Eyes wide open

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

If there’s one positive aspect to the recent surge in shark activity in southwest WA and northern NSW, it’s the many myths that have been busted.

For decades, ocean users operated in a knowledge vacuum, our only protection a loose assembly of theories that hinted at outcomes such as the likeliest time for attack, or attempted to explain shark behaviour so we could work around it.

Yet as shark interactions increased in number and spread in scope, researchers were able to cross-check new data against old lore, and what they found wiped the slate clean. The time of day, the turbidity of the water, or the phase of the lunar cycle accounted for nought. Same with most other myths. In fact there were no obvious patterns in the data, no environmental links to account for interactions.

The only commonality researchers have been able to find is in one aspect of shark behaviour. To wit, most attacks are by ambush with sharks approaching their victim from behind and catching it unawares.

The environment may change, as does the time of day, even the time of year, but the way a shark approaches its prey is predictable. A small percentage of attacks are ‘bump and bite’, where a shark assesses the size of prey by first bumping into it, but statistics tell us that most attacks are by ambush.

In terms of safety, it ain’t much, but it's a starting point.

In 2013, Shanan Worrall was diving for abalone 160 kms east of Esperance, on the remote western edge of the Great Australian Bight. By early October he’d been at sea for two months, hadn’t seen anyone besides the crew of the boat he was working on, when another vessel motored into the bay they were working. Aboard was renowned spearfisher and abalone diver Greg Pickering, who nine years earlier had survived a shark attack at Cervantes, north of Perth.

On a placid, blue sky morning, the peace was broken when Pickering, working at a depth of fifteen metres, was attacked by a great white shark. Pickering later told the media he didn’t see the shark. "I heard the sound, the thrashing sound, of teeth on bone...I thought 'that is probably a shark', but I didn't see it - I heard the attack."

Pickering ended up head-first inside the shark’s mouth, its jaws latching onto his torso and face and causing severe lacerations. When the shark inexplicably released him, Pickering had the presence of mind not to swim directly to the surface, instead he rose slowly to avoid getting the bends, however his fight for life would continue for many more hours yet.

Pickering’s deckhand frantically signalled to Shanan Worrall who responded, and for the next three-and-a-half hours rendered first aid to Pickering, stemming the bleeding and keeping the badly injured diver alive. At first they worked on Pickering as he lay on the deck of his boat, the boards awash with blood, they then managed to get him ashore at an isolated beach near Poison Creek, before commandeering a four wheel drive out of the bush, intercepting an ambulance halfway back to Esperance. All the while they held Pickering together, not to mention the state of their own emotional wellbeing.

The Global Shark Attack File, a comprehensive database of all shark interactions, records Pickering’s attack thus:

Pickering’s rescue was a marathon effort. The crew of another diving vessel, who were close by and witnessed the attack, came to the aid of the diver and his crew and controlled blood loss. They towed the man and his boat to shore where an ambulance from Condingup with four-wheel-drive capabilities negotiated a rugged track to reach him. The ambulance transported him to a hospital in Esperance. Then the Royal Flying Doctor Service flew him 700 km from the hospital in Esperance to Perth, he underwent surgery in the Royal Perth Hospital.

Shanan Worrall won the 2017 WSL Tube of the Year Award for this driving Western Oz barrel (Jamie Scott)

Greg Pickering survived the attack, yet he wasn’t the only person affected by the events of that day. When he tried to return to the water, Worrall experienced adverse physical reactions. “I’d throw up and cry uncontrollably,” explains Shanan, “even in clear, knee-deep water.” This went on for weeks. He knuckled down, tried to push it aside. “I tried to get Aussie with it,” says Worrall describing the stoicism of our national character, but it felt like the ocean was rejecting him. Something needed to change.

Worrall tossed in his career as an ab diver, not a decision he took lightly, and moved to Margaret River. Yet despite trying to make a fresh start, he still found himself on a downwards trajectory. “I recall the day I tried to re-enter the water,” says Worrall. “I’ve put on all my dive gear and I was going to get some crayfish. It doesn’t sound like much but it was a significant moment for me. I had to build up to it...but then the helicopters started coming across the bay. Something wasn’t right.”

“One of my great friends, Chris Boyd, was hit up at Ellensbrook Ridge.”

Chris Boyd was killed by what was strongly suspected to be a great white shark while surfing at Umbies. In hindsight, Boyd’s death marked an unofficial beginning of the south-west shark cluster; many more interactions, some deadly, occurred in Western Australia’s south-west over the following years. Worrall, however, was fighting his own personal battle.

Sometime after Boyd’s death, Worrall isn’t exactly sure when, he was in the back shed siliconing fake eyes onto the back of his wetsuits - something he’d done ever since he began diving commercially - when his wife came out and asked: “Does the average punter know about this?”

What Worrall’s wife was referring to was the practice of drawing large eyes onto the back of wetsuit, hoods, or even dive tanks, for protection from sharks. It’s something the abalone diving and spearfishing communities have done for a long time, and it’s what Worrall was doing when he and his wife realised the broader implications.

For years, commercial divers have mocked up fake eyes on their wetsuits or tanks (Shark Eyes)

The fake eyes create a line of sight towards any shark approaching from behind. In the course of our conversation, I hear Worrall repeat the phrase ‘line of sight’ many times. In context, the term doesn’t strictly refer to sighting a shark, but how a shark behaves after it’s been sighted. “Anyone that’s spent time with sharks on a professional level,” explains Worrall, “knows that line of sight changes their behaviour.”

“Once you’ve made eye contact and made your presence known, their behaviour changes.”

The same rationale has been used by farmers in Botswana, who paint eyes on the buttocks of their livestock to stop lions - who, like sharks, are ambush predators - from killing them. This year, the farmers were at the centre a study by the University of New South Wales.

"Lions are ambush predators that rely on stalking, and therefore the element of surprise, so being seen by their prey can lead to them abandoning the hunt," said Neil Jordan from UNSW, one of the studies researchers.

In nature, ‘eye’ designs are found on some butterflies, fish, and birds to protect them from larger predators, however no mammal naturally produces them. The UNSW researchers found that cattle painted with artificial eyespots were significantly more likely to survive than unpainted or cattle within the same herd. In fact, no painted ‘eye-cows’ were killed by ambush predators during the four-year study.

Farmers in Botswana paint eyes on the buttocks of their livestock to prevent attack by lions (Ben Yexley/UNSW)

Though nature provides many examples of ‘eye’ designs used to protect animals from ambush, the theory is little known outside the dive community. With statistics piling up, Worrall sensed an obligation to tell others what he knows. So he created Shark Eyes, large adhesive eyes to stick on the bottom of surfboards that create ‘line of sight’ to anything swimming below.

Shark Eyes gave him both protection when he was in the water, and also a newfound purpose. He began to enter the water again, and was on the road to healing, though he hadn’t quite considered how rocky the road would be.

“I come from a place that shuns surf photographers,“says Worrall. “I’ve spent my life running from the media, but now I have to hold up a sticker, look people in the eye, and say this will help mitigate risk.”

“It’s been one of the hardest challenges of my life.”

It’s not just the media spotlight that torments Worrall, but controlling that media message so people have realistic expectations. “No product will offer 100% safety from sharks,” says Worrall. “But then seat belts don’t offer 100% safety in car crashes yet we don’t question their use.”

I play Devil’s Advocate with Worrall, asking about Shark Eyes' efficacy on overcast days, low sunlight, or in dirty water. I’m not the first skeptic, far from it, Worrall’s heard it all before, but his time spent around great whites informs his understanding of their behaviour.

“Even in dirty water, sharks will still visually assess before they go into attack mode. A shark won’t blindly bump into something with its teeth. It’s generally cautious. It’ll make a risk assessment, and most likely circle the prey a few times without the victim knowing it.”

Only days after Worrall and I first spoke, Matt Wilkinson was approached from behind by a shark who inspected Wilko, made a quick assessment, then rejected him as prey. “It was a classic encounter,” says Worrall. And what’s more, Wilko had no idea the shark was there and was sizing him up. It was only later when he saw drone footage that Wilko became aware of his brush with fate.

Matt Wilkinson oblivious to the curious shark below (NSW SLSC)

To date, most shark attack mitigation devices have been either magnetic or electronic, each type devised to irritate the Ampullae of Lorenzini, a shark’s electroreceptor organ. In 2017, the WA state government offered a $200 rebate for any device that’s been ‘scientifically proven’ to deter shark attack, which left the rebate open to just one product, the $500 Freedom SURF by Ocean Guardian. Six months after the program was introduced, only ten surfers from the Margaret River area had taken up the offer. The lax response was put down to a mix of economics, cumbersome technology, and an enduring myth that the electronic charge emitted by the Freedom SURF attracted sharks.

Despite Shark Eyes being far cheaper than the rebate itself, they didn’t qualify as, at that point, they hadn’t been scientifically tested. “Traditional testing will not work with Shark Eyes,” explains Worrall without apology.

By ‘traditional’ testing Worrall is referring to experiments using baited boards to attract sharks, “which”, says Worrall, “alter the natural environment. So you’ve already changed the shark’s behaviour.”

