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We all know that great white sharks live in the ocean. It’s their home. Their place. And as surfers, most of us have accepted that fact. Great whites usually aren’t looking to eat humans. Generally, we’re in okay shape (very relatively speaking), and much too devoid of the precious fat these fish need to survive. But that doesn’t mean we don’t make the apex predators curious. Exploratory bites are part of the hunting process for whites. Which unfortunately, is bad for us and often attributed in attacks on surfers. 

Which brings us to this fascinating footage I came across recently on the good ol’ internets showing what it looks like when a great white test bites a surfboard (above). Yeah, it’s a little creepy. And the shark doesn’t get a really good bite. But it gets enough, right? It was shot near the shark-breeding ground of Guadalupe Island off the Baja coast of Mexico. The footage was taken by Jalil Najafov for RPELA, a shark repellant company out of Western Australia that created a device that is fitted into a surfboard as a shark deterrent (see the video below). It can either be given to a shaper before creating a new sled, or retrofitted (like fixing a ding) into most any board.

The evidence in the YouTube video directly above isn’t exactly conclusive but it does show a “with,” and “without,” version – apparently one of the boards is fitted with the device and one isn’t? I reached out to RPELA and sounds as though the brand – with an address in Osborne Park, WA – is still in the repellent business. RPELA’s Dave Smith told me they sponsored a WSL event in Reunion Island recently. The footage above is what drew me in, though, and probably anyone else who rides waves or spends any amount of time in the ocean.


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