The Modom Shark Leash has generated significant buzz since it was first unveiled in a Stab Magazine article a couple of months ago. As far as wearable tech for surfers goes, this is probably the most desirable item on the market today.
In the lead-up to J-Bay 2016 the Modom Shark deterrent device will no doubt be attached firmly to the ankles of many of the world’s top 36 surfers. For most, it will be their first time paddling out into the legendary line-up since last year’s shark incident. There’s no doubt that Mick will be feeling jitters as he waits out the lull between sets.
Shark deterrent devices have undergone a rapid evolution, thanks in large part to the increasing number of fatalities around the globe.
Electronic shark repellents
The guys over at Shark Shield have worked diligently for years on their own special brand of electronic shark repellents. In recent months, however, their old, bulkier model has been superseded by the Freedom+ – an elegantly designed deck grip module that hooks up to what looks like a PC motherboard on your bottom deck. Despite the open circuitry it is not harmful to humans, yet remains undoubtedly effective against predators. These guys have been at the forefront of shark technology for decades and they’ve done their due diligence.
The downside is that you’ll be recharging the unit, so will need to remember to plug it in regularly. The upside is that this is more of a proactive kind of deterrent – it is actively sending pulses out into the environment to scramble any nearby shark’s receptors.
Shark repellent stripes
On the low-fi side, you can warn sharks that you’re not a seal, by featuring a striped pattern on the bottom deck of your board. Tests show that sharks don’t eat stripey things (think sea snakes, pilot fish, remora eels) so why not add yourself to that category of marine life.
You can buy stickers, or just do it yourself, as our in-house artist demonstrates below. Posca pens – an unlikely surfer’s friend.
Regardless of whether you have your stripes, you’re probably interested in what makes the Modom Shark Leash different. It’s all about simplicity. We’ll have to trust the crew at Modom and Sharkbanz (who produce the shark repellent magnets) that the device works. Their video tests make compelling viewing. I’d love to see a living human’s foot suspended into the shark frenzy, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a volunteer. If the CEO dipped his feet in, it would rock the internet. I’m sure this has been discussed at board meetings.
Leash design and functionality
The fact that the Modom leash looks and feels like an ordinary surfboard legrope is the clincher. It doesn’t need charging and it can easily be attached to and removed from any board. No glue or installation hassles. It’s relatively pricey at $250 (Aus) per unit, but no doubt provides immense peace of mind.
Modom have been upfront about the fact that a Great White shark will hardly feel the magnet if it decides to launch an attack. You’ll need a personal submarine drone to assist you against the white masters of the ocean – and I’m sure such devices are not too far away. But, in the meanwhile, any snooping predators will hopefully be deterred by the magnetic field the Modom device creates – and that means less chance of bump and bite curiosity attacks.
Less fear of sharks means more fulfilling surf sessions. So, if you can afford it and wish to conquer the fear, go get yourself a Modom Shark Leash and forget about what’s going on down below.
They’re available for sale right now on Surfstitch.