shark repellant
How sharks used to be repelled in the olden days.

Shark repellant news: “Essence of Dead Shark!”

Welsh inventor says he's cracked the code to fending off sharks. The stink of death!

Who would’ve thought, say, fifteen years ago, that the development of shark repellants would become a boom industry?

Wasn’t the ocean dying? Less fish not more? A desert beneath our toes?

Do you remember the $250 anti-shark leash, a device so magical it prompted one surf website to write: “The streets of Torquay and Jan Juc are abuzz right now. It’s not about a warm wetsuit, or the Sci-Phi or even about stealing Micro Hall as a coach. Instead, surfers are lining up for something much smaller… pros are scrambling to acquire one particular piece of surf tech… The tech? A leash with shark-deterring capabilities.”

Then there was Sharkbanz. The $600 anti-shark tail-pad.

And so on and on.

Of course, they all sucked, at least according to Australian consumer magazine, Choice

But maybe salvation is nigh, in the form of a Welsh cafe owner who admits he knows “nothing about sharks or science” but who has sold his house, his biz and his pension and poured a quarter-of-a-million pounds ($US350,000) into his version of a shark repellant.

From Wired magazine.

“I was really pissed off at the authorities,” Brooker says, speaking about the 2014 protests that erupted across Brisbane and Western Australia when the Western Australia Shark Cull was implemented, and which Brooker witnessed first hand. The policy was to cull sharks of over 3.5 metres, and as the majority of sharks in that area are in excess of four metres, Brooker saw this as a general attack on the entire species. “I thought, ‘’We’re the most intelligent species on the planet, there has to be a better way of resolving this conflict,’” he says.

Hoping that if sharks could be persuaded to leave humans alone, such measures would no longer be necessary, Brooker put his thinking cap on, and he and Simon sold their stakes in their Cardiff properties and sank everything into developing the Podi. The device, which can be attached to a surfboard or worn on the person that slowly, releases a chemical based on the scent of dead shark. This chemical continuously dissolves in water, providing a potent, and potentially life-saving, repellent. With Podi, the Brookers’ aim is to prevent sharks from wrongly being killed, while also preserving reefs and wider marine ecology.’

“Brooker admits that he “knew nothing of sharks, or science” yet he did what anyone would do in his position: he took to Google. A comprehensive trawl of the internet told Brooker that not only were most current shark defence systems expensive, the majority only worked in close-proximity, a range which Brooker believes is too dangerous. Or, as he puts it “Not even a double-barrelled shotgun will stop a white shark when it’s a metre and a half away in attack mode.”

Brooker sought a more logical approach, beginning with the assumption that, like every animal in existence, a shark can be persuaded to flee as an act of self-preservation. The key to encouraging such behaviour was stimulating its most powerful sense. Many sharks can detect their prey at one particle of DNA in 10 billion, while a white shark can smell prey up to 1.8 miles away. Using a shark’s own sense of smell against it, it seemed, was the answer.

“I thought if we can make a smell that it doesn’t like that encourages it to move on, we’d have something. Sharks generally aren’t cannibalistic, so I thought a rotten shark might just scare another shark,” says Brooker.

Long story short. Brooker’s Eau de Fuck Off Sharks is eighteen months from completion.

“We’re risking everything,” says Brooker.

Do you believe? Or he crazy?

Read the story here. 

Victory: Israel smashes Surf City, USA!

And the official death of American Exceptionalism.

These are not proud days for the United States of America. Not proud days at all. We didn’t make it into the World Cup in soccer, the closest American to the Jeep Leaderboard Yellow Jersey is Kolohe Andino in surfing (all the way down there at 12), the most exciting picks in the recent NBA draft are from the Bahamas and Slovenia, jailing babies is the new national pastime and Israel, a nation 300% smaller, just beat our record for “most people ever in a paddle out.”


Reuters tells us:

Hundreds of Israeli surfers in black skull-and-crossbones shirts took to the waves on Friday in what they said was a record-breaking protest against potential environmental damage from off-shore gas development.

Organizers said 992 people, among them athletes and actors, paddled out and held hands to form a circle opposite Herzliya, promoting their demand that a planned gas rig be relocated further from Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

A slogan on their shirts read: “Don’t poison us.”

Israeli authorities say the new platform poses no environment or health threat.

Friday’s event would be submitted to Guinness World Records for recognition, organizers said. Guinness currently lists a 511-person circle of surfers off Huntingdon Beach, California last year as the world-record “surfing paddle-out”.

Damn it. Not only did Israel beat our record they smashed it. Is there anything left for us or is American Exceptionalism dead?

(A video of Israelis celebrating their victory).

Video: Examine the “pop-up” of the worlds’ most famous surfers!

See Kolohe Andino's "chicken wing" and John John Florence's "Aussie sprinter" pop-ups in slow motion…

Four weeks ago I wrote an unkind, but true, story listing five more ingredients of the filthy kook.

