Nothing kills my surfing enthusiasm quicker than the thought of a predator lurking below.
The great white, in particular, strikes panic and fear, even to the most experienced surfers I know.
And I understand, you’re less likely to encounter a shark in the water. In fact, you’re more likely to win an Oscar or even get hit by a car than be bitten by a shark.
But the gruesome and unpredictable nature of these toothy beasts affects every one of us at a primal level.
Fortunately, you don’t always have to live in a cloud of fear when heading out into the water.
Some handy devices can help ward off the potential danger of a lurking shark.
Personally, I’ve been using these devices for close to three decades now in some of the shark-infested California waters and haven’t had any shark incidents.
Of course, I’ve always been extra cautious, but everything has been great so far.
Do I guarantee they’ll save you from a shark attack?
Think of the shark repellents as car seat belts. Seat belts reduce the risk of death in a car crash but don’t reduce the fatality to zero.
However, I promise they’ll raise your guard against the incoming beats.
For me, they’ve given me more confidence when heading out into the water.
Here’re my favorite shark repellents
Table of Contents
The Best Shark Repellents For The Money
#1SHARKBANZ 2 Magnetic Shark Repellent Band - EDITOR'S CHOICE
I swim off the coast of Ventura, California, and there have been numerous shark sightings, especially of juveniles.
So, I figured a shark repellent band would be handy if any curious or investigative toothy beasts made contact.
After much research, I settled on the SHARKBANZ 2 Shark Repellent Band.
I’m impressed with its overall performance, and I can confidently depend on it under layers of water.
The SHARKBANZ 2 Shark Repellent Band is an excellent anti-shark device, especially if you’re in shark-infested waters. I use mine when surfing, swimming and paddleboarding.
But how does this repellent work?
SHARKBANZ 2 Shark Repellent Band, as its name suggests, uses a patented magnetic technology current to interfere with the shark’s sensory organ, the ampullae of Lorenzini.
Once the big shark comes in proximity to the magnetic field, it experiences an unpleasant sensation, causing it to ward off.
Now, whether it works or not, I’m alive, and I’ve enjoyed my swims in the past several months without any incident when wearing this.
Of course, the band won’t stop a great white charging at 30 MPH. But it’s not intended to do that, and unless you’re in a metal cage, nothing will stop the shark from getting at you.
But in most situations, the band will keep you from the stalking sharks, sometimes even when you’re unaware.
Personally, the band has given me more peace of mind, especially in the murky waters.
I know there’re no guarantees in the depths, but having a wand over my ankle is a small insurance policy to deter a possibly rogue shark.
And as an added benefit, the band will also repel other elasmobranchs, so I don’t need to worry about the stingrays, short fins, skates, wobbegong shark, and other shark species.
The other notable benefit of the SHARKBANZ 2 is the simplicity and ease of use.
It doesn’t rely on a battery, so there’s no fiddling with charging ports, extensions, and stuff. It’s as simple as it can get.
Secondly, it has unlimited runtime. No low battery stuff, and this guarantees continuous shark protection, provided you’re in the water.
It holds power for quite a long time and won’t lose it unless you expose it to temperatures over 150F or damage the chassis physically.
But because of the strong magnetic field, SHARKBANZ 2 can potentially affect other electronic devices.
In fact, I would suggest you keep it at least 12 inches from any electronics. If you’re handling electrical devices in the water, such as a dive computer, I recommend wearing the band on your ankle.
Speaking of wearing, the newly designed SHARKBANZ 2 Shark Shocker is much better than the original version. The original model always felt a little bit awkward on my ankle.
SHARKBANZ 2 has a slightly modified shape for a better fit. Comfort has also definitely stepped up, and no more hard edges.
The strap is softer, and this makes fastening a breeze. Meanwhile, the strapping and size are similar to my Garmin 920 XT watch, and I hardly notice I’m wearing the band. It hardly interferes with my strokes.
SHARKBANZ Shark Shocker water depth rating isn’t great, but at 330 ft, it should be ideal for most swimmers, divers, and snorkelers.
The solid magnetically-shielded box is super reliable and will stand up to the abuses of water depths and so much more. It’s not a surprise the band is trusted by elite military outfits.
Even better, the band has a distinction of being TSA-approved. It comes with a box with solid magnetic shielding to ensure safe travel, even on air.
