So, I’ve decided to join in on the burn and throw some lighter fluid on this wildfire shark hysteria. I’m going to take a different angle, however, and look back at three different approaches to shark encounters and how to deal with them.
First, let’s look at the old surfing actor of North Shore fame, Mark Occhilupo’s approach when faced with a shark in the lineup.
In Drive Thru Australia 2, Pat O’Connel, Donovan, and Occy are joined by one of our grey suited friends.
“Stay together, and it makes us look bigger than them…then they swim away,” Occy explains to a skeptical Donovan on shore. Pat O, unconvinced, stays in the water for a few more waves.
“Occy was too casual. I didn’t see anything,” said Pat O, once out of the water himself. Ignorance is bliss.
Full clip here (2:45 for shark commentary).
Next up: Laird Hamilton.
His strategy is simple, like apple pie at a picnic. Don’t have a period.
I couldn’t resist.
Continuing on a more serious note, though, our friends over at WikiHow.com actually have put together a comprehensive, illustrated list of ways to avoid being attacked by a shark.
“Use you board as a buffer between you and the shark.”
That’s not the worst advice I’ve ever heard. It’s actually quite logical, albeit self-evident. They also suggest surfing in areas dense with kelp (not bad), avoiding the month of October, and never entering the water with any open cuts or wounds.
The full list here.
Here’s the sleeper on the list, and an exclusive Surf Heater scoop: Kelly Slater’s overheard strategy to dealing with a shark in the lineup.
At a party not long ago, an anonymous source revealed to us, that Slater said something to the extent, “If there was ever a shark in the lineup and I thought it might attack, I would paddle straight at it as hard as I possibly could.”
Slater’s thinking is that a charge would be the last way in which any sort of prey would react. Essentially, Slater is going to attack the shark before it can attack him. A bold strategy, but not unfounded, I’d say.
We’d love to hear any more unique strategies to fending off sharks. Comment below.
I’ll leave you with one last strategy, the Dean Harrington strategy. It’s self-explanatory…look.
Worth a look at the full clip with sound.