If you have ever had a terrifying thought in your head about the possibility of wild shark encounter, then our Shark Shield Review might be the perfect read for you.
The first question most people ask is, “Does the Shark Shield actually work?”
Well the answer is yes and no, and we’ll get deeper into that later.
There have been a surprising amount of shark attacks in recent years, most of which have left beachgoers and watersports enthusiasts a bit nervous about being in the water with these wild creatures.
We should get one thing straight though: Sharks are not evil. They are simply defending the possible threat of their territory and / or trying to eat.
You wouldn’t be the happiest camper if a shark walked into your living room would you? That being said, many of you reading this are major ocean lovers and want to share it with sharks in a peaceful and mindful way.
That is why we now see devices like Shark Shield for sale, as they come in handy helping to reduce the risk of shark attacks using the science of sharks that is readily available. Let’s get a little deeper into the coral shall we?
Shark Shield Freedom 7 Deterrent Review
Features and Benefits
To begin, Shark Shield has cornered the market on electrical shark deterrents and is currently the only on that has been tested thoroughly.
It essentially emits a small electrical current that acts as prey to trick the shark’s snout.
ecause it gives off more electrical current than regular prey would, the snout becomes highly over-stimulated and induces somewhat of a spasm so that the shark departs to try and escape the signal.
it has been proven to deter great white sharks, as well as tiger sharks
While the electrical current has not been proven to work 100% of the time, or on all species of sharks for that matter, it has been proven to deter great white sharks, as well as tiger sharks, from attacking for the most part.
The cord is what truly makes this stand out from other non-tested electrical shark deterrents. It is two meters long and holds the electrodes spread out from the ankle outward.
As the cord trails behind the person wearing it, so do the electrodes, essentially creating a longer “signal” that is much further off of the body. Think of it as a larger antenna vs. a smaller one.
While the charge of the battery can be quite slow, that slow charge effectively lengthens the life of the lithium battery that is included with the Shark Shield.
This is the reason that the battery has a lifetime of 1000 charges and last for up to 6 hours, much longer than any average user would be in the water for. It even comes with a special light that blinks red when you need to charge it, or stays green when it is fully charged. We love it because you can make absolutely sure that you begin your dive or ocean swim with a fully charged unit every time. Oh yea, you also get a small warning 10 minutes in advance of the unit dying, meaning you should probably wrap up your time in the water if the sharks are present.
In terms of the depth and temperature rating, we really have to give the guys at Shark Shield our hats off. It is rated for a depth of 50 meters, far deeper than other deterrents or repellents on the market. While it is said by the company to work at temperatures down to 12C, it can absolutely work until about 0C. The main issue at that point is that it doesn’t operate as well as the temperature gets to be much lower.
Let’s talk a little bit about wearing this thing. Most people have the fear of getting shocked wearing an electrical device in the water. We’re sure that is the first thing the company thought of, and it’s also probably why you never see reviews of anyone having issues with the electrical current firing back on them in the water. It is made to be water safe. The Shark Shield Freedom 7, being incredibly lightweight, wraps around the user’s ankle in a Neoprene pouch, just as you would strap on a surfboard leash. It is incredibly easy to put on and take off and can be worn with a wetsuit or without one.
Shark Shield Freedom 7 vs. NoShark
While there hasn’t been much testing on the NoShark electrical shark deterrent, there are some things about it that we really do like. It comes as a smaller and more portable ankle strap and also has a competition leash attachment if you want to surf with it. This makes it a bit more versatile than the Shark Shield. In terms of operation time, it runs a bit longer than the Shark Shield.
In favor of Shark Shield, the longer cord means better protection. Shark Shield is also rated for slightly deeper dives and has some scientific testing to back up many of the company’s claims. In conclusion, though the Shark Shield price is a bit higher than the NoShark price, we would still go with the Shark Shield simply because of testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
So does this thing really work?