Overall, the SHARKBANZ 2 is a solid shark deterrent, and I don’t think you could get any other better option than this.
#2 Shark OFF Proven Shark Repellent Jewelry -- Budget Shark Repellant
I’m an avid scuba spearfisher, but I struggle with predatory fish every time I go out, including the sharks and Goliath grouper.
So, I set out to look for something that would help ward off the tiger sharks, and this is how I came across the Shark Off Repellant Jewelry Shark Repellent.
One of the main attractions to this shark repellent is it compares to some of the expensive “brand names” such as Sharkbanz.
It’s much more inexpensive and a great fit if you’re running low on budget or don’t want to spend more on a repellant.
Yet, it performs just as well, if not better than its expensive counterparts.
Another main attraction with this shark deterrent was the design.
It’s one of the most stylish shark deterrents around, and out of the box, it doesn’t even look like it’s a repellent at all.
From an appearance standpoint, I love Shark Off Shark Repellent because it resembles a bracelet, and unless I tell you what it is, you may never guess that it can repel sharks.
Personally, I wear mine throughout my water sessions and even on land. It’s a nice accessory, fairly unisex, and unobstructive.
I primarily got the Shark Off Shark Repellent because of how well it wards the sharks away.
It uses a unique technology consisting of patented active elements, mostly made out of rare earth metals.
These elements dissolve and hydrolyze the seawater surrounding you and create an electrical field, creating 1.4V.
To humans, that’s nothing, but to a shark, it’s ouch. It’s revolting, like scratching nails on a chalkboard. The voltage over stimulates the ampullae of Lorenzini, causing an involuntary spasm on the shark, which ultimately turns it away.
It’s an effective and hands-free method of warding off toothy beasts. I bought two for my arm and leg, as I couldn’t prioritize which limb is important for me 😊.
And so far, I’ve not encountered any sharks or stingrays. But other fish and crustaceans don’t give a crap about the bracelet.
And the good thing with this system is that I can wear it with my Garmin or other electronics as it’s non-magnetic. It won’t harm sensitive electronics.
There’s also no need to adjust the battery, recharge, or anything. It’s a grab-and-go deterrent and quite handy, especially if you’re in a rush to get into the water.
Adjusting this shark deterrent bracelet is also a breeze. You can get them as tight as you want, and they won’t fall off.
In fact, my two sons wore these bracelets on their ankles, and they’ve not had any problems with them not staying on.
Quality-wise, I’m impressed by the leather construction.
It’s solid and doesn’t break. I’ve seen some users complain about how their bracelets break, but I wore mine the entire time, and it has kept up with me.
I’m an aggressive swimmer, for that matter, and I feel it’s sturdier than other bands I’ve tried before.
Maybe, they should try tying a double knot in the strings after pulling the adjustable tabs to the right fit.
It’s an extra safety measure that ensures you don’t have to worry much about the bracelets coming loose or breaking while on the waves.
Overall, the Shark Off is a nice shark deterrent. It’s a nice fit, especially for those on a budget and who still need premium protection.
It’s also quite chic but subtle enough not to raise eyebrows.
#3 SHARKBANZ Modom Shark Leash -- Leash Style Shark Repellant
It can’t hurt to have one.
My family, all four, have a SHARKBANZ Modom Shark Leash.
I’ve used this deterrent in different water locations, and the experience has been WOW. No shark attacks, no stingrays, and nothing. Perfecto!
I purchased the SHARKBANZ Modom Leash primarily because of its ability to ward off potential attacks from sharks.
Like our top pick, the SHARKBANZ 2 Shark Repellent, this one too relies on magnetic technology, which overpowers the shark by dulling its senses.
The magnetic field produced by this deterrent overstimulates the shark’s ampullae of Lorenzini, resulting in an unpleasant feeling.
It’s stronger than the signals emitted by the usual prey and will get the shark changing course at a moment’s notice.
The good thing about the emissions is they don’t affect other marine mammals such as dolphins and crustaceans.
Plus, the signal isn’t too overpowering either to cause harm to the sharks.
Another desirable feature of SHARKBANZ Modom Shark Leash is the level of adjustability and ease of use.
I love using it around the ankle or on my wrist. However, I prefer wearing it on my ankles because it may interfere with my electronics.
