In light of the recent terrible news detailing more shark attacks on people whilst surfing we here at Glassy thought a brief article explaining the facts and disproving the myths that get hyped up by the media and in the surfing world.
1. We are prey and they attack us often
The media and surfing community rumours make out that as soon as we enter the water we become prey for Sharks and its just a waiting game before something happens. This is far from true, Sharks are apex predators but are not mindless killers and in reality attacks on humans are exploratory bites due to the Sharks being so curious.
2. Sharks have bad eyesight
Sharks have good senses and their eyesight is especially good. They have evolved over millions of years in order to be at the top of their game so it’s highly likely that they don’t see us as prey however the similarities between a people surfing and seals/sea lions and turtles are pretty obvious.
3. All Sharks are man-eaters
This is not the case! There are over 400 species of shark and a lot eat fish/squid and some others on algae. In reality there are only three species of shark that make us feel uneasy thinking off the final scene of Jaws when Chief Brody is in that one on one fight to the death. These sharks dominate the headlines with their big gnarly teeth and terrible reputation, but lets not forget the other harmless ones like the 8 inch dogfish to the 40 foot whale shark and many more.
4. Don’t worry if you pee in your wet suit whilst surfing
We have always been told how dangerous sharks are and how they are out to get you, which is enough to make you quit surfing altogether. Films especially make us feel worried, but I’m sure if anyone was confronted by a shark and they had a full bladder then a little leak of urine into the Ocean wouldn’t make a difference. If you don’t believe us go have a look at the numerous experiments over at National Geographic.
5.Hey theres a Dolphin, its safe for surfing!
Wrong! Although there have been a few incidents where Dolphins have saved stranded humans or fended off a shark, in reality its a usually a darker sign. Dolphins will probably be searching for food, and a lot of sharks prey on fish just like dolphins therefore be cautious. Also when surfing stay clear of seals and sea lions for sure, as they are a prime target for sharks and they could get easily confused between you.
Lastly we just want to say that being attacked by a Shark is extremely unlikely, even more unlikely than getting struck by lightning. We just made this article to give everyone out there who enjoys surfing the heads up and not to believe everything you hear. If you’re a surfer then check out our article on the 5 dangers to be aware of when surfing.