Surf Smart: What To Do When You Encounter a Shark

Surfer riding a blue wave, exemplifying how to surf when you see a shark, poised and alert.

Surfing is an exhilarating sport that connects you with the power and beauty of the sea. However, sharing the waves with marine life, including sharks, is a reality every surfer must be prepared for. “How to Surf When You See a Shark” is not just a useful guide; it’s essential knowledge for every wave rider. Encountering a shark doesn’t have to end in a terrifying tale; with the right knowledge, you can navigate these situations safely.


Stay Calm and Steady

The first and most crucial advice when you see a shark while surfing is to remain calm. Sharks are curious creatures, and most encounters are just thatβ€”curious inspections. Panic can attract more attention from the shark. Instead, maintain your composure and slowly move towards the shore or your group.


Make Yourself Less Appealing

Sharks are often not interested in humans; they mistake us for their usual prey. To make yourself less appealing, avoid splashing excessively or making sudden movements. Keep your limbs close to your body to avoid resembling the silhouette of a seal, one of the shark’s preferred meals.


Stay in a Group

If you’re surfing with others, group together. Sharks are less likely to approach a group of individuals. This tactic not only makes you less appealing as a target but also provides moral support during a stressful situation.


Use Your Board

Your surfboard can serve as a barrier between you and the shark. If a shark seems to be approaching too closely, use your board to put a physical object between you. However, do not attempt to push or hit the shark with your board; this could provoke it.


Leave the Water Calmly

If the situation allows, calmly and smoothly start paddling towards the shore. Avoid making rapid movements or splashing water. The key is to retreat without drawing attention or triggering the shark’s predatory instincts.


Real-life Anecdote

Tom, a seasoned surfer from Cornwall, shares his encounter with the essence of “How to Surf When You See a Shark” in mind: “Spotting the fin was a heart-stopping moment. I remembered to stay calm, grouped up with my mates, and we slowly paddled back. The shark lost interest, and we reached the shore safely. It was a vivid reminder of who’s truly at home in the ocean.”

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