But more importantly, it’s hardly noticeable on my ankle and will allow me to swim without any obstruction.
But that’s not even the unique selling point of the SHARKBANZ Modom Shark Leash.
It comes with a detachable connector, which I can connect to other cords.
Still, on adjustability, the SHARKBANZ Modom Leash ranks up high in our list of the best repellants because of its 6 feet leash.
I love the leash length because it allows me to attach it to whatever gear I’m using on the water. I often attach mine to my surfboard, and the benefit is I no longer have to worry about misplacing or losing the equipment on the beach.
And the best part is the cords are fully interchangeable with almost all the surf leashes of all cord brands.
I’m not limited to using a specific leash brand, as I can swap them out using a standard fin kit.
Simply put, I can use the Sharkbanz cuff with any length or strength of leash, including a longboard, comp, and standard.
Finally, using the SHARKBANZ Modom Shark Leash is effortless.
It doesn’t need electricity, so no recharging or anything. I don’t have to worry about the protection running out on me.
It’s a bit pricey, though, but it provides the ultimate protection and will effectively keep you safe against a shark attack.
I would recommend it.
#4 Shark Shield Freedom7 Shark Deterrent – Best Shark Repellent for Professional Divers
This is something I’m excited to use, especially in the Bahamas. We’ve a lot of sharks here, so after a thorough review of the existing products, we found the Shark Shield (originally Ocean Guardian) to be one of the reliable products of deterring sharks away.
Shark Shield is available in three different configurations.
One is Freedom 7, which we’re reviewing. It’s designed to attach directly to someone in the water.
The other two versions are slightly specific. They’re the Surf 7 and Scuba 7, obviously for surfing and scuba diving.
Now, onto the Shark Shield Freedom 7, it’s a shark repellent that most professional divers swear by.
The unit itself is a small battery pack that attaches directly to the diver. And from that, we’ve a 7-foot metallic antenna.
The metallic antenna is the means by which this repellant produces and disperses the electric field around you.
Emitted pulses are dispersed throughout the water and will help keep the sharks away from you. The pulses cause an unpleasant sensation to the shark’s sensory organs, causing it to swim away.
The electric field covers roughly six meters, which is good because it can protect a couple of divers within the range. It covers a generous area and gives me more confidence when spearfishing or diving, especially when alone.
But what gives me more confidence and assurance using the Shark Shield anti-shark in the shark-infested waters is that it has undergone rigorous testing.
It’s one of the few electrical deterrents that are scientifically tested and proven. It’s not surprising in mandated diving and fishing outfits, including the US and Australian navies.
Of course, the biggest issue with electrical repellants is how long the battery lasts.
The good news is Shark Shield uses a Li-Ion battery. It’s a reliable battery that can last for 6 hours on a single charge.
Simply put, when fully charged, it has more than enough power to last me for half a day. And with its 300 charge cycles, it can last for several seasons.
But here’s the kicker!
The battery will alert you 10 minutes before it gets out of power, so no surprises in the water. It gives you sufficient time to get out of the water to avoid a shark attack.
However, because of the battery, the Shark Shield Freedom 7 has a depth of 50 meters. It’s still a generous depth and will cater to a large number of users, starting from surfers, swimmers, snorkelers, paddle boarders, and much more.
I’m also impressed at how convenient, and lightweight the Shark Shield is. It has a nice Velcro that attaches to my ankle without restricting the blood flow. The fit is also nice, and I don’t feel uncomfortable either.
The antenna doesn’t get in the way when scuba diving, and I’m satisfied with this purchase.
But one thing I can probably pass on, it’s a bit of personal advice. Usually, when coming back to my boat, I like to turn the Shark Shield off simply because the antenna with the small current going through might “electrocute” your buddies.
And if you’ve a plate boat, especially a metal boat, everybody will definitely get a tingle. Nothing serious, though, but I bet you won’t be the most popular guy around.
Overall, the Shark Shield Freedom 7 Electrical repellent is an awesome purchase and has exceeded my expectations. It’s a bit pricey but worth every penny.
#5 BOffer Scuba Diving Knife – All-Around Protector
As you’ve guessed, BOffer Scuba Diving Knife isn’t technically a shark repellent but something every ocean goer should possess.
It’s more than a cutting tool but a passive protector in case of a shark attack. It should be the final weapon to use if a shark corners you.
