines made by Gibbs Technologies. Suddenly, my Toyota 4Runner and Schwinn beach cruiser seem wildly inadequate compared to an amphibious 4×4 off road ATV and truck. This is some of the coolest gear I’ve ever seen! I don’t care if you can drive to pretty much every break in California. I’ll take the Humdinger up the coastal highway and drive it straight into the line-up at Malibu. Combine these with the James Bond surfboard and even North Korea’s hidden surf breaks are within striking distance. Watch these videos:
No one seemed to be crying for a collapsible surfboard, but engineers decided to preempt our interests and beat us to the punch. Nicholas Notara (huh?) designed the quirky, yet beautiful board, which will likely costs what you’d pay for five Merricks. The kit comes with 300 hundred or so pieces and takes about 8 weeks of your time and a physics degree to assemble. Once assembled you can commence to shred some distant exotic surf break.
The concept does have some merit. However, I was unable to find any info Googling “Nicholas Notara” and C2 Surfboards. The idea is hugely popular on tech blogs. That and a complete absence of Mr. Notara in anything having to do with surfboards make me wonder whether the project was an exercise in photoshopping rather than construction. I will give him credit that it looks pretty sick, very James Bondish. So next time you have to parachute into at night to surf a remote break, bring the C2 along.
We’ve all had shark fears in the water. For $645, the Shark Shield promised us a future of worry-free surf sessions and explorations of waves and coasts no one would consider surfing now. The term “Sharky” would be a term of the past. Well, don’t hold your breath.
Turns outs one of the Shark Shields was eaten whole by a female great white in testing off South Africa. Shark Shield Test
Who hasn’t had shark jitters in the water while surfing? I was surfing Manhattan Beach last September during an epic combo swell right after Labor Day where the water was warm and amazingly clear when a shark swm right underneath me. I saw the shape, looked down and it saw right below me, turned slowly around in front of me and swam back underneath me. It was at last 5 feet (it honestly looked a lot bigger than that, but no one would be believe if I told them that I bumped fins with an 8 or 10 ft white shark at Manhattan Beach). Needless to say, I paddled straight in. I shouted to the guy 20 yards away from me, who that I was a kook. As I looked back over my shoulder, I saw its dorsal fin above the water heading away from me. I never expected to see my first shark surfing in SoCal especially after surfing San Francisco and NorCal for 10 years!
I know I’ve got a list of spots I’d want to paddle out to, where would you surf if you could have a shark repelling device guaranteed to work?