Just when you thought it wasn’t safe to get in the water, new shark-repellent tech arrives


After shark attacks hit an all-time high in 2015, it’s no wonder the first shark deterrent surfboard strap hit the market this month.

Sharkbanz — based in Charleston, South Carolina — has teamed up with Modom Surf from Australia to turn into reality the fantasy shark-repellent Bat-spray used by Adam West in the original Batman TV series. The result is a bona fide shark-repellent surf leash that protects surfers without harming sea life.

“The Shark Leash offers all surfers added protection and peace of mind by incorporating our tech into equipment they more than likely already use in way that doesn’t impact performance,” said Sharkbanz co-founder Nathan Garrison, in a press release. “Surfers wearing it will hardly notice any difference from their standard leash, both in how it feels and how it looks.”

The ankle cuff contains Sharkbanz’s patented magnetic technology, which generates an electromagnetic field that obstructs a shark’s electrical sense. The shark then flees before it can lunge at the inspected surfer. That’s the claim, at least.

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“I surf some of the biggest waves in the world,” said renowned big-wave surfer Mark Mathews, in the same release. “It’s not the waves that worry me most, it’s what’s swimming around underneath me. The prospect of a shark attack is front-of-mind for most surfers, and anything that reduces the risk is invaluable. This thing’s going to be a game changer. Finally, there’s an easy-to-use, effective shark deterrent on the market.”

The discomfort the shark experiences is “similar to a person suddenly shining a very bright light in another person’s eyes in a dark room,” according to the company.

No batteries are needed for the leash, and it doesn’t require charging. The strap can also be replaced if it breaks.

Sharkleash_4_lo

The product was tested on ten common predatory sharks, including the Bull and Blacktip. Experts say it’s uncertain if the Shark Leash could thwart an attack from a Great White because that shark pounces from afar.

The company reminds consumers that the “Sharkbanz magnetic technology will reduce risk of shark interactions but there is no 100 percent guarantee that interactions will not take place.”

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