John Hastings -Surfer
Having used the Shark Shield whilst surfing for some time now, my opinion on the unit is as follows.
- Importantly, Shark Shield doesn”t impede on my surfing action.
- The Shark Shield is portable and doesn”t make much longer to set up than attaching a normal leg rope to the board.
- The Shark Shield is easily cleaned after a surf.
- My family and wife never liked the idea of me surfing alone on the west coast before, but now they are all comfortable with it.
- Mainly, the Shark Shield lets me feel comfortable and relaxed while I”m out surfing, especially since the shark sightings are becoming more frequent.
- In essence, once one of the local lads at Elliston got taken, most of my friends gave up. I found out about the Shark Shield and haven”t been more comfortable since wearing the unit.
- After only 3 months use of the Shark Shield, I am reluctant to go surfing without it.
Whenever I go out, the guys know I”m wearing a shark repellent and all hang around me like flies.
Hoppy – Surfer (Cactus Beach, South Australia)
Just returned from 10 days surfing at Point Sinclair using one of your units. I found it gave me much more confidence in the water and enabled me to relax and not spend all my time looking over my shoulder after 2 close encounters here last year. Only complaints being a fairly short legged person I found the unit to be a touch long on my lower leg and a touch restrictive when paddling and riding smaller waves [not often a problem at this spot].
I am all round won over by your product and noticed my mates though at first a little sceptical sat a damn lot closer to me than usual [maybe another complaint]. Anyway thanks for the peace of mind, extended surf time and enabling me to recapture my passion for the surf. Keep up the good work. Cheers Hoppy.
Peter Jones, Surfer, South Africa
By June 2008 there had been a number of shark sightings at our local `extremely remote` surf spot deep in the Transkei home land on the East Coast of South Africa. On a number of week ends prior to this, the guys had been `chased` out of the water by some very large `men in grey suites`. On this particular week end the waves were exceptionally good.During my second surf, while surfing with Andre Malherbe one of our top surfers in the country – ( just the two of us out ). I had my well used trusty 7 hr Surf Unit attached to my board. As usual for this spot. Andre does not wear a unit. I tuned to paddle for a wave, Andre was slightly further out and thus had a better view of any movement in the water. I was focused on taking off on the steepest part of the wave, when I heard Andre`s panicked scream “shark,shark”. He didn’t` want to duck dive as he may actually have hit the shark. I let the wave go by and totally `un panicked` asked him what the problem was. He replied “Fxxxk didn’t` you see the shark”, as he hastily paddled towards me. “NO “, I replied, “What happened? “. He replied that the shark was moving in the wave, a few meters from him but heading towards me at a mean speed, as it got extremely close to me it just, cart wheeled backwards. I would like to think that this was when it was in `the shark shield` zone. I asked Andre what he wanted me to do. His response was “fxxxk, just come and sit here next to me and to allow me to take the next wave”, which he scurried into and went in over the rocks. I on the other hand was still feeling pretty stoked about the waves and started paddling out when about 4 different groups of people on the bank started screaming “shark”. Well, reluctantly I got out of the water. To surf another day.
About 2 years ago now, I sold a Unit to Darryl Staples a surfer from the well known St Francis area ( of Bruces Beauties Fame ). Darryl was on a trip to Mozambique with his two sons. One of his first questions to me was, “do I think it would be ok if just one guy in the water had a unit on. My response was, “well you could debate that one at length as the guy on the inside might get bitten, while the guy with the shark shield is way on the outside, so in my opinion it would be better to have one rather than not have one”. I sold him an F2 and off he went. Two months later at a contest in P.A. I bumped into Darryl and asked him about his trip. this is what he had to say. “We had had a few waves further South, and then moved up to the Pemba area. One day while out with my two boys this big Zambi popped up and made for one of my sons luckily I was close enough and managed to get there first. The Zambi disappeared and we never saw the shark again. Darryl was wearing the Freedom 2 at the time.
Tony Grogan, Technical Diver, USA
In the midst of a cloud of fish and blood I put the second grouper on the stringer. I am determined not to let these bulls have their way as they rush in trying to get to the fish during my slow ascent from 130 feet all the way up to the surface. As they charge in, I am glad that I have my Shark Shield turned on. This wonderful invention puts a protective electrical field around me that shocks the sensory receptors called Ampullae of Lorenzini in the shark”s snout. I love wearing the Shark Shield while spearfishing because it helps turn sharks away and causes them to think twice before accidentally or intentionally biting me.