And while it doesn’t emit or deter sharks, the BOffer Scuba Diving Knife can be handy for getting you out of sticky situations.
It’s not as sturdy as titanium, but the stainless-steel construction is solid and durable. I’ve used mine for several seasons now, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t last for ages.
The knife blade is also super sharp and will do maximum damage to the shark. For example, I can cut through cardboard effortlessly. Simply put, it’s a potent weapon, and when properly used, it can help you fight off even the most ferocious sharks.
The grip is okay, but not the best. It’s slightly shorter for me, but I’ve larger hands. Still, it functions quite well as a grip and doesn’t slip or anything.
Using the BOffer Scuba Diving Knife is a breeze. It’s a folding blade, and the benefit you get is an increased reaction time. Simply pressing a quick-release button will save you the few seconds you need to stab the shark before it harms you. With a fixed blade, you’d take much longer to react to a shark attack.
Strapping the knife is also a breeze. It comes with two strap systems, one on the arm and the other on the legs.
I prefer strapping the stretchy holster on my thigh. It feels comfortable to the touch and can be worn without irritation.
I also like that it comes with two clip belts instead of one. This way, each holster gets a belt, and this is great so that if one of the belts gets lost, the other one can attach to the holster of the lost belt.
Finally, I’m impressed with the low-profile sheath. It makes storing much easier, and I can do it without leaving a noticeable bulge in my clothing,
Plus, the plastic sheath saves the blade from rust and other elements.
Best Shark Repellents Buying Guide
Choosing the best shark repellent for your needs can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t have the experience or know what you’re looking for.
But it should be that way.
I’ll detail everything you need to know about the best shark repellents in the section below.
Here, I’ll guide you through the buying process. Plus, I’ll share some of the crucial tips to remember in your next purchase spree.
4 Types of Shark Repellents
We’ll start our buying guide by looking at the different shark deterrent products.
There’re four main categories of shark repellents, and they’re:
1) Electric Shark Repellents
Electric shark repellents/ electrical shark repellents emit electrical currents, which in turn interfere with the shark’s sensory organs.
Sharks have a sensing organ on their snout, known as the ampullae of Lorenzini.
It perceives living things, usually their prey, by detecting their electrical impulses given off by them.
For example, they can detect other fish through their heartbeats.
Now, what electronic shark repellents do is overstimulate the ampullae of Lorenzini, causing an involuntary spasm.
The electrical repellents overpower the sensory organ and cause the shark to turn away.
But won’t the electrical impulses from the device attract the shark instead?
There’s a genuine concern about this on electrical shark repellents, but it’s unlikely a shark can get attracted to the electrical impulses from the shark deterrent.
- Continuous shielding from shark attacks
2) Magnetic Shark Repellents
The magnetic shark repellents have similar functionality to the electrical shark deterrents.
The magnetic shark repellents work by overstimulating the ampullae of Lorenzini by interfering with the signals from the human body.
Like the electrical versions, the magnetic repellents produce an unpleasant sensation on the snout, ultimately drive sharks away.
The magnetic repellents are usually strapped on the ankle or the wrist and have a magnet fitted inside.
They’re popular over the electrical versions because they tend to be less expensive, but they’re to be worn every time you’re heading into the water.
- Reliable against shark attacks
- Need to be worn every time
3) Acoustic Shark Repellents/ Sound Repellents
Killer whales or Orca whales are top predators for sharks.
So, pretending to be an Orca gives you an edge over the possible mauling of a shark.
Orcas induce fear in sharks, including bull sharks, so they tend to run away if a shark notices a killer whale nearby.
That’s the idea behind the acoustic shark deterrents.
An acoustic shark repellent exploits the same fear by releasing sounds similar to Orcas.
By emitting Orca calls, the shark thinks you’re an Orca, so they naturally change course to stay out of danger.
- Easy to wear
- Not much scientific evidence- the challenge of shark figuring you’re an Orca
4) Spray Shark Repellents
Sharks hate being close or in the presence of their dead brethren.
Without going much into detail, researchers have realized that the odor of dead sharks turns off other sharks.
So, manufacturers have exploited this feeling to their advantage.
The spray shark repellents contain extracts of dead shark tissues, which are sprayed in the presence of a shark to deter it.