“To be able to capture an interaction in a truly natural environment is such a hard thing to do.”

Yet despite being unable to test Shark Eyes by orthodox means, interest in the product keeps building. Already, fishery departments from two state governments - Western Australia and South Australia - plus the Western Australia Police Department, have purchased sets of Shark Eyes.

John Totterdell works with Western Australia’s Cetacean Research Centre and he’s also one of Shanan’s customers - that is, he’s purchased a set of Shark Eyes. 

I ask Totterdell about the lack of scientific testing and he replies that while Shark Eyes haven’t been specifically tested, it’s been found, notably by famed shark researcher John McCosker, that when mannequins were used in various experiments, sharks almost always approached from behind or from underneath.

Like Worrall himself, Totterdell used to mock up fake eyes on his equipment when diving, but these days he sticks Shark Eyes on his dive tanks for the underwater equivalent of having eyes on the back of his head. I got the sense that scientific testing - or the lack of - is a non-issue for Totterdell. Experience carries more weight.

Worrall, however, is aware of the awkward position he’s in. He knows the theory of Shark Eyes is sound, others in the diving fraternity also know it’s a viable theory, yet to take the product further he has to play the media game, convince the public that it works, and by and large that means having Shark Eyes scientifically tested. “I’ve got no interest in using any other marketing ploy to sell the product,” says Worrall bluntly.

“Once you’ve made eye contact and made your presence known, their behaviour changes" (Shark Eyes)

Worrall’s recently had approaches from a number of state government agencies, but the cogs of bureaucracy turn slowly, applying for funding or accessing grants can take years, and it left him wondering whether to expedite the process by paying for the tests himself. During our last call, Worrall tells me the decision is made, he’s begun testing. However, that opens up yet another conundrum. “Independence is definitely an issue,” admits Worrall.

In recent years a number of shark deterrent products have been promoted using dubious claims, and there’s a risk Shark Eyes, despite the diving pedigree, could be perceived as being in the same class without undergoing third-party testing. It’s something Worrall is acutely aware of.

“I’m not looking to sell a false sense of security,” says Worrall who’s spent enough time around sharks to comment on them with a reserved authority, “I’d never say Shark Eyes are a hundred percent effective because there are some sharks, like humans, that just have a different personality; they don’t act nice.”

“But nature doesn’t lie, and the surrounding anecdotal evidence is strong, so I think it’ll be hard to say they don’t have some merit.”

The anecdotal evidence includes using the eyes to protect himself while diving in sharky waters - which is a hell of a testimonial - but these days Shanan Worrall is increasingly driven by a duty to protect others.

“The obligation to pass on this knowledge is a must,” says Worrall.

Visit the Shark Eyes website

Comments

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 1:23pm

someone stuck googly eyes on julian wilson deep in a barrel on the window of the local surf shop. it's hard to walk past without doubling over with laughter

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 1:34pm

Always going to be impossible to rigourously test. You put the eyes on, you don't get attacked - they work right? Or you never were going to get attacked?

Good on Shanan for providing a safe, relatively cheap and harmless option though.

One thing I've not understood is this - how do sharks when ambushing a surfer know which is the front and which is the back of such an abstract and likely rarely seen object?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 1:44pm

Hard to quanitfy prevention, eh Solitude?

Little like a fence guarding a dangerous cliff.

If no-one's gone over how can you tell it's doing its job?

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 1:51pm

Yeah for sure. One question I have for those using these kinds of mitigation strategies is, does having them on make you still think about these kinds of encounters due to the reminder the decal, ankle brace etc provides? i.e. is it always on your mind?

I'm certainly not a detractor of such technology but like to accept what comes with being in this wild environment and certainly don't enjoy thinking about it more than I have to. Which is something most of us have been doing on the NSW Nth Coast this year.

spenda's picture
spenda's picture
spenda commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 4:00pm

Looking at that photo of the bloke sitting on his board, wouldn't you need one on the tail pad as well? Or across your arse cheeks?

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:32pm

Hey S,
Cheers. Re your question,
If there is no "eyes" or head recognisable to the shark, I assume they would think it is the back. Hence the purpose of Shark Eyes.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 7:24am

Which stickers do you have to stick on your wetsuits?

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 11:47am

Hey Don,
They are iron on transfers. Unfortunately these are only available for our team riders at this stage. More to come.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 12:55pm

Ok thanks. Iron onto a wetsuit? Rubber doesn't melt?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:19pm

Should be fine ...any form of screen printing onto a wetty needs to be heat cured anyway...i think ?

saltie's picture
saltie's picture
saltie commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:01pm

There u go. Us old boys do know something . Information handed down has protected us . This knowledge is valuable. Yeah wack so eyes on your stick. I did and it saved ( like to think so ) while surfing gracetown
Yeah too close for comfort that day

Saltie

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 1:38pm

Hmm.. I go for the US Navy Seals style camo -navy blue and dark (sikly) vegetable green resin tints. Then add some vegetable prints under the glass-sharks don't eat vegetables, right?

One of my mates uses really fucked-up looking eyes, deranged and off-putting or ill-looking.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 1:53pm

Thats a helluva story.

And the evidence from nature as well as experience is compelling.

My only qualm is the efficacy in extreme shallow water angles of attack.

In that case would it be better to have it on the fins if the bottom of the board is at too acute an angle?

If you're there Shannon, it'd be much appreciated if you could comment.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:01pm

That’s what’s so good about the eyes on the wettie legs. Have them facing backwards and you’re covered.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:06pm

Yep I was thinking eyes on the fins would be most useful and most visible to a shark coming in from the rear/side

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 3:07pm
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:45pm

Hey F,
As surfers we are generally in enough water for them to swim around in. Generally, a shark will approach multiple times to inspect, from multiple angles before it progresses into attack mode. It is the hope that on one of these passes, the Shark Eyes are seen and an instinctive change is made in the shark. The risk of harm to the shark increases in a front on attack.
As shown by the example of the cow study done by NSWU, once the perceived risk increased, the attacks were aborted.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 9:23am

thanks mate. Ordered some for me and kids.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:00pm

Sad tale about his experience with Pickering. Hope the memories become manageable one day. RIP Boydy.

Great work with the shark eyes. Ron and Valerie Taylor sold a big sticker for the undersides of boards back in the eighties which had two huge eyes and an open mouth full of jagged teeth. It looked like a white shark was bursting out of the bottom of the board.

The eyes on the wettie legs are a good idea too. I’ll be giving that a go.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:10pm

“Yeah for sure. One question I have for those using these kinds of mitigation strategies is, does having them on make you still think about these kinds of encounters due to the reminder the decal, ankle brace etc provides? i.e. is it always on your mind?”

Personally I don’t think it’s made me think of shark encounters anymore or less than I have previously. Since 2000 in WA when Ken Crew (R.I.P.) was attacked and then ongoing attacks, It’s always been a thought somewhere in my mind when paddling out. I suppose since using the Shark Eyes now when surfing “sharkier” locations it’s just some extra albeit small psychological comfort. My theory still remains the same though, if your time is up, your time is up...

Pristine

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:27pm

Why wouldn’t you..?

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:46pm

I dont surf or dive without running them nowdays. I know the risk is minimal, but it makes me enjoy my sports more and would feel silly if I didnt utilise such a simple method

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:28pm

Love the photo of the cow. Looks like a sad elephant.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 5:58pm

haha. Was thinking the same.
Pretty keen to maybe get a set for the wettie legs. How many times i've sat out there with my legs up on my board so i won't lose a leg..(ridiculous when you think about it). I reckon eyes would give some peace of mind and it's definitely no myth about the ambush aspect.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 5:05pm

Firstly that's a hell of read...great stuff all involved...
We learn from sharing, including comments...

Ben & bluediamond see the bigger picture here...the scarecrow effect.
large wide set eyes painted on lighter & (grey) cows either side of flapping tail .
This resembles Baby elephants guarding the herd, with Mum not far away! Bugger!
Top predator staring back at lions is therefore effective on ever watchful idle lions.
Scientists say you could replace the animated eyes with Bulls-eyes or weird shit!

1) The idea being to increase the size of cows to Predatory Rank by stealth.
2) (Blue Azure) Cute Evil Human mono brow curse is lost on circling Sharks.
3) No offence but if a Shark gazed into those tiny eyes...you're already Lunch!

You need a distinct bold signal that frightens Sharks from Pacific to Atlantic.
We see above, how the thought of a Mad Mama keeps the predators well away.

Swap Elephant experiment for Top Predator Orca Markings to frighten Sharks.

Pause: Think of the line-up as a Pod of Orca ...No Shark is coming near ! No Way!

Try distinctive (B&W) Flamed Rocket design (Fits perfectly on a Surfboard.)
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/0703_SD_Breaching02.jpg
https://www.markcarwardine.com/whale_images/MC-FG-00631/image.jpg

Note: Whale Calves /Surfboards have no markings (vs) Orca Markings may deter.
https://media.sciencephoto.com/c0/48/37/07/c0483707-800px-wm.jpg
Similar, the Flamed Rocket Orca is feared from a distance...buying surfer time.

