If you ever saw any movies about the ocean or sea creatures, you know that there are some very real dangers lurking out there. Whether you’re into surfing or scuba diving, sharks are a threat to any watersport enthusiast. While it’s best never to encounter one, wearing a device like a shark repellent might help you deter it if your paths cross.
Sharks do not kill many people each year but, if you let a shark get near you, you are in real danger. The best shark repellents use different stimuli (electric, magnetic, sound or smell) to drive sharks away and keep you safe in the water.
We have looked at the top rated shark repellents, so you do not have to. Our list consists of 4 best shark deterrents, tested to work. Be sure to also check out the buying guide and learn more about repellents and how to avoid sharks altogether.
How To Choose A Shark Repellent – Buying Guide
Types Of Shark Repellents
There are four main varieties of shark repellents on the market: electrical, magnetic, acoustic, and scent-based. Each of them works in a different way, but each of them has proved to be effective.
Electrical shark repellents work by sending out an electrical signal which overwhelms the shark. These currents do not interfere with computers and other electrical devices. Electrical deterrents are new on the market and testing is ongoing but anyone who wears it in the water swears by it.
Magnetic repellents were developed after a scientist noticed the effect magnets had on sharks in a large tank. The magnetic field has a similar effect as an electrical field, and sharks will often turn and flee in its presence. Magnetic devices are cheaper than electronic devices, but the field they produce is not quite as strong.
They work well for small sharks but, as a great white shark repellent, you may need to use more than one shark repellent bracelet or choose an electrical device.
Acoustic devices are the newest on the market and are still under research. The device emits the sound of Orca whales, which helps drive away sharks. We would recommend waiting until more research has been conducted before investing in one of these devices.
Smell-based repellents (semiochemicals) are the cheapest repellents you can buy. They also don’t require batteries or any other equipment. They emit a scent which is harmless to humans but repels sharks. If sharks pick up the scent, they will try to get away from it. The only problem with these repellents is that the smell will run out after a certain time, and you will need to buy a new one or a refill.
Top 15 Tips To Avoid Shark Attacks
1. Take a buddy
Sharks prefer to attack people who are swimming alone, instead of those who are swimming in groups or even with a friend. If you want to be safer, make sure you go diving with a group of people. To reduce the chance of running into a shark, take a buddy with you and stay close to them in the water. You should designate one person in the group to be on the lookout while the others dive, and then you can switch roles.
2. See where you are swimming
Sharks are hunters of the ocean but, if you can see them coming, you have a better chance of avoiding them or swimming into them accidentally. If you are swimming in dark, deeper murky waters, then you may not see a shark coming or you may get too close without noticing. The same is true for the shark. They may mistake you for a piece of food because they cannot quite see what you are until it is too late.
3. No swimming at dusk, nighttime, and dawn
When do sharks love to swim? That’s right, at the times when its prey is sleeping. When the sun starts to go down, many sea creatures turn in for the night. Do you know which animal does not turn in for the night? Yes, that’s right, the shark. If you are swimming in the hours when the sun is going down or has not yet come up, you have a bigger risk of running into a shark.
4. Sharks love blood
If you have an open wound or blood of any kind on you, you should be careful about entering the water. While the suggestion that sharks can smell human blood from up to a mile away isn’t true, they can smell and taste blood in the water. If they get close enough to smell or taste your blood, you could become a target. If you have a wound, clean it up as best you can and pay attention to the other points on the list too. You can swim with a wound, but you are at a higher risk of a shark attack. If you are menstruating, you should be careful too.
5. Avoid shiny objects
You do not want to look like Mr. T. in the water. If you have copious amounts of gold chains around your neck, you should probably take them off before swimming (it will be more comfortable to do so too). If you have seen the crab from Moana, then you know how dangerous shiny objects can be in the water. To a shark, the reflections of light look like the reflections of fish scales, and if you look like a fish, then you know what that means.
6. Give it time after a storm clears
During heavy rains or storms, fish are sometimes displaced from their natural habitat and end up swimming in areas where they would not normally be. I think you can guess which areas this would be. Yes, the same areas you will be swimming in. More fish in your area means more chance of sharks being there too. If a storm or heavy rain has recently passed, then give it time for the fish and sharks to move from the area.
7. Watch the fish
Fish know when a shark is coming, even if they are not quick enough to get out of the way before they are eaten. If you see a school of fish quickly begin to move in a certain direction, then something has spooked them, and that something could be a shark. The good news is that you have an early warning system, and the shark will be too occupied with the fish to notice you getting out of the water.
8. Save your pets
We have all seen the Youtube videos of surfing cats and dogs. Dogs may be graceful and skillful animals on a surfboard, but in the water, it’s a different matter entirely. The doggy paddle is not the best stroke for getting through the water, for dogs and humans alike. If anyone or anything is doing the dogs paddle through the water, a shark sees this as floundering prey. Keep your dog out of the water and keep your doggy-paddling to a minimum.