The best version of the Shark Shield for spearfishing, in my opinion, is the Freedom 2 or 4 unit. The electronics and battery are in a neoprene pouch that is strapped to your calf. From this pouch extends a seven foot long tether antenna containing two electrodes, which trails unobtrusively behind the diver. I like this unit because it is easy to take on and off between dives and there is no interference with your kicking, you tend to almost forget it is there. The manufacturer says Freedom 4 is fast becoming the most popular unit for those who dive. Freedom 2 has a 2 hour battery pack, whereas the Freedom 4 has a 4 hour battery. I was an early adopter of this technology, having used it now for almost two years. I usually leave the Shark Shield turned off until I spear a fish, unless I already see sharks or the visibility is low. The Shark Shield can shock you and your fellow divers if the tether antenna is touched, but the tingle is not a bad shock.
The electric pulse the Shark Shield puts out every half-second only affects sharks, rays and skates. Other fish and marine creatures are not disturbed. It does not scare away the fish we are seeking to spear and it does not attract sharks to you. The effective protective range in my observations starts about ten to fifteen feet away as the shark approaches. His initial discomfort increases as he gets closer until it becomes intolerable. The shark then veers away. The bottom line is that this is a great product that works well. I will not leave home without it. The Shark Shield is the best solution for spearfishing with sharks on the market today.
Tim Thomas – Spear Fisherman (Queensland, Australia)
Having just come off a boat, after 2 weeks spearfishing in the Coral Sea, I can say that the Shark Shield served me well. Many times I had half a dozen white tips after my fish and they couldn”t get close. One time I turned my shark shield off, burlied up, put my fish on a Bombie and then let the sharks come in numbers to get a smell. I then turned my shield on and as much as they were very determined, it was like they were getting punched in the head by a invisible fist. Felt good to have something like that on my leg. For me the shark shield worked even before I was in the water. Originally I was stuck between my love of the ocean and the fear of sharks. The Shark Shield gave me the Confidence to get water and I see for myself that this beautiful environment doesn”t warrant fear, only respect.
As a Free-diver and Spearfisherman, I am very careful selecting new gear as I am sensitive to any adjustments. The General Purpose Shark Shield unit made me a little unsure. In the water swimming with it, I was aware of it for the first 10-15 minutes. However, after some adjustments in my kicking I felt little difference. I deliberately dragged the General Purpose unit through stag-horn coral, caves and most every rough surface to see if it would get caught up, and in the last six months of regular diving I”ve had to reach back and unhook it twice. Its only 2m long.
Sure I notice it being there, its about the same drag as like a large knife on your leg. However, on the rare occasion when the men in grey suits turn up (sharks), I thank God its on there.
My thoughts on wearing the Shark Shield are similar to driving a car, “Why wait for a car crash to put your seat belt on?”
Pat Johnson – Spear Fisherman (Virginia, USA)
On 9th August 04 I was freediving a wreck off the coast of Hatteras, NC and I had speared a wahoo. After the fish’s second run I began to pull my line in and noticed the fish was being eaten by a large barracuda. I was disappointed needless to say, but what happened next was amazing. Two of my dive buddies were nearby and we saw a large bull shark coming straight up off the bottom at top speed toward the speared remains of the wahoo.
When the bull got in range of the shark shield he immediately stopped, almost as if he hit a wall, and returned to the bottom as fast as he had come up for the wahoo. Awesome! If the shield stopped a charging bull shark on its way to a ‘fish on a stick’ then this product really works well.
Chris Shellabear – Spearfishing (Nedlands, Western Australia)
Thanks for your product. I was asked to dive with a long standing dive partner of mine who was taking his boat around Australia. I spent nearly a week diving at the Muiron Islands north of Exmouth. On the one day I had 2 encounters, one whilst holding a fish speared for dinner that my friend was keen to photograph. We were in about 5M of water and there was a gully behind me. As I faced the camera and the shot was taken, my friend lurched back for some reason – he later told me when we surfaced that I had been charged by a Bull Shark that broke its attack 2-3 metres behind me. My initial thoughts were that I was lucky, till I remembered I was wearing the Shark Shield.
Later in the day I was diving down without a tank. Whilst retrieving a fish that had fallen off a spear, I came into a collision with another Bull Shark chasing the same fish – needless to say it broke off the charge again. So your product works!! And might I say it was easy to use, in fact I was not overly aware of its presence even though the sharks were! I have friends that swim with the shark shield and others who use it at my surf club on their surf skis, so it obviously brings others peace of mind as well.
So more power to you and good luck with Shark Shield.
Bob Hurwitz, Spearfishing, California, USA
We were on our way to Wakaya in Fiji, where there are countless sharks, including a resident hammerhead that everyone claims is 18 feet by direct measurement, tigers, bronze whalers, and reef sharks that were among the largest I have ever seen.