Forget it! tbb thought about rampaging Orca, but they're to cute...like Puppies!
https://seaworld.com/-/media/seaworld-dotorg/images/infobooks/killer-wha...
See! Told ya! Shark would laugh to death...really really scary! NOT!

PS:
One way or another the tooth must come out & Sharks have a lot of teeth.
Shark dental clinics are now big business...you might just be sitting on one!
Real eye opener..that is!

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:39pm

I guess the one thing I'd want to know before shelling out is whether/how the stickers would be more effective than just drawing some big f-off eyes on with a sharpie?

He who hesitates is lost

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 4:15pm

That's my question. Whats to stop us who live over seas and can't buy a set just paint the same design on our boards and shit.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:04pm

Hey M,
As mentioned to Pops in comment above, we do want the knowledge of eyespots/mimicry out to the public.
Shark Eyes does ship internationally and we also have distributors in USA, so wherever you are in the world we can get some to you via an internet order. We are patented and trademarked internationally.
If you cant afford/want to outlay what we believe to be an affordable product, we definitely encourage to do whatever you can to utilise the concept.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:57pm

Hey Pops,
As simple as they look, we spent months designing Shark Eyes taking all aspects that science knows re sharks vision.
Ie why blue? A- it is the last colour to leave the water depth column. Its all about contrast to get they eyes to really stand out.
Why human looking eyes? A- to be unlike anything they naturally see in the ocean hence creating more doubt in the shark.
Ect ect
I would encourage anyone to draw, purchase, whatever you like. If you understand the concept and want to mitigate risk, just get some on there any way you can.
I am just happy to make it a bit easier for people to do so.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 9:27am

Good on you Shanan!

He who hesitates is lost

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 11:10am

Cheers

Jchrispie's picture
Jchrispie's picture
Jchrispie commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 7:48am

Hey Shanan.
Is the patent on the design Of the sticker or the idea of sticking eyes on your board?
Cheers

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 1:03pm

Great response mate i'll order a few sets myself

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:44pm

would eyes on your board provoke a bull shark? they seem like the "what the fck are you looking at cnt" type.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 3:01pm

We need an upvote system for comments like this. Nearly spilt m'coffee.

Simon Ozzie's picture
Simon Ozzie's picture
Simon Ozzie commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:26pm

Hang in ben, it riviting stuff, good to see the post getting some traction

hodgey14's picture
hodgey14's picture
hodgey14 commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 5:08pm

Hahahaha!!! That's gold

kooklife's picture
kooklife's picture
kooklife commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 5:52pm

this made me laugh so hard!!!!!!!!!!

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Monday, 23 Nov 2020 at 12:37am

Ha!
They are angry things. Higher levels of testosterone than any other shark.
I have witnessed firsthand multiple bull sharks behaviour change to being more wary of you once eye contact was made. To prevent unwanted encounters with sharks whilst diving it is common knowledge amongst spear fishermen not to take your eyes off them and move towards them if they start to become too inquisitive.
With this knowledge we believe Shark Eyes to have merit with bull sharks also.

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 8:50am

hahaha thanks for the laugh

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:35am

Haha!

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:51pm

What if the whole bottom of the board was one big eye? Same kind of shape.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:16pm

Hey S,
If you think of the size of a human eye, it is indicative of a human generally 5/6 feet.
A whale eye is somewhere around the size of a clenched fist.
Due to this we feel the Shark Eyes medium and large sizes are big enough to indicate that what they are stuck onto is a big animal. Going over the top may not have any benefit...

monkeyboy's picture
monkeyboy's picture
monkeyboy commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:55pm

These look very worthwhile.

I am going to stick a pair on my nipples for when I go swimming.

on a long enough timeframe...

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 4:52pm

The eyes would make a distinctive bikini top.

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:16pm

Eye tattoos on your butt like the cows? Just for the odd skinny dip or mankini run. Guaranteed to repel all kinds of predators...maybe not bull sharks or bears, but hey I'll take my chances.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 2:55pm

Been doing my own version of eyes on the bottom of my boards for a few years now and recently on the outside of the fins and im thinking anything that might create doubt in a sharks mind is better than nothing.Hadn't thought of the eyes on the legs of a steamer...great suggestion....

simba

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:18pm

Hey S,
We have a wetty range coming out in a few months time

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 3:05pm

Had that on the bottom of a black JS, just because I like the band, still, never got attacked.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 3:07pm

All those in favour, say eye.

1173

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 5:02pm

No ones objecting, so the eyes have it.
Sad elephant, good one.

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:45pm

Ha! I see what you did there.

monkeyboy's picture
monkeyboy's picture
monkeyboy commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 3:50pm

I've seen cyclists try this on their helmets to deter magpies but in the case of Magpies I believe they interpret the eyes as an attacker so it doesn't work in this case.

on a long enough timeframe...

Doublems111's picture
Doublems111's picture
Doublems111 commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 3:51pm

Option 1 : I'm camouflaged and hopefully not mistaken as food(resin tint)
Option 2: I'm a sea snake/ poisonous fish- not food -stay away(stripes)
Option 3: I'm possibly prey but I see you first(Eyes)
Maybe a camouflaged sea snake with eyes. My summarized belief for peace of mind is staying away from just a clear white bottom deck...and my poor boards have seen the brunt of my non-artistic attempts. But that is what you're aiming for...peace of mind by .05%
Respect to these lads for what they're doing

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 4:38pm

Ok so living in Cape St Francis in South Africa, we have our fair share of sightings, bumps, but thankfully limited attacks. But just last week 3 whites were spotted in the bay, some even breaching. It's rare that a day goes by and I don't get into the water for a surf or a kite sesh, and I've been thinking about painting some eyes on the bottom of all my boards and looking at designs. Sadly I've given up spearfishing since I moved here as the risk of encounters is just too much by speaking to my mates who dive regularly around this coast.

Shanan, if you can respond, what made you land on the bright blue eye design as opposed to black/white or some other colour. Also if there is some way to get some of these shipped out to South Africa I'd gladly purchase some. Anything to potentially mitigate risk without losing performance or increasing risk (EM devices) I'll be in favour of.

Also I noticed by looking at the Predator of great whites, the orca, and looking at their patterns they have a fake white eye spot which looks quite menacing.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 4:43pm

Mishad -Shipping to S.A. about 300 Rand

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 12:54am

Hey Mishad,
We went with blue due to it being the last colour to drop out of the water column at depth. We are chasing contrast and depth of field. Orca eyes, some seal eyes and quite a few other sea creatures eyes are all black. We don't want to look like a commonly seen sea creature.
We are trying to add more elements that the shark hasnt seen before to try to add more doubt in the shark when it is in the risk assessment stage leading up to an attack

Simon Ozzie's picture
Simon Ozzie's picture
Simon Ozzie commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:32pm

Awesome Idea, I thought the same years ago with an orcha like sticker, if u don't get some stickers, please send me the link ill buy some for sure

overthefalls's picture
overthefalls's picture
overthefalls commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 4:30pm

I have Shark Eyes on my boards and I have been surprised at the skepticism of some fellow surfers who write them off as a gimmick or scam. However, I would rather listen to blokes like Shanan and Greg, who know a lot more about shark behaviour than most. Their anecdotal evidence is good enough for me. I think ignorance is our real enemy, not sharks.

hoody's picture
hoody's picture
hoody commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:05pm

great comment. I've had a few run ins with smaller sharks and the guys who spend the most time in the water should be listened to.

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:34pm

Hey o,
Always nice to get feed back like this. Cheers.
The more versed on eyespots you become, and the more time you have spent with sharks, you know there is merit behind the concept.
The awesome thing to have seen over the Shark Eyes journey , is the amount of scientists/ shark guru's/ shark conservationists groups get in touch to commend us and reach out to help us promote Shark Eyes and educate the public. Been a rewarding ride

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 11:00am

Hi Shanan > that's the bit I like - that genuine ocean going chargers like you who have a genuine no-ego driven need to educate about shark behaviour. Coz the sharks genuiely don't hate us a species, so it would be nice if we put more understanding and less hate into the formula of co-existence. I'm trying to be aulteristic, just realistic. I genuiely hope you make some do-ray-me out of it. I can see growth in this idea. Thank you. > RR

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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 11:57am

Cheers Radiation,
I dont feel we should or could police the whole ocean, and I don't feel there is any science or studies out there that confirm measures by Gov are actually mitigating risk. Education mixed in with accountability for your own space in the water seems to be way forward ATM.
I really hope a guaranteed/failsafe/non-invasive option of mitigation becomes available to all some day.
I do hope we can keep Shark Eyes rolling as we have a great platform and group of super knowledgable core ocean users involved. Using all this combined knowledge, we have formulated a safe diving/spearfishing/swimming practises guide (shark related) soon to be released. More to come!

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radiationrules commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:03pm

"We have formulated a safe diving/spearfishing/swimming practises guide (shark related) soon to be released. More to come!" - great news shanan - where will that be published - I'm very keen to learn from you and your crew of subject matter experts?

