Sydney-based custom-made surfboard startup Disrupt has launched a line of shark deterrent patterns for the underside of surfboards.
The “The NoShark series” idea was born after a string of shark attacks occurred in the past year, locally and internationally, including one on Australian surfer Mick Fanning during a competition in South Africa.
“There are a number of things you can do to limit the risk of shark attack including not swimming with jewelry, not swimming at dusk and use stripes to stop yourself looking like a seal as well as the recent ‘Clever Buoy’ deployed at Bondi,” Elphick said.
The stripes is the key to the boards’ anti-shark design.
By incorporating hard-edged and bold geometric patterns, surfers are less likely to be mistaken for sea life.
“There has been research into the best ways to minimise risk for surfers and along with existing electronic aids, this has been suggested as one of the best ways to increase surfer safety,” Elphick said.
“The main reason [shark attacks occur] is normally mistaken identity for a seal being that it’s a single silhouette.”
The idea is backed up by research from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, which found that sharks disliked the bright stripes of the venomous sea snake as opposed to plainer ones.
The NoShark design will be available to add to boards designed on Disrupt for free, Elphick said, as a means of creating a safer surfing community.
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