SURFBOARD SOCK GIVEAWAY

by Derek Dodds October 29, 2018

Wave Tribe

Last April, the World Surf League canceled its surf competition for professional surfers in Margret River in Western Australia.

Published by Wave Tribe

The reason? Two shark encounters, occurring 24 hours after each other, on surfers.

Both of the victims were bitten in the legs but survived whole enough to escape. The incidents, which happened near the site of the high profile surfing competition, prompted the WSL to shut down the competition for prudence’s sake.

Cancelled Competition

The WSL deemed it troubling enough to stop the competitions. Good on them!

According to their press statement, “a threshold has been crossed..and (if) something terrible were to take place, we would never forgive ourselves.”

Laudable comments. But pity the sharks; once again, the bad press reinforces their Sharknado image.

Surfer Shark Attack - The Facts

Every surfer knows that a shark encounter will always be part of the surfing experience. As most sports go, surfing is unique in that it shares its performance environment with real creatures.

Part of the thrill that comes with the sport is knowing that one is entering the domain of the ocean’s top pack whose ancestors have been there long before the first human walked out of Africa. Once a surfer begins paddling on a board, he’s off the top of the food chain…and fair game for just about anything.

It’s now October and I am here in the Down Under checking out the best surfing spots in the continent. While undoubtedly the Aussie continent has some of the best spots for surfing worldwide, it also happens to rank on top of the list for the most shark-infested area, a dubious honor that it shares with the USA..

Odds Of Becoming A Shark Attack Victim

Levity aside, you are less likely to die by the jaws of a shark than by drowning. It’s a fact that’s not being repeated often enough to the detriment of sharks everywhere.

In fact, there was a shark study done in California which said that swimmers are 1,817 times more likely to drown than they are to die from a shark attack.

When you’re a surfer in California, the odds even get better: you have 1-in-17 million chance of becoming shark food. Bro, don't freak.

And yet in the realm of public opinion, sharks continue to be the great, ravenous beasts from the deep.

Shark finning is the barbaric practice of hacking off the fins of a shark and throwing its still living body back into the ocean. Without fins, the shark bleeds to death or drowns.

— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder

Shark 101 - Why Do Sharks Attack

There are about 400 shark species all over the world. Out of all that diversity, only four species have been recorded biting humans. These are the Great White Shark, the Bull Shark , the Tiger Shark and the Oceanic Whitetip. Of these four, the most aggressive is the Oceanic Whitetip, but since it lives in deep, tropical waters, it doesn’t pose a threat to swimmers.

Shark scientists believe that most of these incidents of sharks biting humans are just cases of mistaken identity.

We certainly are not its food type; we don’t have enough fat and meat to satisfy even the most starving shark.

We do, however, look like its traditional prey: El senor seal.

When viewed from the ocean floor, our body silhouettes resemble like seals, dolphins or sea lions. More so, when we paddle around with a surfboard—from below we look tasty.

This is why surfers are more likely to have a Spielbergian close encounter with a shark. In 2017, at least 59% of shark attacks involved somebody paddling around on a board. Swimmers and divers had it less, at only 22%.

Nibbling on Surfers

Sharks are apex predators, who happen to like swimming in surf zone and sandbars, because that’s where their natural prey thrive.

As it happens, these are also the areas where most of us, surfers, like to go to in order to catch waves. So naturally, we’re always the first in line to be mistaken for food.

Especially, when there are no seals or dolphins around.

I even had a close call once. Two months ago, I was surfing off the coast of Ventura, California when a 9 foot great white shark bumped me. Luckily, it wasn’t interested in eating me. I had an extra beer that evening in celebration.

SurferToday notes that there are three ways an unprovoked attack can occur. The first is the hit-and-run-attack, which is common among surfer and swimmer victims. The shark gives an exploratory bite-more like a small laceration, really-before deciding you’re not really tasteful and then swims away never to return.

The second type is the modus operandi of the Oceanic Wingtip. The shark circles and bumps the deep sea diver before inflicting potentially deadly wounds.

The third attack is the most deadly. The shark just appears without warning and chomps you.

Shark Phobia

It’s unfortunate, really, that the public chooses to fixate on the murderous aspect of the shark. Fueled by movies such as Jaws, and more recently, The Meg, sharks have attracted our deepest fears of monsters coming out from the deep to eat us.

But the irony of the situation is that, the truth is just quite the opposite.

Because in real life, we are the ones who are eating the shark to extinction.

Odds Of Becoming A Shark Attack Victim

Ever Tried Shark Fin Soup?

Shark’s Fin soup is an Asian culinary dish that’s prized by many because of its reputedly aphrodisiac and healthy effects on the body. Unfortunately, the demand for this has resulted to tens of millions of sharks being killed indiscriminately each year.

Shark finning is the barbaric practice of hacking off the fins of a shark and throwing its still living body back into the ocean. Without fins, the shark bleeds to death or drowns.

This underground practice is so widespread that it has become unsustainable for the species as a whole. It has gotten to a point that they could be extinct if this practice isn’t stopped.

Along with finning, sharks are also being overfished. Each year, around 100 million are killed by the commercial fishing industry for their meat, cartilage and liver oil.

If the sharks die out, it would mean catastrophic effects on the marine ecosystem. Because, believe it or not, their role as the top predator in our ocean is very important to the stability of our environment.

Sharknado and Climate Change

Sharks have a purpose in the marine ecosystem. They are top-of-the-food-chain predators, which means they regulate the population of other marine species. They are essential towards balancing the marine ecosystem; take them out and other species below the chain will multiply, consuming resources, and making the ecosystem unstable.

A decline in shark population can worsen the negative impacts of climate change.