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 12:05pm

Hey RR,
This booklet was what we where initially trying to launch with, along with a tourniquet and SE decal in a waterproof pack.
Unfortunately it got put on the backburner, due to it not being quite finished when I was nominated for a surfing award. We felt we had to launch in conjunction with that. The booklet is now in it's final stages and hopefully it will be out the start of this coming year.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 2:46pm

Hi Shanan > thanks for information. I look forward to reading it. Maybe you can post on here with Stu as a follow-up to this story? > RR

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Monday, 23 Nov 2020 at 12:44am

Hey RR,
I'l pass it on to Stu for sure

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 5:48pm

Made me think of my old Outer Islands, but perhaps those eyes were only on the top of the rails and not underneath.

hoody's picture
hoody's picture
hoody commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:13pm

Seriously if its cheap and gives you a bit of confidence to surf go for it. Terrible way to go but the statistics just don't warrant the hype.
I surf by myself plenty of times at dud times of day. Its more about peoples mindset than anything.
Next lightning storm make sure you guys are careful as more people are struck by lightning than hit by sharks worldwide.
Draw eyes on your umbrella!
Best product ive seen that make sense !!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:14pm

depends where you live.

gordie's picture
gordie's picture
gordie commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 7:15pm

I have a set of Shark eyes on one of my boards. I surf by myself often and it always gives me that little bit of extra comfort. Good stuff Shanan.

Gordie

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:37pm

Cheers Gordie,
Stoked your onboard

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 8:51pm

Unreal, a very logical concept.

In the meantime I might get an Artline 70 out and draw a nice big set of 'cross-eyed' eyes on the bottom of my board. That would surely give a shark something to think about I reckon.

Or maybe just a smiley face.

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 11:10pm

“The obligation to pass on this knowledge is a must,” says Worrall.

Advertorial? The cynic in me says more like the obligation to make maximum profit from minimal effort is a must

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:06am

Hey surfersam,
I can assure you, holding up a sticker and trying to educate people regards Shark Eyes merit has not been "minimal effort".
It has been a very hard 3 year slog fest. From your comment, I'm sure you could imagine the opposition I have come up against...
I spend alot of time in the water.... In the past 7 years I have been personally involved in 2 different attacks and lost 3 good friends to attack. It is obligation, it is personal. Wish it wasn't.

I wish we did not need to charge for what we offer, but unfortunately the reality of western world, without charging we would not be able to continue what we do, or have a platform for positive change.
The SE business vs the SE passion is a super hard balance I am still trying to figure out.

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Wednesday, 18 Nov 2020 at 11:41pm

Yep, I love mine. Sure keeps the head happier and with any sort of logical assessment must have at least some benefit. And hard to argue with the price.

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 12:48pm

Hey Wbat,
Glad its helped with your headspace too mate.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 1:51pm

SurferSam - “Advertorial? The cynic in me says more like the obligation to make maximum profit from minimal effort is a must”

Shanan - “I would encourage anyone to draw, purchase, whatever you like. If you understand the concept and want to mitigate risk, just get some on there any way you can. I am just happy to make it a bit easier for people to do so.”

Cynical indeed.....

Pristine

SurferSam's picture
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SurferSam commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:16am

https://www.sharkeyesglobal.com/collections/shark-deterrent-stickers/pro...

50 bucks for 5 stickers?
Yes I’m sure it’s all for an obligation to inform people

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 8:58am

how much do u spend on coffee each week

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 6:56pm

If it bothers you so much why don't you start your own sticker brand and see how much you have to charge to cover your costs? Sticking the boot into someone who's doing a service to you, me and every other surfer is a pretty low piece of fruit to grab.

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 6:19pm

I can’t start my own shark eyes stickers business ,there’s a patent on it
That’s my entire point

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 7:13pm

Your point is pointless SS

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 8:00am

"I can’t start my own shark eyes stickers business, there’s a patent on it. That’s my entire point"

Wow.

Let me get this right... someone spent years researching, developing and releasing a product that no-one else had thought of... and you're pissed because you are unable to copy it so you can make money yourself?

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 11:23am

No not at all
Point is he says he’s spreading the word to help others like mother Teresa

When really he’s protected an idea he’s had with a patent so he can make lots of $. If he really wanted others to use the idea why the patent

Years of research? It’s a eye sticker!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 12:27pm

Your outrage is somewhat confected.

A quick search on the IP Australia website (for patents) has 182 items listed under "sticker".

http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/ols/auspat/quickSearch.do?queryString...

Including one for "Vinyl Sticker 'L' and 'P' Plates".

I hope you're sufficiently outraged that old mate only had to learn 2/26 of the alphabet in order to commercialise that product.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 12:37pm

SS you say.. "Regarding shark repelling devices i current just take my chances. Figure if my numbers up then it’s up"
Furthermore you say, "When really he’s protected an idea he’s had with a patent so he can make lots of $. If he really wanted others to use the idea why the patent
Years of research? It’s a eye sticker!"
So what are you commenting for if you have no interest in deterrents at all. Apart from it either being a personal grudge against the person involved?? or are you just out to attack people who are actually trying to do good. Why comment here at all if it's not constructive and has no impact on you in any way?? One more thing, how many of your mates have you witnessed being attacked by a white pointer and if so, how did you respond????

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:30pm

Hey mate. I do have an interest in deferents. I don’t use one at the moment but watching with a keen eye as they are developed. I look at someone like shark shield and rpela abs both have done extensive scientific testing funded by themselves. Shark shield tested well in recent independent testing, rpela not so much. Rpela used the testing to finally make a product that does something. And funded several more tests themselves. I respect that. I’m not trying to be destructive in my comments, actually I have admitted I may be wrong several times. Regarding mates yes I have lost 1 to white shark attack. I wasn’t with him at the time so can’t comment in my actions if I was present. My sincere condolances to Shannon as well regarding his loss. It really hurts. That’s also why I am cautious regarding a business like this with no testing. Fear is a powerful thing. I just think something like this should be tested and also that it shouldn’t be marketed as a humanitarian effort when it’s clearly a business.
Anyway I’m signing off and will leave you all in peace , no more comments from me

Ronson's picture
Ronson's picture
Ronson commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:30pm

based on your posts on this thread you seem like a complete cunt!

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 5:22pm

Why ? Coz I have a differing opinion?
Just pointing out the obvious, it’s a product with a huge mark up. How much do you think it costs to print stickers in bulk? Cracks me up the way you are all carrying on it’s like you think shark eyes is a humanitarian charity. It’s not it’s a product / business. The research is non existent and anecdotal. It may well work, and it if it does then that’s great, but scientific research should be required prior to marketing a product like this.

Ronson's picture
Ronson's picture
Ronson commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 5:24pm

Mark up from what? Is it obvious? I cant see how it's obvious. Do you know the production cost of each sticker? No, you don't, you're guessing. So why bother with your comments if you have no clue?

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 6:13pm

Sounds like I’ve hit a nerve?
I’m not guessing mate , I do know the production cost

whereswalle's picture
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whereswalle commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 11:01am

Sounds like you've got zero understanding or appreciation for the value of the idea, R&D etc. that goes into something like this Sam. Those few dollars extra above material costs is the small price you pay for access to an innovative product born from someone else's lifetime spent in the front line.

Finnbob the terror's picture
Finnbob the terror's picture
Finnbob the terror commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:13am

A four year study on cows with eyes.
Surely the major surf board brands and the majority of local shapers could get involved and place shark eyes on their boards pre sale, so most boards purchased came with eyes, then see if the attacks on surfers drop. I wouldn't care if my board came with eyes, even if it cost an extra few bucks.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 12:52pm

Hey Finnbob,
We do manufacture ricies that alot of shapers use on custom orders.
Hopefully we see a few more major players jump on board.

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:24am

with those eyes on the borad you'll look like a giant calamari, mmmm yummy treat for a shark :D

beamish55's picture
beamish55's picture
beamish55 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:38am

An old neighbor of mine 95 years young use to be a hard hat diver in his early years told me once that they use to tie a bed sheet with a big eye painted on it to their air hose which use to go up to the boats compressor. the sheet would move in the water like a flag as they walked the bottom doing their business. So the ide seems to of been around for a long time. I wonder if the pearl divers in Broome ever did anything similar?

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:44am

I had an elder surfer tell me once that he had been told Japanese pearl divers would tie long lengths of ribbon to themselves to make them appear bigger / longer as a deterent for larger predators

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 12:57pm

Hey beamish,
The concept has been used for ages amongst different diving groups, some surfers also.
I think until now the concept has been relatively unknown to the masses.
I know a few of the pearling lads but havent heard of any of them using it.

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 8:46am

Got them on all my boards, simple cheap and effective. Gives me peace of mind in murky Victorian waters.

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:05pm

Hey San,
Glad your onboard. If your enjoying yourself more we are already winning.

robbo's picture
robbo's picture
robbo commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 8:57am

Our company does marine ecology surveys in Vic, NSW and Tas, and risk of shark attack is a part of all our dive risk assessments. For some time now we have had shark eyes on our dive gear as one of the ways to mitigate shark risk. We also have shark eyes on our surfboards.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:02pm

Hey Robbo,
Great to hear your team are onboard. Please email us directly through the site, always keen to keep learning and milk knowledge off people who have spent time underwater in the different feilds. Love to have a chat sometime re what you do.

soggydog's picture
soggydog's picture
soggydog commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 9:14am

Great comment @surfersam, did you think that one up all by yourself?

