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Sharkbanz Shark Repellent- A Comprehensive Guide

The Essential Guide to Shark Repellent - How Sharkbanz is Revolutionizing Surfer Safety

Shark interactions are an unfortunate reality for ocean users. Although the chances of getting bitten are small, one encounter can change lives. That's why surfers seek solutions to lower the risk.

Sharks are a natural part of the ocean, and their presence is a concern for surfers and swimmers. The development of shark repellent technologies has provided a sense of security in shark-infested waters. 

Sharkbanz Shark Repellent


Enter shark repellent technology – innovative devices designed to make humans less appealing prey. But how exactly does it work? Is the science sound? We explain how Sharkbanz, the leader in magnetic shark repellents, leverages rigorous science to help people enjoy the ocean more safely. This comprehensive guide will explore the various types of shark repellents, popular products, and the innovative technology behind Sharkbanz.

An Overview of Shark Repellents

The shark repellent industry has grown tremendously in recent years. Deterrents now reach consumers as surf leashes, bands, pods, wetsuits and more. The 5 main types are:

  • Magnetic repellents - Disrupts electroreceptive system
  • Electric repellents - Creates unpleasant electrical fields
  • Sound repellents - Emits unpleasant sounds
  • Chemical repellents - Deploys unpleasant scents/tastes
  • Visual repellents - Mimics poisonous animals

While no deterrent is 100% effective, they can provide peace of mind, especially at infested beaches. When combined with other strategies like avoiding dawn/dusk surfs, they significantly stack safety odds in your favor.

The Origin Story Behind Sharkbanz

Garrison's journey to developing shark repellent is deeply personal. After his close childhood friend was attacked while surfing in South Carolina, Garrison's view of the ocean shifted. More local shark bites compounded his unease.

He yearned for a solution to feel safer in the water without compromising performance. When none existed, he made it his mission to create an affordable, effective shark repellent product.

In 2014, he and his father founded Sharkbanz. Their first product was the Sharkbanz wristband, which uses patented magnetic technology. 

The Science Behind Magnetic Shark Repellent

Sharks have special sensing organs that detect electrical fields generated by the movement of living things. This helps them hunt prey.

Shark Electromagnetic sensor

Permanent, powerful magnets inside Sharkbanz bands and pods overwhelm sharks' electro sensory system with an unpleasant sensation. This signals potential danger, so sharks steer clear.

But magnets alone aren't detectable from a distance. "It's impossible according to the laws of physics for that to happen," says Garrison.

Sharkbanz Technology when worn

Rather, a shark swimming by creates an electrical field through electromagnetic induction. When this interacts with the band's static magnet field so close by, sharks sense something unpleasant, causing them to turn away.

Rigorous Scientific Sharkbanz Testing

With a product premised on making surfers safer, Sharkbanz insists on scientific rigor. Garrison summarized key studies on their deterrent tech:

  • Hawaii: NOAA researchers saw a 65% reduction in fish taken by sharks when using magnetic fishing gear. This demonstrates the tech deters even hungry, focused sharks.
  • Bahamas: Over 1,200 interactions with mainly bull sharks showed an 85% avoidance rate with the bands. Zero bites occurred on baited dummies wearing bands.
  • Western Australia: A year-long government study on bottom fisheries saw a 65-70% reduction in fish lost to various shark species.
  • South Africa: In a simulated kelp forest, great whites and bull sharks showed significant avoidance of magnetic barrier strands.
  • Florida & Hawaii: Ongoing NOAA research is further evaluating efficacy for fisheries.

Additionally, Sharkbanz cites hundreds of customer testimonials reporting successful deterrents across the globe. Science supports the magnetic tech making surfers less appealing.

Sharkbanz Reviews

Shark Safety Programs in Hawaii 

Hawaii's shark safety efforts are multifaceted, focusing on research, education, and technology to minimize shark-human interactions. Key initiatives include:

Hawaii Tiger Shark Research: Scientists track tiger sharks' movements to understand their behavior and inform safety guidelines
One Ocean Diving: This program combines shark research with educational tours, allowing people to learn about and safely interact with sharks
Scientific Diving at HIMB: Diving activities support marine research, indirectly contributing to shark safety by enhancing our understanding of marine ecosystems
Fishery Observers and Safety Training: NOAA provides safety training for fishery observers, which can be relevant for shark encounter prevention

These programs emphasize non-lethal methods, education, and coexistence with sharks, rather than culling or other harmful practices

Hawaii does not have a formal shark spotting program similar to those found in South Africa or Australia, where dedicated individuals or teams are stationed at elevated positions with equipment to monitor shark activities and alert beachgoer. However, there are instances and reports of shark sightings in Hawaii, which are typically shared through local news, community alerts, or social media platforms. Additionally, technology plays a role in shark monitoring and public awareness in Hawaii, such as the OCEARCH Shark Tracker app, which allows users to track the movements of tagged sharks and other marine animals in real-time. While not a direct equivalent to shark spotters, these methods contribute to shark safety awareness among residents and visitors.

Regions in Hawaii known for having shark infested beaches  

The presence of sharks in Hawaiian waters and notes that while sharks can be found around all the Hawaiian Islands, certain areas may have more sightings or encounters than others. Based on the information provided in the article and general knowledge of shark habitats, here are regions known for having a notable presence of sharks where shark repellents could be particularly useful:

  1. Hawaii (Big Island): The Big Island has several areas where sharks are commonly sighted, particularly on the west coast. The Kona Coast is one such area where tiger sharks, among others, are known to frequent.
  2. Maui: Maui has had a number of shark encounters, especially around the north shore and along the west coast of the island. Makena and the area around Molokini Crater are spots where sharks have been observed.
  3. Oahu: The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its surfing but also has a history of shark sightings. Areas like Haleiwa and the surrounding waters can have a presence of sharks.
  4. Kauai: This island has had shark encounters, particularly on the North Shore. Beaches like Hanalei Bay and surrounding areas are known for their natural beauty as well as the presence of marine life, including sharks.
  5. Molokai and Lanai: While these islands are less populated and have fewer visitors, they are part of the Hawaiian archipelago where sharks are naturally present.

Using Sharkbanz Bands and Pod Safely

While generally safe, Sharkbanz does come with precautions. The bands should be kept 2+ feet from electronics and avoided by those with medical implants like pacemakers.

Sharkbanz x FCS Pod

Stick to the guidelines and you can surf with confidence knowing the bands have been rigorously tested. For even more peace of mind, pair them with other shark safety strategies:

  • Avoid surfing at dawn/dusk when risk is highest.
  • Don't surf near seal colonies or river mouths where sharks feed.
  • Avoid erratic splashing and stay calm if you spot a shark.


Sharkbanz- Surf with confidence

Enjoy the Ocean More Peacefully

Ocean lovers who want an added precaution without potential ecosystem impacts of shark nets can turn to proven magnetic shark repellents.

Compared to the astronomical odds of a lottery jackpot, reducing your shark bite risk drastically improves the odds in your favor. Surfing carries inherent risks, but innovative technology like Sharkbanz allows us to stack the deck towards safety.

We thank Garrison for demystifying this fascinating technology. For HSS customers seeking science-backed shark bite deterrents, we proudly carry Sharkbanz products in our Hawaii Surf Shop and online.

Let us know if you have any other questions about this innovative gear. We're always happy to share insights that help our community enjoy the ocean safely. Just remember, sharks ultimately belong in the ocean - we are the visitors in their home.



Learn more about Sharkbanz magnetic shark repellent: 

FCS X Sharkbanz Pod
Talk Story with Keoni about Sharkbanz