Shark attacks are a surfer’s worst fear and the only way to actually prevent them is to stay out of the ocean completely.
Since that’s not an option for most surfers, inventors are looking at ways to deter sharks.
There are some products on the market, like a wristwatch that sounds like a great white’s only predator, an orca whale, or a wetsuit that messes with a shark’s vision.
It has the approval of multiple university researchers, including Professor Shaun Collin, Director of the University of Western Australia Oceans Institute.
“During testing, Shark Shield successfully turned sharks away in nine out of ten times,” Collin said in a report.
The technology was developed in Australia and pro surfer Tom Carroll helped with the design. A version of the product has been available for eight years although the new FREEDOM+ Surf version is fully integrated into the surfboard.
It works by sending an electric current that deters sharks through a power module that is hidden in the board’s stomp pad.
An antenna sticker is put on the bottom of the board in line with the stringer to send the current throughout the surfer’s space. The older version had an antennae that trailed behind but Carroll worked with Shark Shield developers to streamline it.
The rechargeable battery lasts five to six hours.
The technology in the FREEDOM+ Surf won’t be available for purchase until July for $599.
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