When my friend started opening his mouth about all the giant sharks in the waters before the trip my wife insisted I bring my old, and never used, Shark Pod for my son. As far as MY safety was concerned she was OK with me swimming around with a pork chop tied to my leg. I decided to buy a couple of those new Shark Shields that Mark Labocetta brought up on the list and once my buddy saw how small and simple they were he had me buy one for him.
The Shark Shield was interesting. I didn”t use it on my body until the last few days on Wakaya as I hadn”t seen any of the vaunted maneaters I had heard about, just numerous big reefies smaller bronze whalers, and the visibility was good enough that I felt I would see something coming in. However, it definitely works and I would use it without hesitation in murky water or on some of those crazy trips the hardcore guys go on to Guadalupe or wherever. On Vomo I attached it to my float where my stringer was, and in a virtual first, didn”t lose a fish on a 3 hour dive. Normally, trailing your fish on a stringer 75 feet behind you is like ringing the lunch bell.
There were sharks on every dive so it was easy to test. I actually speared a fish and held it out and waved it around. I couldn’t get a shark near me. They would come in and veer away. Same thing when I didn’t have the fish. Usually I can dive down and jab them with my gun to get them away but with the shield I couldn”t get close enough to do it. It was like they hit an invisible wall that not only stops them but irritates them. For blue water diving, where you can have some monster sharks coming out from any direction, particularly the often observed behavior of tiger sharks just stealthily appearing at your fin tips, I would call the shield a no brainer. Same thing for the Florida guys who dive murky water with those bull sharks. In Northern California, SouthAfrica, Australia and other areas where great whites are prevalent and water visibility is marginal it would make for more relaxed diving.
As I am often diving in remote parts of the world, I am grateful for, and enthusiastically support, products such as the Shark Shield that are so well designed and effective – especially for freedivers who are trying to minimize bulk and stay streamlined.
Adam “Trout” Traubman, Kayak Fisherman, Hawaii, USA
Aloha, Paul. I just wanted to touch base and thank you again for the Shark Shield. Your timing was impeccable, and I’ll expand on that later. I’d like to first clarify that sharks are obviously not looking to intentionally hurt human beings. They are highly misunderstood and often times punished for following their innate urge to feed on what it thinks it sees as edible, even though it may be a mistake (ie, shark hunt following an attack on a human). But when I am on the water and no longer atop the food chain, I can’t help but feel a little vulnerable… and rightfully so. With a wife and two kids and a third on the way, I promised them I’d try to minimize my risk-ridden hobbies, including kayak fishing and surfing “populated areas.” In the past, I have had run-ins with sharks in Mexico, California, and here in Hawaii. I would prefer to go out on my own terms, if you know what I mean!
Rewind to several weeks ago, I was relieved when I saw the FedEx driver pull up with the package you sent. I was preparing my gear for the following morning, where one of my close kayak fishing buddies and I were to be filmed for a fishing TV show. While there are sharks virtually everywhere in Hawaii, the secret spot we would be visiting was sharkier than the average fishery due to strong currents, prolific ledges/drop-offs, and an abundance of bait fish.
After several hours of good kayak fishing (ono, mahi mahi, kawakawa, uku, etc.), my buddy spotted two sharks below his kayak. The film boat moved up on him and one of the crew kept the bang stick close by. I saw another one off of my bow, and made sure my baits were out of the water and in the tank well. The shark was out of sight, but I still felt its presence. I calmly deployed the Shark Shield and in a fraction of a second there was a huge explosion about 25 feet away on the surface where a shark had slashed and spun around. It was gone and never came back (as far as I know, of course). I left the unit on and we didn’t see anything for the rest of the day, other than the fish we boated.
Can I live without a Shark Shield? Probably. Do I want to risk it when the situation could easily be avoided by using a Shark Shield? Definitely not.
David Incher – Kayaker
The unit is well designed. Installing the pad on the board, charging and fixing the Sharkshield to the pad was relatively simple. The big advantage of the Shark Shield unit is the peace of mind it gives. Having used the unit about a dozen times, i have found that i am much more comfortable going surfing by myself or in ‘sharky’ locations/times of the day. If i am unsure which board to ride i go for the board with the sharkshield attached (I am buying new pads for my other boards).
I had previously heard the argument that, as Sharkshield repels sharks, it may also repel other more desirable marine creatures such as dolphins. Nothing could be further from the truth as i had an amazing ride with a dolphin only inches from my board, mirroring my every turn and cutback for about 50 meters!