9. Lower your contrast
Sharks generally only see in black and white. So, why do they go after colorful fish? Well, they are not going after the colors, they are going after the contrast. Sharks will go after multi-colored fish. If you are wearing a lot of contrasting colors, you are going to look more like a giant fish to a shark. A giant fish is a giant supper.
10. Stay away from shark waters
It stands to reason that if certain waters are a known shark habitat, they are going to have sharks in them. Before you go diving in a certain area of the water, you should have a look online to get an idea of where the sharks are. The ecosystem changes over time, so check every time you dive. You can also talk to local lifeguards and other local divers.
11. Don’t be a seal
We already talked about how sharks see the contrast between colors very well. You do not want to go the complete opposite either. If you decide to go all black, you can run into problems too. Wearing an all-black wetsuit can make you look like a seal, especially when the water is dark. Sharks love to eat seals. If you look like a seal, then they will eat you too.
12. Be careful in lagoons
Lagoons may seem safe. They are small bodies of water, after all. But, if a shark gets in a lagoon at high tide and stays there when the tide goes out, you end up with a big shark in a small body of water. When you add yourself to that body of water, it suddenly becomes very crowded.
13. What does a shark look like?
We all know the classic look of a shark, especially the great white. You may have seen „Jaws“, and why would you even want to go in the water after that? The problem is, not all sharks are big and have massive teeth. Some sharks are smaller, especially babies, and may look like fish. It is tempting to reach out your hand and touch fish as you swim but, if you don’t know what you are touching, you could feel teeth in your fingers.
14. Take care in sandbars, channels, and deep drops
These are the points where sharks move to and from the ocean. They like to hunt fish here and hunt for other sea creatures. Try to stay out of these areas if you can.
15. Think like a shark
If you can take on board all the points on our list (or at least some of them), you can begin to think more like a shark. If you see fish moving in a certain way, or the water is dark, or there are a group of seals, you can begin to sense if there could be sharks about or not. The more you think like a shark, the more you know where not to be.
Q: What Is Shark Repellent?
A shark repellent is any method or measure used to drive away sharks. Many different types of shark repellents exist, with the amount of success depending on the product. The main categories of anti shark repellents are magnetic, electrical, acoustic, and scent-based (semiochemicals).
Q: How Does Shark Repellent Work?
The idea behind every shark repellent is to create an unpleasant stimulus that will drive the shark away. Electric and magnet-based repellents create a field that irritates sharks sensing organ (ampullae of Lorenzini), driving it away. Acoustic repellents create unpleasant sounds, while semiochemicals are very unpleasant pheromones that sharks don’t want to smell.
Q: Do Magnets Really Repel Sharks?
Yes. Strong magnetic fields interfere with a shark’s senses, effectively driving them in opposite direction. For this reason, electromagnetic shark repellents are becoming increasingly popular among both surfers and scuba divers.
Q: If I Wear More Shark Repellents, Am I More Protected?
Yes, to a degree. You might be more protected if you use several different types of repellents. You’re always free to do this if it makes you feel safer. If you’re using only one, you might want to change its position based on your activity.
If you are a surfer, one band on your ankle will generally be fine. For a scuba diver, it will be best to have one on your wrist, as you can point it towards a shark if one comes near.
Q: Will A Sharkbanz Band Interfere With Other Electronics?
Yes, if it’s too close. Sharkbanz band uses magnets to create a field that could potentially interfere with a computer or personal electronic device. Under the water, you may not want to keep a dive computer close to the band.
There is a chance that the bands can interfere with any electronics, so you should always be careful to check that the electronics are not affected by magnets.
Q: How Do I Deploy The Shark Grenade?
There is no need to actually deploy it after attaching it to your clothing. It’s not the same as a traditional grenade, meaning you don’t have to pull a pin and throw these shark repellent devices. Attach the grenade to your clothing before you go in the water and, once you are in, the grenade will release necromones that you cannot see or smell.
Q: What Else Can I Do To Avoid A Shark Attack?
Many surfers have started to paint the bottom of their boards in dark blues and blacks. Dark colors don’t show as well under the water, so a shark will not be drawn to them thinking that you are a large fish or other creature. Companies are jumping on board with this and are now offering boards and wetsuits in these colors
Globo Surf Overview
The best shark repellents will keep you and your group safe, turning the sharks away. A shark attack is terrifying, but seeing a shark up close can be equally scary. With our buying guide and FAQs, you can get to grips with how to avoid sharks and how to repel them.
Shark repellent technology is only in its beginnings and the more research goes into it, the better it will become. The best shark repellents on our list have been tried and tested to keep sharks away. All you need to do now is choose which device is best for you and get out into the water.