Written by Alex Smith and Shannon Quirk
The television world dedicates an entire week to Discovery Channel’s clever way of scaring kooks out of the water… and they begin with the letter “S.” That’s right… this all-too-frightening week of shark bombardment makes it absolutely impossible to pretend like we’re alone in the lineup, but we’re not just here to torture you; the best way to deal with a shark encounter is to educate yourself. These hungry predators are fascinating creatures, and the more you learn about them, the clearer it becomes that humans are endangering them at a much faster pace.
What should you do in the unlikely event of a shark encounter? The Surf Channel is here to help keep you safe in the water, if you happen to run into one. Many surfers live their entire lives without meeting these interesting animals — or maybe they just purposefully keep their eyes closed underwater. However, in the event of an attack, the most common recommendation from shark experts is to capitalize on your survival instincts and try to hit the shark hard on the nose. This may be the only time to be envious of a stand-up paddler, since a sharp paddle could be used as a useful defense mechanism. Other tips of how to prevent a shark attack, include:
1. Invite the shark out to dinner first to satisfy her appetite.
2. Give up night surfing, when sharks are feeding.
3. Cover up shiny objects that may appear like fish scales in the sun.
4. Invest in shark-repellent, AKA your grandmother’s nasty perfume.
5. Brightly colored wetsuits: take notes from Matt Wilko – would you screw with the green joker?
6. Never provoke a shark; they are not second graders taking a picture before their first day of school.
7. Let go of your seal lion friends; hanging with those guys will get you into trouble.
8. Take a lay day if you have an open wound. That stench is dangerous to the rest of us.
9. Take the first wave in after a shark sighting. If you fall, it’s your own fault for not surfing enough.
10. Surf with a buddy – maybe he’ll get taken out first.