There has been an ongoing debate in the scientific community as to whether or not shark repellents work...
...Back in the midst of WWII, scientists mixed together various compounds to create the very first shark repellent.
Over the years, the chemical recipe has evolved through different strategies and approaches to find the perfect, effective repellent.
Most modern repellents that we see today don’t take the chemical approach, but rather a magnetic approach, using electronic pulses and charged metals to shock and fend off sharks.
Though this is common, there are still many liquid sprays and sound repellents, as sharks use all of their senses when hunting their prey.
Studies have shown that shark repellents can have a great effect, as long as you’re using the proper one.
With so many fraudulent shark repellent products on the market, we’ve created a list of some of our favorites that we guarantee will keep you in the safe zone!
The 6 Best Bets
#1 Choice - Shark Shield Freedom7 Shark Deterrent
5 Star Editorial Rating!
The Freedom7 Shark Shield Shark Deterrent is the ultimate ocean guardian that has been proven to fend off some of the biggest sharks in the ocean.
The news isn’t anything new in the repellent community that electric impulses can deter sharks, and this product takes that idea and combines it into a practical and applicable product.
Because sharks use electrical receptors in their snouts to find their prey, this device emits a three-dimensional electrical field to create confusion and irritation for the shark and their senses, eventually turning it away from the device and the person carrying it.
It’s truly an incredible product that can provide peace of mind to surfers, divers, and ocean sports athletes alike.
Used by the US and Australian navies and backed by two decades of scientific research, there is no doubt that the track record on this device is better than any other. The website has an array of testimonials as well if you have any question on its effectiveness.
Featuring a 6-hour long-lasting battery, a 50-meter depth rate, and a comfortable, lightweight design, this little shark taser is an excellent choice for those wanting to feel safe in the event of a close range shark sighting.
Modom Shark Leash Featuring Sharkbanz Technology
In a different deterrent manner, the Modom Shark Leash uses a patented magnetic technology to get the sharks off your back.
It is essentially your typical surfboard leash that is integrated with a powerful electromagnetic field.
The beautiful thing is that it does not require any batteries or charging whatsoever.
The Velcro on the leash is stronger than most surf leashes and will stay secure in the craziest of surfing conditions.
Known for its practical, detachable and futuristic design, the anti-rust metal attachment will keep your cord from tangling up. The Sharkbanz technology is also fully interchangeable with any other Modom cord or cuff.
Last but not least, sharks aren’t physically hurt by this technology.
The people over at Sharkbanz say it is like being hit suddenly with a bright light when walking into a dark room.
It won’t actually hurt you. If anything, it’ll freak you out for a second and make you turn away.
At a price far less expensive than the Sharkbanz and an ultra-modern design, the Modom Shark Leash is the perfect product for the avid surfer who finds themselves in shark-infested waters often.
Sharkbanz 2 is another piece of magnetic shark deterrent technology that we’re beginning to see at beaches all across the country.
This electromagnetic band, perfect for swimmers, surfers, divers, and all beachgoers alike, has been proven effective again and again through scientific research and field-testing.
Though they cannot give a 100% guarantee of protection for obvious reasons (like all products on this list), and though it hasn’t been proven effective against all species of sharks, accredited marine biologists and fellow scientists have approved of its application for safety in coming up against ocean predators.
If you’re an animal love at heart, you’ll be glad to know that the company even abides by the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees.
In the same fashion as the Modom Shark Leash, this product does not require any batteries or charging and has a modern, ergonomic design for ultimate style and comfort.
We can tell you with certainty that you’ll love the Sharkbanz 2! If you want a simple device that you can slip on your ankle or wrist for added protection in the water, there is no better option we can think of.
The Sharkbanz, the very first wrist / ankle model in the Sharkbanz product lineup, is another awesome electromagnetic shark deterrent.
The Sharkbanz site claims to make their products under 4 main principles: Effective, Simple, Affordable, and Stylish.
