The ultimate guide to shark repellents and deterrents

Surfers: an easy target for sharks | Photo: Shutterstock

Sharks are everywhere because their natural habitat is the oceans of the world. When we go surfing or swimming, we're entering their territory. But how can surfers enjoy their waves in shark-infested waters?

The shark repellent industry has grown a lot in the 21st century. Technology paved the way for the development of smart devices and gadgets that can keep sharks away from humans.

The market offers five main types of shark deterrents: magnetic repellents, electric repellents, sound repellents, semiochemical repellents, and visual repellents.

They reach the consumer market in the form of surf leashes, rubber bands, spray cans, and wetsuits. Some are more appropriate for surfers; others are more comfortable for divers and occasional swimmers.

Although shark repellents and shark deterrents will never be 100 percent effective, they will definitely provide you some peace of mind; especially if you surf the most popular spots in Florida, South Africa, California, and Australia, and other shark-infested beaches.

Surfers are an easy target for sharks. While surfers wait for the set wave, great white sharks, tiger sharks, and bull sharks prepare their assault.

Unfortunately for the surfing community and their families, many lives have been lost to the predator.

Culling sharks will never be the right answer to unprovoked attacks. But if a surf leash can save a surfer's life, why shouldn't we adopt them and improve them over time?

Although it is still impossible to deter a great white ambush attack, there are a few products and solutions which can dramatically increase the chances of not being killed by a shark while catching waves.

Shark repellents and shark deterrents: an effective weapon against the predator's attacks

Commercial Shark Repellents and Deterrents

SharkBanz 2 is one of the most popular shark repellents for surfers. It uses no batteries, chemicals, or electricity to stop the predator's attack. The technology relies on magnetic waves emitted by the band that disrupts the shark's electro-receptors.

Shark Shield developed a removable power module that is installed in a tail pad kicker. The Freedom+ Surf electrical shark deterrent system also includes a sticker-thin adhesive decal with antenna electrodes that must be applied to the bottom of the surfboard.

Modom Shark Leash is a surf leash that incorporates a magnetic technology that repels sharks. It doesn't lose its deterrent powers over time, and it requires no charging.

Anti Shark 100 is a repellent spray that keeps 15 species away from anyone who uses it. The eco-friendly product does not harm sharks or wildlife, and it does not affect fish. Once it is released, sharks won't get near for approximately 30-45 minutes.

NoShark is an electronic shark deterrent surf leash. It sends out a high voltage proprietary signal that short-circuits the gel in a shark's nose. It is rechargeable with an active life of approximately five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours.

SharkStopper emits an acoustic signal that repels sharks. The device automatically powers itself on in the water and works for four hours non-stop. It can be charged via USB or a power outlet.

Shark Shocker is an ankle or wrist band featuring a rare-earth neodymium-iron-boride magnet. When activated in the water, it emits a magnetic field that interferes with the shark's ampullae of Lorenzini.

Radiator Diverter is a wetsuit that, used in conjunction with a shark deterrent surfboard sticker, disrupts the shark's visual perception and presents the wetsuit user as potentially dangerous and not pleasant to taste.

Learn how to survive a shark attack. Discover the most shark-infested waters in the world.

Shark attacks: the market has plenty of shark repellents and deterrents | Photo: Shutterstock