However, they’re only effective when the shark is close by and don’t offer continuous protection.
But their ease of use makes the spray shark repellents a great choice for snorkelers and scuba divers.
- Easy to use
- Don’t offer a continuous protection
How Do I Avoid a Shark Attack?
Ultimately, the best way to avoid a shark attack is to keep away from them.
Even with the shark repellents, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be saved from the deadly beasts.
Instead, there’re some handy tips that you can follow to ensure you sidestep the shark attacks.
1) Avoid diving alone
There’s evidence that sharks will attack lone surfers more than those in a group.
A group is more intimidating to a shark, so it’s a good idea to have company when heading out.
2) Be conscious of your surroundings
Next up, you need to be aware of your surroundings.
Of course, a shark will always have the upper hand in case of a face-to-face duel, but if you can spot them from a distance, you’ve a better chance of avoiding a shark attack.
Always swim in clear water to avoid accidentally getting too close to the beast. You might just provoke them without knowing.
3) Don’t give the scent of human blood.
Sharks are ocean predators and will always be attracted by human blood. In fact, sharks love blood and can trail the blood scent from miles away.
Therefore, if you’ve a wound or injury, you better cover it fast and get to the shore as fast as possible.
4) Take off shiny stuff.
Shiny jewelry and stuff make you more visible and reflect light, just like fish scales do.
You become a point of interest, ultimately a target.
Shiny stuff gives the nearby sharks a clue of your location and makes you an easy target.
5) Observe fish movement
Fish are prey to sharks.
So, they’ll naturally want to flee or change direction if they see one.
You can use this to your advantage by observing their movement.
For example, if you see a school of fish suddenly change direction and scatter, you can tell something is going on, and you need to get out of the water.
6) Consider camouflage pattern wetsuits.
A shark sees through contrast; they’ve poor vision.
Therefore, you can reduce the chances of the sharks spotting you but keeping from the colorful wetsuits or the pitch-black suit.
While black wetsuits are popular, they make you look like a giant fish, sea lion, or a seal-one of the shark’s favorite dishes.
7) Avoid the turbid and murky waters.
Murky waters impede your vision.
You don’t get to see what’s in front of your surroundings. This might make it challenging to spot imminent shark danger that you would have otherwise avoided.
8) Avoid swimming after a heavy storm.
Storms can push fish from their natural habitat.
And with more fish in the area, you can expect more sharks.
9) Don’t take pets with you in the deep water.
We love seeing our dogs paddle in the water, but that might just be dinner bel to the sharks.
The splashing is attractive, and the sporadic swimming might read like a distressed prey to the sharks.
10) Take extra caution in lagoons
Sometimes, we think lagoons are safe.
But if the tide changes too quickly, a shark might be stuck in there for a while. So, don’t keep your guard down and be careful wading shallow waters and river mouths.
Also, some sharks, such as the small nurse sharks, are small, and not all sharks are as dangerous as the GW. However, don’t downplay their potential for harm.
What to Do in Case of an Unprovoked Shark Attacks?
If you’ve ever found yourself cornered by a shark, your best defense would be fighting back.
Find something you can grab onto or hit the shark. A rock, coral, or even surfboard.
You can also use your hands if you’ve nothing on sight.
Be sure to whack the shark on the most sensitive parts, such as the shark’s snout, gills, and eyes. Deliver multiple blows, and be aggressive as possible.
If it bites you and is not trying to maul you, try getting out of the water quickly and calmly, especially if you’re bleeding.
Best Shark Repellant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is a shark deterrent?
A: These are devices used for repelling sharks.
They repel sharks and keep you from potential shark bites.
Q: Do shark repellent products offer a solid guarantee against shark attacks?
A: No, they don’t offer a guarantee.
But the best shark repellents work by keeping your guard on high alert.
Q: How many unprovoked attacks do we have?
A: Data by ISAF (International Shark Attack File/Australian Shark Attack File) shows that there have been more than 400 deaths in the past four decades.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best shark deterrents is the SHARKBANZ 2.
I’m impressed with this shark repellent for different reasons.
It’s effective, reliable, and easy to use.
While it won’t ward off a charging great white, it’s kept you safe from most of the curious and investigative sharks around.
Plus, it is harmless, both the users and the sharks, so it’s a win-win for everybody.