Through our Sharkbanz knowledge and research, they definitely live up to those principles.
In a similar fashion to the Sharkbanz 2 and the Sharkbanz Modom Leash, the original Sharkbanz bracelet uses patented electromagnetic technology that can create an effective magnetic field in a range of up to 1 meter.
With an ultra durable and secure design, as well as a grey synthetic rubber and stainless steel build, this proven shark deterrent is both practical and light for you to swim with and not feel uncomfortable.
It can even adjust from 5-14 inches in circumference so that it will work for you or any little ones you may have.
Again, though the product isn’t 100% effective, a sentiment for any shark repellent company to admit, it has been tested over and over like the rest of the Sharkbanz products.
E-shark force, Shark Repellent
Esharkforce is another company that utilizes a powerful electro-magnetism to overwhelm the senses hunting sharks.
Manufactured back in 2005 in Hawaii by an avid surfer who was tired of seeing storms deter his friend from surfing, this little ankle bracelet was created.
It is powered by a 3.7 Volt Lion Battery that works instantly on contact with ocean seawater and lasts up to 8 hours of full use.
When a shark begins its approach, 2 stainless steel mesh electrodes emit 120v to 200v of proprietary waves that only that shark can detect.
The reason it works is because these signals are much stronger than anything they encounter in their natural habitat.
Like the SharkBanz, the Esharkforce Shark Repellent creates an unpleasant feeling that will deter a shark from coming any closer to the person wearing it.
The signal field is produced in depths of up to 140 feet, keeping everyone from surface swimmers to deep divers safe and sound.
Shark Repellent Grenade, Reusable
These reusable shark repellent grenades are a quality crafted mix of years of science and research, encapsulated into a small product that can easily be latched on to your life vest, swimsuit, or other water wear.
The company that makes these claims to fend off sharks by using smells that instill fear in them.
Though they haven’t made a statement as to what exactly is inside these things, they do stress the effectiveness of the grenade in a non-lethal manner, which is great for animal lovers.
These things can be used up to 5 different times and 36 hours at a time. They come with heavy paracord straps so you don’t have to worry about it breaking and falling off in the water.
If you are someone who isn’t constantly swimming in the ocean, but has the fear of sharks wants to make sure they can protect themselves and their peace of mind, this is an excellent cheap alternative to the array of other shark deterrent products on our list.
Top 15 Tips To Avoid Shark Attacks
#1. Never Swim Alone
Sharks are far less likely to attack a group of people than a lone swimmer.
If you are diving in a group, it is always smart to have one person there who can stay alert as to how the sharks are acting while the others continue the dive.
The other part is that in the event of a shark attack, you will have available help around you.
#2. Don’t Swim Out Into Deep or Murky Waters
Deeper or murky waters make it more difficult for a shark to distinguish you from their prey.
Remember, most sharks see their world in black and white.
If you’re looking like a blob of potential food, that shark will be curious.
On the other side, dark waters can also make it more difficult for you to tell whether or not a shark is present.
#3. Don’t Ever Swim at Night, Dawn, or Dusk
Research shows that most sharks hunt at these times as the majority of their prey is still sleeping.
Not only will you be in more danger going to swim at these times, but you will also have less visibility in the water.
#4. Never Enter the Water With An Open Wound
It has been said that the smell of human blood can attract a shark from miles away.
While this may be an over-exaggeration that has grown over the year, marine biologists say it is fact that sharks can smell and even taste blood.
Stay out of the water until the bleeding goes away. Women who are menstruating should also take this into consideration before entering the water.
#5. Do Not Wear Shiny Jewelry or Objects That Reflect Light
If you choose to do so, you are essentially turning yourself into a shimmering, human beacon for sharks.
Small shiny objects like rings or necklaces can look like fish scales to a shark in clear waters.
#6. Try Not To Swim After Heavy Storms or Rains
Heavy rains can typically push freshwater fish into ocean areas that they would never be in naturally.