Studies have shown that the removal of a predator population like the shark will likely increase to ocean’s CO2 production leading to an increased acidification of the water.

This is because there will be no predator species to eat the species on the lower rungs of the marine food chain. As prey species population rise, so does their respiration. And that means more carbon dioxide will be released into the oceans.

Now we already know what the effect of increased acidification is on the ocean. For one thing, the Great Barrier is already being dissolved alive because of the increase in carbonic acid.

Conserving the Shark for Sustainable Seas

t’s a good thing though that awareness has spread wide enough that governments and scientists are implementing measures to arrest the decline of shark populations worldwide.

These include an international ban against shark finning, consumer advocacy campaigns against shark products and establishing marine sanctuaries to protect the remaining shark populations.

But there are still a lot of things to be done. And like most crises in the ocean, it’s a time bomb ticking.

Surfers and sharks may make uneasy bedfellows, particularly, since we are always on their top list of unknown creatures to occasionally bite.  

But we both depend on the ocean and if the ocean begins dying because of one species extinction, the other one must do all it can to stop it, jaws be damned.

Causes Of Shark Decline

Ways to Help Stop the Shark Extermination

Don’t eat shark soup or meat - The simplest solution is always the direct way to get results. If the demand for shark meat just simply stopped, we wouldn’t have a problem with a decline in shark population. So avoid any food product with shark meat in the market.
 
Support shark tourism initiatives – Cage diving with sharks generates more money (in millions!) for the market economy than a few measly dollars for a kilo of shark meat.

The more people become aware of the ecological and tourism value of the shark, the fewer people will fear them. And it would easier for them to turn down shark as food, too!
 
Use our voice- Surfers should be at the forefront of the movement to save the sharks. Not only because we’re usually the ones that encounter them when chasing waves, but because we instinctively understand that each of creatures on this planet have an important role to play in sustaining the ecosystem.

Our initiatives shouldn’t just stop at finding ways to reduce our industry’s carbon and plastic footprint but should also include conservation efforts. Because after all, we are all creatures living on one living and delicate planet.

Healing the Ocean

Here at Wave Tribe, we strive to do more by encouraging our customers and partners to give something good back to the ocean by supporting organizations which do advocacy and conservation work for the marine environment.

We’ve made it easy for you by gathering them all in a list.

You can support anyone of these organizations through volunteer activities or with a donation. Yep, whatever amount you write on your check will go a long way towards funding awareness programs or conservations projects on critical species like the often-maligned shark.

We surf and travel to experience Life’s truth.

Part of that is learning that even the smallest individual action can impact the world in a meaningful way. When all our actions our combined together, it can also impact the ocean—and the sharks- in a profound way.

Read Next

Why Everyone Should Get On Board an Eco-Surf Vehicle




Derek Dodds
Derek Dodds

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Eco

Changes in the Ocean? Look at its Indicator Species
Changes in the Ocean? Look at its Indicator Species

by Derek Dodds November 04, 2018 1 Comment

Long before we felt and knew that something was wrong, these fellow ocean lovers have already known that the ocean was changing. Who am I referring to? The indicator species in our marine ecosystem.
Surfing In The Rain: When the Weather is Becoming a Buzzkill for Surfers
Surfing In The Rain: When the Weather is Becoming a Buzzkill for Surfers

by Derek Dodds October 26, 2018

It’s storm season here in California. For meteorologists, that means a heightened expectation of more rainfall for the region.
Jellyfish Run Amuck & What This Means For The Planet
Eco
Jellyfish Run Amuck & What This Means For The Planet

by Derek Dodds October 23, 2018

For some time now, the warming of the ocean has brought about a few changes in the marine ecosystem that is making surfers become more wary than usual. Sure, there’s the occasional case of a shark sneaking a bite off an unfortunate surfer but that’s par for the course when one looks like a seal paddling on the ocean surface. What I am talking about is the increasing number of jellyfish that’s been spotted in our waters.
Size Chart

Surfboard Leashes

You Break It We Replace It in First Year. 

Buy a leash closest to your board size—i.e. for 6'4 surfboard you need a 6' leash. 

All leashes are 7mm thick, competition leashes which are lighter/thinner 5.5 mm. 

Pioneer Day Boardbags - Fits One Surfboard

All boardbags have +2 inches. Thus a 6'6 board fit's perfectly in a 6'6 boardbag. All Pioneer bags have expandable fin gussets, so you can keep your fins on your board in the bag—or you can roll with glass-on fins.

Pioneer Sizes:

All bags have interior pockets (fins, leash and wax), bags fit industry standards. 

Our 8'6, 9'6 and 10' bags have fin slots and round noses. 

Pioneer bags also have an exterior pocket and zip all the way to the nose.

Travel Bags - Fits Two Surfboards

All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Surfboard Travel Bag Pockets Fin Wax Leash

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Travel Bags with Wheels - Fits Two Surfboards

New in 2016 is the double travel bag with wheels. Sometimes you want a smaller bag with wheels, now you can have it. All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Wave Tribe Wheelie Surfboard Travel Bags

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Boardbag Material & Hardware - All Bags

Side A of the bag is made from a strong density Rugged Eco Hemp exterior which is one tough fiber and naturally built to last with high impact padding protection with Rebound Foam Dynamics including open-to-nose technology.

Side B is the reflective (rental-car-roof-side) made from Reflective Energy Shield for "Cooler Surfboard Safeguard" protecting your surfboard from the sun's harmful rays made from an alloy-steel mesh weave.

All Sides are guarded by our Japanese Never-Rust-or-Break Nickel Platted Zippers streamline zipper trails and our trademarked Easy Flow Zip System.