Switchfoot bob's picture
Switchfoot bob's picture
Switchfoot bob commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 9:20am

Good work, I don't have any on my boards because I was unaware of this information and of the journey and experience behind the eyes, I assumed they would work but never bothered but as my paranoia grows in WA I feel that it's a great purchase. Cost of a carton to possibly save ur life or save u from having a disability for the rest of your life is a good price.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:12pm

Hey Switchfoot,
Stu from Swellnet is a real journo and was an absolute champion to be dealing with re this article. He actually spent alot of time digging around for factual information and even hunted down one of the worlds leading White Shark scientist John Mcosker. To date, I hadn't even been able to find his email. This has lead to me having a meeting with John Mc, something I have wanted to do for ages.
Thanks Stu

Switchfoot bob's picture
Switchfoot bob's picture
Switchfoot bob commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 5:53pm

Awesome good work Shannon and Stu! And obviously everyone who has contributed to these being available to everyone.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 9:31am

The following was from a spear fishing article I read a while back:
“The most important thing to hide from the snapper (this applies to all fish) is your eyes. Nothing scares fish off faster than looking directly at them. It is possible to get mirrored lenses on your mask to hide your eyes but the most important thing is to try to never look straight at the fish or to try putting your hand over your eyes and look out between your fingers.”
Seems to me that for the small cost (bigger for surfersam) maybe putting a bit of faith in the anecdotal evidence from the commercial divers and Botswana farmers would surely be worth a try.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:17am

I've got Moon Equipped stickers I got off a hot rod mate on a couple of boards. Also the full stripes on a big Webster.

As Lenin said, "whatever gets you through the night..."

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:23am

Lenin said that?

1173

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 11:11am

He also said

But every little difference may become a big one if it is insisted on.

Lenin, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, “Paragraph One of the Rules” (1904)

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:37am

As well as "I am the Walrus".

Donny knows.

Basil's picture
Basil's picture
Basil commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:41am

No discernable downside, and a potentially life-saving upside, why wouldn't you? Quick question - there seem to be small, medium and large eyes available. Is bigger better?

Basil

johpg's picture
johpg's picture
johpg commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 12:55pm

I want to know this too.
Could someone please advise?

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:21pm

Hey Johpg,
Just answered this in near comment

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:19pm

Hey Basil,
Generally we do recommend "bigger is better".
In nature, the bigger the "eye" generally indicates bigger the animal.
We feel the small decals have merit at that size, working of the literal human eye size = a 5/6 ft person, and the literal eye having an effect.
We have made multiple sizes to try fit everyones budget, and some people just dont want a big decal on the bottom of their boards (some surfers are a little vain).
Hope this helps

johpg's picture
johpg's picture
johpg commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:22pm

Exactly what I wanted to know - thanks for the quick reply.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:45am

I thought Lenin was handy with the icepick?

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:49am

Nah..Trotsky was on the receiving end of the icepick!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:52am

right you are comrade.

Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 11:58am

such a great simple idea that everyone should adopt. minimum outlay for piece of mind.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 12:22pm

Agreed Trent, everyone should take an icepick to a recalcitrant politician.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 12:31pm

I dunno, I’m just looking at the angle of that barrel and I’m wondering if shanan was barrel dodging....
One time my wife and I were sleeping in a tent on the Serengeti plains. Your just out there with lion and hyena and all manner of things walking about with only tent sheet for protection!! Haha, no shit, it’s fucking incredible they walk right around your tent and you can hear them and see footprints the next morning. No one gets up for a piss in the night!! Anyway, we were relaxing there quietly near sleep and we heard this deep rumbling sound like thunder in the earth and then more of it from here and there. It was a herd of Elephants walking through our camp. I was like, ok it’s Elephants they are cool. But then the thought occurred to me, and it hit me like lightning; what if there is a blind Elephant with them? I was like, oh shit if it steps on our tent!! Anyway, the shark thing reminded me of it. I have a symbol which resembles an eye on some of my boards and I’ve often thought it could work to make a Noah think twice. But yeah, not if the shark was a little bit blind. Also, I think bull sharks often attack in muddy water near river mouths and estuaries- so I think they test with their teeth first and maybe have a look later when they are pooping out the remains in clearer water. Those bulls are in heir own category. As for whites, it’s anyone’s guess how they tick!!, I’ve heard all sorts of different stories from window shopping to smash and grab.

Barrelrider

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:04pm

There's another joke in there somewhere- "A blind elephant walks into a bar..."

1173

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:38pm

SI,
Ha! Literally only just got into the barrel when that shot was taken! I guess in reality I am only in the mouth. An unforgettable view.
Regards bulls, they do have high testosterone and can be quite aggressive. They dont normally use their teeth to inspect, on inspection they normally bump.
Whites are commonly know to "inspect" with their teeth.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:48pm

Oh shit, I was only joking man. You are right in the eye of the storm deep on that wave!! It’s a fucking awesome barrel and I was also spinning out because it sort of looks like your high lining...definitely joking about the barrel dodge!! I just showed my wife the picture of you after your comment and she said it looks like the “universe” around you. And I’ll bet it looked a bit like that to you too!! I can only imagine...

Barrelrider

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 2:10pm

The only wave I can think of this year that even compares with yours was Russell Bierke’s wave in Tassie.

Barrelrider

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 2:28pm

Oh yeah I almost forgot , but I reckon Jamie Scott’s photo is incredible. There is the surfer, there is the wave and there is the photographer. There’s much more too, but I reckon Jamie should win a prize for that shot- maybe he has I don’t know, but I reckon he should. Compositionally and everything in the moment, it is an extraordinary shot. I take my hat off to him for his art with the camera.

Barrelrider

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:22pm

You on it Si - Jamie Scott has a unique perspective and he is very humble human. Justly rewarded this week with 4x of his pics in a permanent exhibition at the new WA Museum. RR

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 2:34pm

Have you got a link to those photos, I’d like to have a captain cook...

Barrelrider

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 4:11pm

SI > sorry, they have a media ban on at the moment. The first public opening of the new WA Museum is tomorrow. They expect 400,000+ in next 10 days, so I imagine Jamie's pics could be on social media from this Sunday? They are all of the Cow Bommie at substantial size. As you probably know, Shanan's a charger out at CB too - Jamie has heaps of amazing pics of him - but none made the WAM's cut - of only 4. > RR

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 12:33pm

Jamie is super talented. He runs the Margies markets in town and has a stall down there once a month. Worth a look to check out his work.

fishnsurf's picture
fishnsurf's picture
fishnsurf commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:13pm

Just looking at that picture of the killer whale. Why don't we make up some fake ones and anchor them out in the surf ?

Surf ingredients

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:25pm

I agree that the 'eyes' are at least a deterrent. Heaps of divers I know utilise them in some form or another.
I know a cray diver who wears a slightly padded bra with eyes drawn on it around his back. The 'eyes' look freaky in that they bulge out slightly...Looks funny but they definitely stand out underwater.

Simon Ozzie's picture
Simon Ozzie's picture
Simon Ozzie commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:29pm

Something is better than nothing. Im too scared to dive but if I was sitting out West (most of u know where im talking about) id feel a little more comfortable with shark eyes !!! Great write up swellnet and I feel for the divers and families :(

bb's picture
bb's picture
bb commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:41pm

I've been a Commercial Fisherman for 25+ years .For 10 of those years I was Prawn / Scallop Trawling and noticed that Sharks will not eat SEA SNAKES ever! Hence eyes and sea snakes on the bottom of all my boards. It might not seem much but it's better than nothing. Cheers. Peace ya'll.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:58pm
bb's picture
bb's picture
bb commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 3:19pm

Nice find Uda but In my real life experience and I'm no "Expert" I never witnessed a Sea Snake being eaten by a shark. The byproduct coming off a Prawn Trawler sorting table, literally creates a feeding frenzy . Yellow / Blue fin tuna , Mackerel and Dolphins on top and sharks just below. Sea Snakes are also often lurking on top and are super slow, seemingly unperturbed to the frenzy around them. I'll stick to my theory, thanks anyways Udo. (:

bb's picture
bb's picture
bb commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 6:33pm

I'll just add there are a few different Sea Snake species in Shark Bay . Big 2m Fat Brownish looking ones that tend to stay in the weed on the bottom and may be tasty for Tiger Sharks. The Sea Snakes that frequent the surface tend to be banded yellow/black..Cheers

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 1:58pm

Endless wildlife shows (lions, cheetahs etc.) have made it pretty clear that solitary predators have a low strike rate when not using a ambush tactics. Stalking and stealth is essential. This is instinctive but also learned over thousands of hunts. Sharks are often seen swimming with seals and dolphins (and fish) zooming around them more or less ignoring their antics as the sharks know they have been seen and that their mobility in a chase is less than that of their prey.