If there are more fish in an area, there are like to be more sharks.
#7. Keep An Eye on the Fish Around You
If you begin to see a school of fish quickly dart off in one direction, it is a good sign that there is probably predator nearby.
Stay alert and do your best to follow the other creatures in your environment that know better than you do.
#8. Do Not Take Your Pets Out Into Deep Water
We all love watching our dogs swim around in the water. It’s easily one of the most adorable sights to see.
Unfortunately, the splashing of a dog paddle is extremely attractive to sharks.
If you are a dog paddler yourself, try and keep your strokes and kicks bit more even. Sporadic swimming to a shark pretty much reads “distressed prey”.
#9. Try Not To Swim With Uneven Tans or Bright Colors
Having an uneven tan or tones, or even brightly colored clothing, makes you look like a giant fish in the water to a shark.
Because they mostly only see in black and white, sharks have a surprising eye for contrast.
These things will make you stand out more than necessary.
#10. Don’t Swim In Waters That Are Frequently Inhabited By Sharks
Most information about heavily shark populated areas can be found online or through your local lifeguard. You’ll want to get a good idea of the ecosystem of any spot you choose to surf or dive in before doing so.
#11. Try Not to Hit Shark-Infested Waters Seal-Style
In contrast to our idea about wearing bright colors, many surfers say that wearing a dark wetsuit and fins is a good way to look like a seal.
If a shark sees your silhouette from a distance, there is a good chance he’ll mistake you for lunch.
Later in the article we’ll talk about a wetsuit option that might suit you if you’re having trouble making that choice.
#12. Be Cautious In Lagoons
If a tide changes too quickly for a shark to get out of a lagoon during low tide, there’s a good chance he might be stuck there for a while. If you’re swimming in these areas, know that it is a possibility for it to be one-on-one with these guys.
#13. Not All Sharks Are Great Whites
What we mean by that is that some sharks are quite small and might resemble your typical fish.
You would never know until one sinks it teeth deep into you.
Try and avoid touching fish if you can.
#14. Avoid Sandbars, Channels or Deep Drops
Sharks are known to frequent these areas, as well as points where rivers flow into the ocean.
They are good areas to catch fish and inconspicuously hunt.
Try and stay out of these areas as much as possible.
#15. Be a Shark
If you swim like one of the great predators, there’s a better chance you’ll know where they’re not.
See a large group of seals or a school of helpless fish?
Now you know that your shark friend will probably be there soon for lunch and you don’t want to stick around for dessert.
What To Do If You Are Attacked By A Shark
A human typically deters most land predators that we know of when they play dead such as bears. For a shark, unfortunately, that is absolutely not the case.
If you ever find yourself clutched in the jaws of a big shark, your best bet is to fight back with whatever you can.
If you can find an object near you like a rock, a piece of coral, or even your surfboard, it is best to use those instead of your hands and feet. A shark’s snout, gills, or eyes are the most sensitive parts of his body.
Do your best to try and lay multiple blows to those areas. Essentially, be as aggressive as possible. Sharks don’t want to fight for their lunch if they don’t have to.
If it makes you feel better, a 17-year old girl from Kentucky was able to fend off a large shark by whacking it in the face a few times after it bit her leg.
If a shark bites you and you begin bleeding, leave the water immediately in a calm and collected manner. If a shark bites and swims away, it is unlikely that he’ll come back for a second strike.
Living Peacefully With Sharks
According to recent research, the US averages about 19 sharks attacks per year. Even further, we only see one fatality every two years.
This just goes to show that shark attacks are extremely rare. Unfortunately, on the other side, humans kill about 20-30 million sharks per year through sport and commercial fishing.
Though sharks are some of the strongest and most versatile hunters in the ocean with keen senses down the line, it is still very easy for many of them to get hooked to a line in a vulnerable state.
