Shark Attack Proof Surfboards Move Closer to a Reality

Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electronic shark deterrent, has launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to fund the final development of the world’s first inbuilt surfboard shark deterrent.

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Shark Shield Surfboard Innovation - Main Image

New shark deterrent for surfing will revolutionize the surfing industry and is the first major innovation in surfing since the Simon Anderson Thruster and removable fins from FCS.

(PRWEB) November 04, 2013

The manufacturer of Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electronic shark deterrent, has launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to fund the final development of the world’s first inbuilt surfboard shark deterrent.

The International Shark Attack File claims the number of worldwide unprovoked shark attacks has grown since 1900, with each decade having more than the previous.

Surfers are often on the wrong end of this statistic, the most recent incident reported on Yahoo News on 26th October 2013 when a surfer lost his leg in a shark attack off Reunion Island. There have been 12 shark attacks in Reunion Island, five deadly.

Reunion Island is not alone with shark attacks this year in Hawaii, California, Florida and Australian where earlier this year, surfer Ben Linden lost his life to a shark attack.

Lindsay Lyon, Shark Shield’s chairman and himself a keen surfer, explained: “An electronic shark deterrent consists of two electrodes that use the salt water as a conductor between the two, creating an electrical field that deters sharks. Off the success of our SURF7 product, we have now designed a solution that can be broadly adopted across all surfboards, including short boards and performance boards.”

Not only will the new deterrent protect the surfer, but multiple surfers will create a virtual electronic shark barrier. The surfers will appear like an electronic mine field to sharks so all beach goers will benefit from this innovation.

Mr Lyon added: “Shark Shields’ new surfboard shark deterrent will have no impact on current surfboard manufacturing or the shaping design processes, and zero to minimal impact on surfboard performance.”

He said the patented innovation leveraged the surfboards fins as electrodes, and used the fin plug systems to electrically connect the electrodes (fins) to the power source mounted in the kicker of surfboards grip pad. “Like all good inventions it's design and implementation is simple,” Mr Lyon said.

The miniaturised electronics, weighing less than 150gms with a user-replaceable four-hour battery life, will clip in and out of the grip pad kicker so surfers can easily move the device between boards. The fins can also be moved between boards in the same fashion as today. The company aims to support both FCS and Futures plug systems.

The company expects the new product to be shipping in late 2014 with a retail price of between US$499 and US$599. It is offering surfers and surf retailers a generous 50 per cent discount off the new product and existing products through its crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.

“It’s a win-win for our customers and Shark Shield,” said Mr Lyon. “Our customers help us fund the final product development and we give them a world-first product at half price.”

“Even if you don’t surf, the discounted products make a great Christmas gift.”

Mr Lyon added that the company’s new surfboard shark deterrent will revolutionise the surfing industry and was the first major innovation in surfing since the Simon Anderson Thruster and removable fins from FCS. “Everyone will again be able to confidently surf any break without the intimidation or fear of sharks,” he said.

All chondrichthyes — sharks, rays, skates and chimeras — possess ampulla receptors in their snouts that are used to find food, communicate and find a mate.

An electronic shark deterrent consists of two electrodes that use salt water as a conductor between the two, creating an electrical field that deters sharks. It is the electromagnetic field between two electrodes that disturbs these receptors with what has been described as a “lightning fast pain of whale-like proportions”.

These receptors are tuned to low-frequency fields and only operate when in close proximity with food — or a surfer. Mr Lyon said the claim that electronic shark deterrents attracted sharks was “a complete myth”.

“The ampulla receptors maximum sensing distance is well under a metre, and as electrical currents between two localised electrodes simply cannot travel any distance through water, it’s an impossibility that would defy the laws of physics and biology,” he explained.

In October, Shark Shield released compelling research video that showed Shark Shields being tested off the coast of South Africa using towed seal decoys — a test that closely resembled a shark attacking a moving surfboard.

When the Shark Shield was turned off, there were 16 breaches and 27 surface interactions. When turned on, there were no breaches and only two at-surface interactions, clearly demonstrating the efficacy of the Shark Shield deterrents.

“We hope that the world’s surfing community gets behind the campaign to help us bring this new innovation to market,” Mr Lyon said. “There is no doubt that we make the ocean a safer place for all to enjoy without harming the environment.”

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About Shark Shield

Shark Shield is the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electronic shark deterrent. The Shark Shield SURF7 is a personal safety device which provides peace of mind to enjoy ocean sports, such as surfing and stand-up paddle boarding, while supporting the conservation of sharks.


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Attachments

Shark Shield SURF7 Paddling Shark Shield SURF7 Paddling

Picture showing person paddling with existing SURF7 and trailing antenna


Shark Shield SURF7 - Mounted on surfboard Shark Shield SURF7 - Mounted on surfboard

The current SURF7 product mounted on a surfboard


Shark Shield SURF7 - Estimated Electrical Field Shark Shield SURF7 - Estimated Electrical Field

Diagram of the estimated eField for the SURF7 by South African National Space Agency


Shark Shield Surfboard Innovation - Main Image Shark Shield Surfboard Innovation - Main Image

Shark Shield mounted in grip pad with fins as electrodes