So the line of sight factor must have pretty major impact on their decision making in choosing prey. You can almost see it in the big cats faces as they weigh up their chances and let the low chance ones go by. Same with sharks - a lot more analysis goes on in their little brains than we think.

Statistically this is important as any unlikely event made multiple times less likely by some factor move the probability of an attack for any individual surfer from rare to almost never.

For example, if the probability of an attack is 1/5000 surfs and then the probability of that attack being put off by the Shark Eyes sticker is say 8 times out of 10 then the probability of the attack becomes (1/5000) x (2/8) = 2/40000 or 1 in 20,000.

If you surf 50 times a year in average shark habitat zones, over the next 10 years your chances are around 500/20000 or 1 in 4,000 of being attacked over that period.

Pretty good odds. Now if you surf mainly when it is good. Go hard and catch a lot of waves fast and get out after an hour or so (rather than just pickling yourself in salt water cause you've got no other leisure activities you enjoy), your odds shift again down further into never-never land.

Small shifts in your behaviour and your protection approach do matter a lot.

Frogg

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:32pm

Hey frog,
Definitely agree re "Line of sight" it is the same with sharks as apex land based predators. Shark Eyes aims to make an instinctive change in a shark to abandon the hunt, due to it being aware it has lost the element of surprise in an attack.
Risk of attack is not high, increases depending on where you live and how often you use the ocean. Environmental factors play a role also ie rivermouths, dead whale in nearby area ect.... For those of us that do use the ocean flat out, there is no reason not to take all factors into consideration before going in. Utilising all mitigation strategies one chooses to use and being aware of the environmental factors and surroundings

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 2:54pm

Taking into account this quote from above:

'Same with sharks - a lot more analysis goes on in their little brains than we think.'

Having watched my father turn the roof of his house into a virtual, wax museum come wildlife park, in an attempt to stop the birds shitting on his pavers, and some friends importing all sorts of exotic, life like robotic creatures to stop the galahs turning their prize palm into wood chips, I'm wondering if this effect will come into play, especially as the popularity grows.

'Placing Decoys
This is the method to use to literally scare birds away. Decoys like scarecrows, balloons, fake owls and even rubber snakes can be places to keep birds away. This method might work for a while, but generally birds catch on. After a while, they will be get used to whatever decoy you are using. Many times they will turn scarecrows into a comfortable perch. The best way to prevent things like this is to constantly be rotating and repositioning the decoy. This will keep the birds weary and make the decoy seem lively. This is why balloons are a popular pick.'

https://aviancontrolinc.com/how-to-scare-birds-away/#:~:text=Decoys%20li....

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:15pm

Hey Michael,
Valid question for sure. With the examples of scarecrows ,fake owls ect, the animals they are generally designed to "ward off" would have multiple regular interactions, potentially even on a daily basis.
Hopefully the encounters are not regular enough of sharks with Shark Eyes that they become comfortable with the "line of sight".
In India, face masks were worn on the back of heads to prevent tiger attack. A report said that no one using a mask got attacked for 3 years. After the 3 rd year the Tigers clued onto the fact that the locals were using masks and the rate of attacks did increase.
These tigers did become familiar after 3 years..... The 4 year study just done by NSWU on the cows had no fatalities.....
I hope and feel the interactions of individual sharks vs Shark Eyes are not frequent enough for that familiarity to occur.

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 3:55pm

Anyway, I think its a great principle, worth exploring fully.

And some things are worth wondering about.

There's this. The bus, the bulldozer factor. Where will she run away to? How many are there? Bigger?

Then, ignoring the opening hype, the look away factor is definitely there, but look out, enter the bus, the bulldozer, maybe just having a bad day. Maybe just being a bulldozer. Eye to eye.

You can't really stare out, bluff a genuine high speed bulldozer. You have to bring more than a fake stare to the game, if its a genuine, high speed bulldozer coming to play.

Lots to wonder about.

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:47am

Hey Michael,
I do understand your thought process.

It’s all about stopping the bulldozer from building up the speed in the first place. Sharks, especially Whites use speed in surprise attacks.
Trying to get the shark to make an instinctive decision to not fire up due to it losing its predatory edge, the edge of surprise, this the key. Nothing will stop a White once it’s made its decision.

You can have plenty of good encounters and sharks will come close even if you are wearing Shark Eyes, but hopefully at this stage the sharks intent of surprise attack has gone. It is just passing on, starting the cycle/risk assessment of the hunt again once it finds new prey.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 4:10pm

@Solitude
"One thing I've not understood is this - how do sharks when ambushing a surfer know which is the front and which is the back of such an abstract and likely rarely seen object?"

The pulsations given off when you are paddling tell the white pretty much all is what I have been told.

Might invest in the "eyes" a few guys around here use them, have had to get out of the water a couple of times in the last month with another 4 or 5 sightings in the local area.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 4:40pm

The clip of that shark attacking the cage is incredible. The power of that beast is amazing. That rugby player was also a powerful unit. Cheers MB.

Pristine

johpg's picture
johpg's picture
johpg commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 8:52pm

Do you think a pair of Shark Eyes on the cage would have stopped that?

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 9:39pm

I’d be guessing mate, which is pretty pointless. The quote below from the man himself, who has genuine experience in the field goes a fair way to answering your question though I reckon....

“I’m not looking to sell a false sense of security,” says Worrall who’s spent enough time around sharks to comment on them with a reserved authority, “I’d never say Shark Eyes are a hundred percent effective because there are some sharks, like humans, that just have a different personality; they don’t act nice.”

Pristine

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:11pm

Hey Johpg,
Not at all. Nothing would.
These are not sharks acting like they do under normal wild circumstances. They have been baited and teased with fish remains to provoke an interaction.
If a shark gets to this point, line of sight will not always make a difference.
A cage diving interaction is totally different to the kind of wild/natural encounters we have as surfers/divers.

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 4:46pm

Hahahaha!

'Ben & bluediamond see the bigger picture here...
large wide set eyes painted on lighter & (grey) cows either side of flapping tail .
This resembles Baby elephants guarding the herd, with Mum not far away! Bugger!
Top predator staring back at lions is therefore effective on ever watchful idle lions.
Scientists say you could replace the animated eyes with Bulls-eyes or weird shit!

1) The idea being to increase the size of cows to Predatory Rank by stealth.
2) (Blue Azure) Cute Evil Human mono brow curse is lost on circling Sharks.
3) No offence but if a Shark gazed into those tiny eyes...you're already Lunch!'

This one even beats trubes, 'school sports based on Lord of the Flies' hall of famer.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 5:11pm

I reckon if I lived in WA I'd have some eyes for sure. Here in NZ we just don't see that many sharks for some reason. I'm sure they're out there but we just don't see them. We get these massive bait balls round here with birds diving into the water and all sorts of threshing going on, but they're usually around 500 metres - 1km out to sea. Maybe the sharks are just further out here.

Another thing we definitely don't get is waves like The Right. That's some next level shit right there. You guys are welcome to it haha!

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freesurfer1977 commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 7:57pm

I like the eyes concept.
Have you done any experiments with odours,or scents? Since i was grom, I've heard sharks can smell a drop of blood in a volume of water the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Surely there must be a non toxic concoction, odour or sent that they can't stand. Being that there smell is so dynamic.
Just curious.
I'd pay a little extra for a cake of wax with shark repellant in it. Just a thought.

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:16pm

Hey Free,
No we haven't. I have heard whispers amongst people who have a good practical knowledge base on sharks talk of dead shark scent acting as a deterrent.

PCS PeterPan's picture
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PCS PeterPan commented Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 10:08pm

Shanan , first up I gotta say what an amazing image of one crazy good barrel . So any question regarding where you fit into this modern surfing world is sorted , you are definately " core " .
About five years ago after the last spike in east coast attacks I had a signwriter mate of mine print me up about 10 sets of eyes , doing all I could to mitigate risk . They weren't cheap either !
My reason for doing this was another mate of mine is an oyster farmer . His father who is in his early nineties recalls the days when as commercial fishos , they rowed around Botany Bay in 18 foot wooden skiffs for thier catch . This is in the late 1930's.
He swears they used to paint eyes under the boats to stop the sharks continually bumping them . Reckons it was standard practice as the Bay boiled with all manner of life when the season was on .
Stay on track mate , its a great idea .

shanan_onshore's picture
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shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:22pm

Cheers, PCS.
Love hearing these stories. I met a guy in Esperance once who was kyaking around Australia....Crazy man.... He was in a kayak, the kind that had foot pedals to propel his vessel forwards. He told me he would occasionally have to replace the propulsion paddles due to sharks biting them off. He painted eyes onto these paddles and commented that it had solved the problem.

Shaggydagz's picture
Shaggydagz's picture
Shaggydagz commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:25am

I'm in... Always keeping an eye on the SW
Should see me right......
Just ordered a set, I always thought it was a clever idea since I'd seen them. That was without knowing the story....

Brad Ferrier's picture
Brad Ferrier's picture
Brad Ferrier commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 8:41am

So, SurferSam. What’s your grandest idea regarding attack reduction ? Haven’t read anything positive from you ever. It appears you are just another one of those depressive ‘negative comment’ trolls. Some Australians mindsets make me sick, it’s the old cut em down if they get to tall syndrome, again..