We are beginning to see many places around the world where sharks are becoming seriously threatened due to the negligence of overfishing.
We need to understand that sharks are not just vicious beasts, but they are an impactful and valuable part of the entire ocean’s ecosystem.
If you’re interested in helping the sharks, be sure to contact your local government to see what you can do about helping to mandate stricter fishing laws and regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many People Suggest Wearing Multiple Sharkbanz Products, how many do I truly need to protect myself?
Having a band around your ankle or wrist will give you better protection for that area. If you wear multiple, you will be provided with greater protection. For surfers or swimmers, it is best to wear on the ankle as that is the part of your body that will be in or closest to the water at most times. If you are a scuba diver, wearing it on your wrist it more practical as you can point it in the direction of a shark that may seem threatening. Essentially, the more you wear, the greater the magnetic field around you will be.
Will Wearing A Sharkbanz Product Interfere With Any Other Electronics I Might Have?
Because it is magnetic technology, there is a good chance that it could interfere with a computer, whether that is a personal laptop and your Sharkbanz in a suitcase on the plane, or a diving computer in the depths of the ocean. Some worry that it may affect any internal devices they carry such as heart monitors. This is a possibility, but it is completely dependent on the type of machinery you have. Our rule of thumb is to keep any electronic products as far from your Sharkbanz as possible when you are swimming with it.
How Do You Deploy The Repellent From the Shark Repellent Grenade?
The grenade automatically release necromones into the water that we cannot sense. It’s as easy as snapping onto your swimsuit or board and getting out into the water.
How Does The Shark Shield Effect Diving Computers or GPS?
With 15 years of testing under their belts on numerous diving occasions with a wide variety of electronic diving equipment, no interference has yet to be seen.
What Are the Main Kinds Of Shark Repellents on the Market and Which Ones Work Best?
Right now, there are 4 main kinds of shark deterrents on the market: Electrical, Magnetic, Acoustic, and Scent-Based. Which one is best is based off of pure speculation, as research for many of these devices has never been completely certain.
- Electrical – While there are a few electrical shark repellents on the market, Shark Shield is the only one that has been proven to work against sharks. Other electrical deterrents come in anklet and bracelet sizes which scientists claim emit signal too small to have any effect on a large predator. They work by sending out electrical currents to a shark’s snout that overwhelm it. It is a newer approach in the shark repellent, and while it hasn’t been research to the extent of other repellents, has received great reviews from avid surfers and divers.
- Magnetic – This one was discovered by accident when a scientist dropped a small magnet into a shark tank and watched the shark scurry away. It essentially has the same effect as electrical repellents as it overwhelms a shark’s snout. These come at a much cheaper price than electrical devices, but many of the large manufacturers like Sharkbanz admit they are unable to deter Great Whites with theses devices and they should only be used for smaller shark species such as tiger sharks and bull sharks.
- Acoustic – The reason this is not on our list is that it is so new and does not have a ton of research behind it yet. SharkStopper patented the very first acoustic shark repellent recently. The device emits the sound of orcas and other frequencies that scare sharks away.
- Smell-Based – These scent-based products are the cheapest option out there and work without batteries, charging, or any sort of electronics. Essentially, they emit scents into the water that humans are unable to smell. These scents can irritate a shark’s gills, keeping them as far away from the device as possible.
Besides Using Shark Deterrents, What Else Can I Do To Better My Chances Of Avoiding a Shark Attack In the Water?
Many surfers have begun changing their boards from brighter colors like yellow, blue, and red, to darker colors like black and blue. There is evidence that most of the world’s shark population can only see in shades of black and white. If this is the majority case, then it is obvious that the likeliness of a brighter object being attacked would be far greater than one that is darker.
Going hand in hand with changing surfboard colors, companies like SAMS have designed an incredible range of wetsuits that come in colors perfect for camouflaging yourself in the ocean. The designs also resemble the colors of other ocean life that sharks typically avoid eating.