Studies have shown that the Shark Shield Freedom 7 was effective up to 90% of the time according to studies by the University of Western Australia. To take you back to our “yes and no” answer at the beginning of this article, it is because they can work A LOT, but not ALL THE TIME. That goes for any shark repellent or deterrent ever made. The issue is, there have not been enough independent tests put into place to truly come up with a 100% effective solution for deterring sharks. So yes, while the Shark Shield Freedom 7 can act as a safety precaution like no other, the possibility of a Shark Shield failure is still very much out there. If you’re someone who wants peace of mind going out in the water, we really do believe that this can help.
Does the Shark Shield Freedom 7 work for surfers?
No. The Shark Shield Freedom 7 is made for divers, snorkelers, and swimmers. This is because of the long electrode cord that trails off the back of the strap. This would be a major obstacle for surfers and you’d probably get tangled up in it on your first run. That being said, the same company manufacturers the Freedom Surf. Made with the same technology, the Shark Shield Freedom Surf is essentially a tail pad / antenna that can attach to any board. The power module on it can be transferred from board to board and does not come with the same long electrode cord as the Freedom 7.
While we would highly suggest purchasing the Shark Shield if you are truly afraid of sharks, mostly because of its insanely good track record, there are other ways you can work to prevent a shark attack that other people have been doing for centuries before any of this technology was around.
- Don’t go out swimming alone
Sharks are far more likely to attack you if you’re alone because you are an easier and more vulnerable target. If you swim with multiple people or in a larger group, you are more likely to be a threat in a shark’s eyes.
- Don’t swim when it is dark out
Sharks usually come looking for their prey late at night or very early in the morning as the sun is coming up. You are much more likely to be attacked in you are swimming at their peak hours.
- Steer clear of murky waters
Sharks are smart creatures and have a great sense of their environment. This is why they hunt their prey in water that is murkier. It acts as a camouflage and works greatly in their favor, as they don’t need their sight to hunt.
How are electrical deterrents compared to other types of shark deterrents?
There are essentially four main types of shark deterrents / repellents on the market today: Electrical, magnetic, acoustic, and spray. In modern day science, there have been far more studies on the effectiveness of electrical deterrents with sharks than any others. That being said, many of these other types of deterrents / repellents have their advantages.
Magnetic: Companies like Sharkbanz have begun producing magnetic shark repellents that work as an overstimulation device just like the Shark Shield. The advantage with magnets is that they won’t lose their strength for thousands of years, nor will they ever need a charge. That being said, there is not much testing on them and the idea of a small magnetic band working as effectively as a long electrode cord makes many scientists skeptical.
Acoustic: There are even less studies on acoustic repellents compared to magnetic repellents. The Sharkstopper, the only one out there as of right now, works by emitting the sound of an Orca whale to scare off sharks. While the device is 100% non-harmful to sharks and has a few public tests showing its credibility, there is still much to explore in this realm and most of its effectiveness depends on a number of factors including environmental and geographical.
Spray: The spray repellents, such as Anti-Shark, are by far the most archaic. They essentially utilize the theory that sharks don’t want to be close to any dead sharks, so the company stuffed little cans with dead shark tissue extract that you can spray in the water. While this may work in many occasions, it requires activation upon each use and is only a temporary solution in the water.
Can Shark Shield attract sharks to you?
Science has told us no. The electrical perception of a shark is extremely short distance, even shorter than their sight. That being said, if a shark can sense an electrical device that is on you, there’s a good chance that it can already see you as well. This is why it is made to only disrupt sharks during close encounters.
Does the Shark Shield protect against other animals?
It has been tested positive for working against stingrays that use the same electrical hunting mechanism. It cannot, however, deter dolphins, fish, crocodiles, whales, or any other water animals.
Final Thoughts – Should You Buy
Though most shark attacks can be easily avoided by staying alert and being cautious, having a device like the Shark Shield can be a major confidence booster in the water and can give you peace of mind like nothing else can.
Science has ways to go before we can truly understand shark behavior, but for now, we believe the Shark Shield Freedom 7 is the best shark deterrent on the market.