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 3:00pm

Really where else have I commented? Think you may have me mixed up with someone else?

I don’t like the eyes. I don’t think they’ll do a single thing to stop a hungry great white and there’s currently 0 research to say the contrary. But that’s my opinion, i may be wrong , it wouldn’t be the first time that’s for sure.

What I don’t like is punters not being up front and honest with there motivations. Saying he’s doing it purely to spread the word and save lives is talking it up to the highest degree. That may be a part of it but so is making a profit with little to no effort, so that he can surf all day while we work. And that’s fair game , if he can pull that off good on him. But spare me the BS in the process please ha

Regarding shark relelling devices i current just take my chances. Figure if my numbers up then it’s up

Have a great day

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 1:54pm

A mate's recent post on his YouTube channel.

https://youtu.be/pXOdJpgMRNA

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 10:47am

Remember one of the many old myths that white sharks don't like the surf zone...

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 11:31am

amazing what you don't see if you don't have the eye for it.

no disrespect intended, but they look like gumbies.

I remember the first time I sat on a headland with mullet spotters.

"There's 13 ton of mullet"

me: "where?"

"Right fcuking there"

now mullet nodding stand out like dogs balls to me.

If you're eye hasn't been trained to see, you miss what is right in front of you.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 11:42am

Despite the subject matter, some nice images.

Such beautiful clear blue water in WA.

1173

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 11:57am

Matty Wilko is no gumbie and he didn't see squat either. Not having a go just saying that these sharks clearly know how to check out things on the surface without getting spotted it would seem, more often than not.

The encouraging thing for me in these types of clips is that even with vigorous paddling/splashing with the shark so close, they don't just automatically get excited or go into attack mode. Once they're satisfied with the interaction they just keep cruising. Obviously its the sharks in hunting mode that are the worry. Cue Shark Eyes and pure luck....

Pristine

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:09pm

Matty Wilko is a pro surfer.

It's amazing to me how clueless some pro surfers are with respect to the ocean and the life within it.

Not saying Wilko is that for sure but I know pro surfers who are basically clueless bogans who happen to surf really well.

Sorry Rabs, I'm not disrespecting your point either, it's amazing how these sharks can get close to people without detection.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:14pm

Yep fair enough FR. Very true.

Pristine

Ronson's picture
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Ronson commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 12:37pm

Good enough for me Shanan. I've been thinking about this (doing something) for a while because the logic resonates, but being east coast based I've been lazy. And your incredible story above and the depth of your experience as a surfer and diver gets me well over the line.

Off to order 3 x packs of five (large). Good Chrissy present for the bro-in-laws family too and enough for all the other boards, lids and sup's in the garage. Bit of piece of mind for a dad whose kids are rarely out of the water.

Cheers mate and all the best.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 3:30pm

Crazy footage Facto. And yes agreed Seaslug. More often than not the ones i've observed down in S WA happily cruise in through the whitewater zone, especially the more expoed beaches that have those big gutters running between the banks....sometimes they'll even surf in behind the wave. The theory they don't like whitewater can be placed in the same box as the theory that there's no sharks when there's dolphins around!!

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 4:29pm

Indeed BD re SW and when the dolphins are making a beeline for you and seeking cover, its time to get the hell out of dodge. Most probably too late by then. On the other hand, a pod of orcas and I have a sense of relief but that happens very infrequently.

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 4:26pm

Maybe the eyes work for any number of reasons. Other than casting doubt in the mind of the predator, they give the potential prey more (justified?) confidence that they will not be attacked, basically giving less impression that they are prey. But sometimes one merely improvises and hopes for the best. Some years ago at, I was out at what was then an infrequently surfed location in Newcastle. The beaches had all been closed by the council for a week due to frequent shark presence but the waves were good, so I just went surfing. I was about 100m out, mid afternoon, overcast day. No one out, no one on the 1km stretch of beach. I was getting my inshore marker lined up and then turned to the horizon. There was a tiger shark about 2 meters away, looking straight at me. Its head was easily twice as wide as me. After the initial jolt of adrenalin all I could think of doing was to spread my arms and legs out wide and make myself look bigger. After what seemed like a very long time it just swam away. I still don't know why it didn't just bite me - maybe that element of doubt I mentioned earlier gave me the little edge I needed to survive. Be safe.

onetimeonly

sheep shagger's picture
sheep shagger's picture
sheep shagger commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 7:36pm

The ocean is not ours. We share it with nature, regardless of the consequences.
Nets are evil.
What next? Shooting all lions, leopards and tigers so we can walk freely in the jungle. Human life is not that important.. after all, there are 7 billion of us.

sheep shagger's picture
sheep shagger's picture
sheep shagger commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 7:52pm

Sorry.. meant to post that in the Nets Forum (bongs) ... like the eyes on the board idea

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 8:01pm

Yeah, good points, sheepie. May as well forget about a covid vaccine and a cure for cancer while we're at it.

sheep shagger's picture
sheep shagger's picture
sheep shagger commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 8:11pm

Less people.. more waves. I'm with that D-Rex.

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 8:56pm

'Sorry.. meant to post that in the Nets Forum'

She's right, got yas covered aye!!!

summerofstav's picture
summerofstav's picture
summerofstav commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 9:51pm

Great reading. Genuine question to those that know more about shark behaviour than myself. Would a shark even be able to clearly see the eyes on the board, given that the shape of a surfer lying on a board against the very bright sunlight from above creates a really dark silhouette effect?

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 7:37am

Sometimes all they would see is a silhouette and no eyes. Often they circle (unseen) so get a few different angles and so may see the eyes at some point. I don't think they would be seen in some surface approaches if your board is flat in the water such as George Greenough described. But often when we sit on a board it is angled and so would be seen from both below and near surface.

It is all about shifting the odds by deterring x% of serious investigatory approaches. We will never know what the x % is but my guess would be that it could be higher than 50% rather than lower.

Frogg

summerofstav's picture
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summerofstav commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 8:10am

Great points. Thanks Frog

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:43pm

Hey Summer,
Alot of people ask the question re the silhouette factor, and it does exist.

As a diver I have seen many objects from many angles when returning to the ocean surface. A blackout/silhouette of the object on the surface occurs when the sun is directly behind the object on the surface in line with your approach to the object. ( think eclipse to get a better mental picture ).
So as long as the sun is not directly behind, all other angles you can generally see quite clearly the bottom of an object in the water whilst looking up.
In the case of a shark looking up, they are cautious by nature and generally will from distance asses from multiple angles before a decision is made.
Hope this helps answer the question.

summerofstav's picture
summerofstav's picture
summerofstav commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 8:36pm

Thanks Shanan. That makes sense, and you would only know that from having actual experience like you have, coming up to the surface from different angles, I always pictured in my mind it would be a silhouette from various angles. Great information.

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 11:21pm

I like to flick lures on the flats when there are no waves, So I'm wading at Nudgee last week about hip deep and this old bastard paddles past on his kayak, waves and says "Mornin shark bait". WTF! You for real? "Oh yea, I see Bull sharks all the time along here, have nice day and good luck!" says ole mate as he paddles off laughing. Needless to say he put a massive damper on my fishing that day. Might have to paint some eyes on my kneecaps and get some velcro one's for the arse of my boardies.

Duesouth's picture
Duesouth's picture
Duesouth commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 6:44am

I surf down the bottom end of the SI of NZ, quite often alone. Whites frequent the area. Irrespective of the theory anything that puts your mind at rest while your in the water is a big step forward. Sharks pick up on your distress if your sitting out their quietly shitting yourself.
I have stripes painted on the bottom of most of my go to boards, with a huge all seeing eye in the middle. Stripes to break up the seal like silhouette and, well you all know what the eyes for! When I jump on one of my boards I haven’t painted up, man I definitely feel it. It does nothing for the resale value, but who cares, piece of mind is worth it and if it turns a few around it’s invaluable.

quadzilla's picture
quadzilla's picture
quadzilla commented Sunday, 22 Nov 2020 at 7:19pm

Thats the pattern i use DueSouth,along with Solid black dots on my fins.

Attacks are rare but happen,the chances of a bite or fatality is minute when the number of humans in the water around the Oz coast is added up.

However, I personally know 4 friends who have been attacked.2 had their boards bitten.2 suffered bites by whites.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 7:26am

Off topic a bit but has parallels to the shifts in shark risks where formerly safe places ain't so safe anymore...:

From ABC article:

"A Far North Queensland cane farmer says saltwater crocodiles are taking over his property.

Andrew Mazgay's cane farm at Bibhoora, on the Atherton Tablelands, is not known saltie territory.

It is 65 kilometres west of the coast and almost 400 metres above sea level.

However, Mr Mazgay said he spots several crocs on a daily basis.

"They're all about 1.2 metres long and I'm just watching one now," he said."

"He said the situation was becoming dangerous.

"I went to pull a water pump out of the creek and this crocodile came out of the water and just lunged at me," Mr Mazgay said.

"I'm sort of a bit on edge now."

"This was supposed to be a family farm but my grandkids and everyone else won't even come here."

