Ocean Guardian, Powered by Shark Shield Technology, gives me a lot more confidence, especially when surfing alone, or at a new spot. I find I still go out even when the risk factors are increased a bit…if there is a river mouth nearby, or if it is dusk. My surf buddy has just got one now too, after 6 months of surfing with me, because he doesn’t like the thought he is more attractive to shark when we go out.
The Ocean Guardian doesn’t affect my surfing. There are so many other factors that have more impact – the type of board I’m on, wave conditions, my own weight, level of fitness…all of these make a difference, whereas the Ocean Guardian is just a small extra weight on my board. I’m intermediate, so I can’t really tell the difference between having the Ocean Guardian and not.
I used to only use my Shark Shield in sharky areas, but after a mate was taken by a shark, I use it all the time now. It takes that little niggle out of the back of my mind, helps you relax and just surf.
I don’t really notice the Shark Shield, a bit in small waves under three feet when there’s not a lot of power, you can feel it a bit at the top of your turns, and it’s difficult to throw the tail. But if there is a bit of punch in the wave then no dramas. No effect in the tube either. When the waves are small I use an old thick twinny and you don’t feel any drag. Just keep surfing with it, after a half a dozen surfs, you wont notice it on your board and your surfing will be your focus.
I use a Shark Shield for peace of mind for myself and my family. I have four children with another on the way. My wife and my mother were both very concerned about me surfing with all the shark attacks and strongly encouraged me to get a Shark Shield. I don’t surf with it all the time. I use it when I’m surfing alone or days that seem “sharky” and overcast. I also use it early in the morning and at dusk.
I had heard the rumour that it attracts sharks, but I read up on that and I now understand why that’s a fallacy. I was also concerned that it might get in my way while surfing, but it absolutely does not. I simply do not notice it in the water. I don’t notice it surfing or paddling, which was a very pleasant surprise.
After 8 surfs with an Ocean Guardian, I am beginning to think it is worthwhile, despite the occasional electric shock. It is possible to turn it down, but that would also reduce the size of the electric field protecting you. The weight of the battery is noticeable, but you get used to it. The best thing about using Ocean Guardian, especially at a place renowned for shark attacks, is the feeling of being a lot safer than if you were not using one. You just feel more at ease knowing that an eventual attack would probably be averted or at least reduced in severity. Other advantages include surfing in conditions that you might not otherwise consider safe or else not worth the risk. And then there is the peace of mind you give to loved ones, who might be concerned for your safety, and a significant reduction in any guilt you might feel for risking your life just to go surfing. Seriously, what is the world coming to when you have to surf in an electric field just to feel safe?
As a dedicated surfer of 37 years I never really gave sharks a lot of thought, sure I am as tuned in to local conditions as possible. I spent many hours in the water at Cactus in the 1970’s to 1990’s experiencing no major shark issues, perhaps my Karma contributed to my good fortune?
At 55 years of age I now tend to think about sharks more, perhaps this is normal as we get older & closer to our expiry dates? I just like to thank Shark Shield for the SURF7, as it gives peace of mind surfing the Mid Coast & West Coast of South Australia. On those days of long lulls between sets & wave conditions being fairly random, I now feel less exposed wearing my Shark Shield SURF7.
I have several boards that are all fitted for the Shark Shield SURF7. Embracing change seems difficult for older crew, surfers especially seem slow to adopt something that potentially will save their lives & enhance their enjoyment in the water. I must admit it took a few sessions to get used to the Shark Shield SURF7, although the perceived encumbrance of the antennae did not occur. I now would not surf without one & thoroughly recommend all surfers to embrace the technology, if not for themselves but their wife’s/girlfriends & families.
Yesterday was my first confirmed encounter with a great white surfing. I have surfed around 15 sessions now with my SURF7 amidst several shark incidents on my stretch of coast near Ballina and Byron Bay Australia. Yesterday was my first confirmed encounter with a great white surfing with 3 others at flat rock Ballina, close to the site of last months attack and fatality. We all exited the water when one of our group raised the alarm. It reinforces my trust in your device as I can with certainty say that I have been circled by a very large one and it kept its distance allowing us to return to shore.