Do you remember that heart stopping and disturbing sound track from the movie Jaws when a shark is ready to grab its prey? If you happen to be the last person in the water while surfing, unusual movements can cause a whole lot of paranoia especially if you’re on your own.
Thoughts like shark attacks can easily plague your mind and scare you away from the water. Something unimaginable could happen and others won’t even know about it!
These are just some of the fears that you can encounter when surfing, especially on a moon filled night when you suddenly remember sharks are mostly like to feed during the night hours.
Though the chances of a shark attack are one in a million, prevention is still the key. Surfboards that come in bright colors and those with reflective spots or stripes quite likely attract sharks, especially at night, when the animal’s vision is more contrast than color oriented. In general it is a good idea to steer clear of boards and accessories that could possibly attract unwanted predators.
Encountering a shark while surfing is one of the most terrifying experiences a surfer can have. Though these cases are extremely rare, fear that has been generated from past bad experiences is enough reason to cause alarm or even unwillingness to get back in the water for some surfers.
In order to alleviate your concerns, here are a few tips to help you avoid any possible shark attack:
Don’t surf at night or at dawn
These are the most common feeding and hunting times for these predators. The lack of visibility during the night can make them confuse you as their usual meal.
Watch out for warning signs
Check the local news and see if there have been warnings recently about shark sightings within the beach area that you’re planning to surf. Warning signs are sometimes posted along the area, so make sure to check first before venturing out.
Consult and inform life guards that you’ll be surfing so as to let them know somebody is still out there. Don’t ignore the warnings and avoid going to these places till it has been opened to the public.
Surf with buddies
Sharks tend to attack individuals on their own rather than those in groups so don’t go out surfing on your own, this is not just an issue concerning shark attacks but is also an issue involving your safety.
Unfortunate incidents like drowning are not predictable so it’s better to be safe now than sorry later.
Avoid wearing or using anything bright and flashy
Shiny jewelry and accessories can often be mistaken by sharks as fish scales, bright colored swim wear and flashy DIY surfboards can also be a cause for sharks to mistake you as their favorite meal.
Keep it simple when you’re surfing and go less, this will spare you from encountering any sharks along the way.
Stay away from the water if you’re bleeding
For women, it’s best to hold out on surfing if you’re menstruating. Sharks can smell blood from a mile distance and they can trace its source directly, making it dangerous to surf and swim.
If you get a cut while surfing, it’s best to paddle back to shore ASAP and take a rest rather than continue on surfing again.
Stay away from river mouths and channels
These areas are known as rich areas where a large number of fish flow out and travel into the ocean.
Consequently, this is also a popular feeding area for sharks. Avoid surfing in these areas at all cost. Surfing after a heavy rain can cause the water to turn murky, and the low visibility during this time is not ideal for surfers because sharks can easily mistake them for food.
Prevent any possible shark attacks by being observant of your environment, keep away from anything that can possibly attract a shark’s attention. Keep safe, watch out for sharks, and keep on surfing.