Frogg

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 8:58am

They made guns for a reason, frog.

SeanDavey's picture
SeanDavey's picture
SeanDavey commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 10:48am

Here's something. Have you guys considered using 3D stickers that blink as the shark moves past? Seems like it would be twice as effective if the shark could see the eyes actually blinking.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:49pm

Hey Sean,
We did look into all different types of design. All 3d options as far as I know have some form of reflective qualities to them. We wanted to steer clear of the reflective properties.
We went for the "mona lisa" look as best we could, non reflective but still looking at you from whichever way you approach.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 11:10am

Further to what Sean says above, I was going to write, maybe you could further refine the stickers based on his idea above. I have a halloween 3D pic about A4 size that when you walk past it, the eyes follow you. It's kinda freaky. Assuming the sharks eyes work in a similar fashion to ours, it would give the illusion to the shark that the eyes are following it rather than staring straight ahead. Anyway, just spitballing, but you get the drift.

1173

compact wing's picture
compact wing's picture
compact wing commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 11:59am

We used this theory for protection from Magpie attack.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 1:03pm

Firstly Shanan, good stuff mate. And thanks for your replies to all the comments above.

Secondly thanks to all. You are the reason I come on here; to read and learn from all the considered, rationale, interesting, experienced, varied and humorous comments.

It’s really refreshing to see decorum and a general lack of emotionally charged reactivity that this topic can often evoke.

Have a good day.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 2:18pm

Cheers Solitude,
I'm super thankful the article was written with enough detail/information and input was given from multiple sources to paint an accurate picture. This has enabled people to make up their own minds re Shark Eyes.
Thanks again Stu.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 2:29pm

Hey Shanan,can you send a link when wetsuit eyes are for sale.

simba

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 3:13pm

Hey Simba,
Is there a chance you could please email me [email protected] re this, I can put it on file and hit you when its released

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 9:00pm

will do Shanan

simba

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 2:41pm

..Plus 1 on Solitudes comment above...I've been thinking about this story for days, re-reading the comments etc...because I'm learning something new every time I do it. In the least I have new ideas to pursue and research. This shark issue for me is so much more than surfers being entitled to the ride waves "like we did in the '70's" . I think it cast's a big spotlight on co-existence of all species for the broader non-surfing population; that is consideration of the position of acceptance that sharks have as much right to exist, any way they want, as we humans do. Which doesn't mean I wouldn't kill a rogue shark, because if pushed, I would.

Anyway, more broadly thanks to Stu for his journalism and Ben for starting and developing Swellnet; it's a peerless forum on all things surfing to me. Not least of which is because the readership appreciates the authenticity of people like Shanan and his ideas. Relative to all things social media, the polite and enquiring commentary from the bleachers reflects that respect and appreciation IMO.

So just old fashioned gratefullness from me; having said that wishing you all a peaceful surf today, that is a non-shark filled day. Ha! > RR

theolderIgetthebetterIwas's picture
theolderIgetthebetterIwas's picture
theolderIgetthe... commented Saturday, 21 Nov 2020 at 6:51pm

yep
part A of my plan is to eyeball the Noah - big time. If I'm not squealing like a toddler

part B is this - rip out an FCS 2 fin for a handy switchblade...

totally unrealistic

probs just get fighting and acknowledge that my time is up.....

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 at 12:24pm

Neighbourhood Watch : [ Eye/s ] Protect our Communities from predators!
https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0013/600241/eyewatch_B...
https://www.southerneye.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Neighbourhood-w...
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/fa/63/06/fa630615cae185ba61e784918da98721--nei...
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/82/03/ee/8203ee10d593ca60e0c3d830161916f5--nei...
https://cdn-thumbs.barewalls.com/protection-against-theft-by-alert_bwc69...
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c9/ca/3d/c9ca3dedb7aa9b06887e402d801f89bc...
https://westlancashirerecord.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/jul20_walk_twit...
https://www.joeyburke.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/NHW-logo.jpg
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQJ8YImVtDAZRos-0Uw...
https://btckstorage.blob.core.windows.net/site15871/Website/Website%2020...
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q0AKxW9LtxA/UZtW3OKzq2I/AAAAAAAAAmA/q...

Neighbourhood Watch Parody even targets the Eyes.
https://www.yourharlow.com/wp-content/uploads/Neighbourhood-Watch.jpeg

Mr Safety House has blacked out eyes...pretty suss!
Here, Mr Safety House is licking the girls....that's not right...beginning of the end.
https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/safety-house-program-bites-th...

Safety House can't keep his tongue in his pants...
https://www.svacs.wa.edu.au/image.php?file=/art/rta/PFA/Safety-House-pic...

Run Kidz Run...
https://www.dardanup.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/105/2019/09/safe...

Who could see that happening
https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5a449767a803bb806835ab3d/1...

Dare say Polynesians had Eye Popping tongue poking Tikis to ward off Shark Spirits.
Hawaiian Shark Gods > Nanaue from Waipio + Kauhuhu from Molokai...
Might be some Shark symbolism hidden the detail also the shark sacrifices
https://michelduchaine.com/2013/07/04/rewriting-history-the-four-great-g...
Works a bit like this...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-YsN0y7vZI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_r6gpo8tuU

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 at 2:09pm

Interesting read. Growing up in SA, sharks were usually on my mind to some extent. First few years in Vicco I never thought about them, but I find myself thinking about them more now particularly if surfing in quieter spots.

This seems like a great idea. Nothing to lose by buying them and well priced.

Shanan, if you're still reading (and thanks for coming on here and addressing queries), I see you have the clear and black options available on your website.

Is there a preferred option from a safety perspective?

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 1:39pm

Hey Bnkref,
We made the "black" decals to ensure the Shark Eyes really stood out if user had a multicoloured watercraft.
Out of personal preference / aesthetics some prefer the blacks.
We haven't any information / testing to suggest one works better than the other.
Hope this helps.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 1:59pm

Thanks Shanan. Appreciate the reply.

I'll be ordering soon for me and a mate. Cheers.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 at 2:10pm

Photo and caption from Swellnet member 'Seaslug':

"New Desert Storms being inspected and given the seal of approval by the magpies. They chortled that the colours looked great as well. A shout out to Wayne and Shanan."

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 at 2:19pm

Drool emoji

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 at 3:27pm

Nice sled!

Seaslug / Stu, are they the large option?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 12:44pm
seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 10:07pm

Large Bnkref, both boards 20" wide

mezkal's picture
mezkal's picture
mezkal commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 12:18pm

Hi all, great article and feedback, just a quick question to Shannon and the greater Swellnet brainstrust. I want to put some black and white stripes and eyes on my existing boards. Im gunna go some stickers but whats the general consensus with spraying stuff on the bottom of the boards creating extra drag ? I defo wanna chuck some stripes on there too. There must be a preferred method/ product that I can use buff up to ensure the sled is still hitting warp speed , high lining in the baz. Do the stickers create drag. Anybody have any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
Moving forward I'm gunna go the riceys and a spray on any customs but some of my boards still come off the shelf.
Great article and good on ya Shannon for having a go , always gunna get a couple of detractors but whatever, this is the kind of thinking we need, cheers lads.

shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore's picture
shanan_onshore commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 1:46pm

Hey mezkal,
Cheers mate, always a few detractors....That's ok, it's always good for people to have 2 sides to a story and then make up their own mind.
We haven't had anybody complain re the decals creating extra drag. I run them on all my sticks and can't say I have noticed any difference in performance.
I will run the ricies in all of my new sticks.

matt59's picture
matt59's picture
matt59 commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 1:21pm

actually submitted a provisional patent on the wetsuit idea about 10 years ago, Sure it has expired now, got a bit way laid. It makes perfect sense to me. love it

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 1:46pm
Whynot82's picture
Whynot82's picture
Whynot82 commented Thursday, 26 Nov 2020 at 11:06am

Great article and love the comments! Good work Shanan and Stu! Not sure why some sook about making a buck when anyone can draw what they like for free, I've always done weird eye and pattern stuff on bottom of my boards but not for shark repellant purposes but because i hate plain bottoms and get bored when surf was crap haha
Who knows maybe they have helped unknowingly..
I've read all comments and responses and really wanna know when you were attacked did you have eyes on back of your wetsuit??
Thanks and keep up the good work.

Gazbomb's picture
Gazbomb's picture
Gazbomb commented Friday, 27 Nov 2020 at 8:06pm

Hmmm. I'm simultaneously unconvinced, while also thinking that the design could be greatly improved at the cost of some drag. Lets suppose that there is something in it as far as sharks go. To my mind, the static nature of these painted on eyes is totally unconvincing. But the world of art has produced a convincing solution. And I'm not talking about that crap they go on about the Mona Lisa. Don't those eyes in the portrait of the powerful person, in whose antechamber you are waiting, seem to be staring directly at you, no matter where in the room you sit? Yes they do. This is because they are three dimensional, but concave rather than convex. Don't believe me? Follow this link and you can make your own. I do believe that there would be a market for a stick on variety, but not with the depth of the ping pong ball version shown here.
https://www.instructables.com/Illuminated-Eyes-That-Follow-Optical-Illus...