You know the sort of thing: measuring waves in metres, calling marshmallow soft mid-face direction changes “wraps”, riding a log without a leash and, pointedly, examining in serious detail as if it were the formula to curing inoperable cancer of the pancreas, your “pop-up.”

It surprised me, although it shouldn’t given the rise of the mega-kook adult, but it has become its own field within the study of surfing performance.

Let’s list again a recent Google search.

If that gallops your heart, examine this.

At the Founders Cup at Surf Ranch two months ago, a man called Brent Rose from the sports blog Deadspin filmed the “pop-up” of Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith, John John Florence, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Stephanie Gilmore, Matt Wilkinson, Kolohe Andino and a few more.

“Here we have the GOAT, the 11-time world champion… see that he’s kicking like crazy. That’s not so much to propel him forward, but to keep his board on a hydrodynamic plane so it goes smoother.”

“And now the reigning back-to-back world champion John John Florence…hands go back towards his waist…and look how high his front knee comes up. It actually hits him in the chest before it pops down. Both feet hit at the same time and his foot his way ahead of the traction pad so I guess he’s using that to generate drive.”

“Kolohe’s putting a ton of pressure onto the deck of his board and just…thumps down…when his hands hit the rails. So…boom…”

It makes for perversely compelling viewing.

Exclusive: Kelly Slater reveals secret J-Bay strategy!

The King is back!

For certain you’ve already seen the news that Kelly Slater is booked for a surf at the Corona J-Bay Open. A professional surf contest that runs from July 2 to July 13 in the dead of South Africa’s winter. You may have seen it on Surfline or the World Surf League propaganda organ or Instagram but you certainly saw it and I bet you thought, “Finally, bro.”

Before we get into Kelly’s injury, how he has spent his last year nursing it, what he thinks moving forward, the secret strategy he is planning on utilizing to fell the world’s best surfers etc. let’s talk about Corona’s sponsorship of the event.

So, Corona, a word that means crown in Spanish, is brewed by Grupo Modelo in Mexico City and has been since 1925. It is a very popular beer in the United States and also popular in Australia, though Modelo Especial is better as well as one of the group’s other offerings, Estrella, a word that means star in Spanish. Grupo Modelo was recently fully purchased by a Belgian-Brazilian transnational beverage and brewing company with global headquarters in Leuven, Belgium called Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Are you with me so far?

If you need a quick recap, and I’m not faulting you if the answer is yes, in Corona we have a beer started in Mexico but popular in America and Australia with a parent company that is Belgian-Brazilian.

South Africa, where Jeffery’s Bay is located, was enveloped by the great Bantu expansion which took place before the common era. In 1652 the Dutch colonized the land, wanting it to secure their place in the spice trade. The British wrested it away from the Dutch, as the nation had fallen into disrepair, in 1815 in order to hedge against French aggression. The Dutch/English combination is why Jordy Smith sounds the way he does when he speaks today (a little retarded).

Now, the Netherlands (Dutch) have many famous beers, chief among them Heineken (popular on Oahu’s North Shore). The British (English) also have many famous beers, chief among them Newcastle Brown Ale (popular in Newport Beach, California).

So why isn’t it the Heineken J-Bay Open or the Newcastle Brown Ale J-Bay Open? Mexico, the United States, Australia, Belgium and Brazil have never had a vested interest Africa’s bottom. Is something nefarious at play? A new age of empire?

Riddle me that you bastards.

Help: I was shamed by a 7x Irish longboard champ!

There is no excuse for bad behavior. And drugs are bad.

Can I admit something to you? These days find me not being my best self. I don’t really know why, to tell you the truth. Maybe I frayed my amygdala by writing surf for a few too many years. Maybe age and alcohol are catching up with me. You’ve seen scans of those booze-soaked brains, no? All black marks and holes etc.? Whatever the case, there is really no excuse, I snap or get all huffy without even being truly provoked.

Like two days ago there I was on Instagram, scrolling around after posting yet another bit of bald-faced promotion for my book Cocaine + Surfing (buy here in America!) (Here in Australia!).

Instagram can be a wonderful tool for this kind of thing but, of course, promotion is sniffed out and disliked by a good number of people because it is annoying. So anyhow, there I was scrolling around into some comments on the bit of promotion (a video of a man playing with his nose) and stumbled across a note from someone frustrated with my glorification of cocaine because I was setting a bad example for the minors following my account.

His profile describes him as a surfer, writer, traveller, ex 7 x longboard champ, LGBT, creator of Humans of Surfing and he made a very good point. Cocaine is not good for you and children should not be tricked in to sampling.

I should have just apologized and was clearly holding an untenable position but got huffy instead and responded, “Unfollow, bro!” or something equally lame.

He went on and on and on in comment after comment after comment telling me that he knows people who know me and they have informed him that I’ve never done any cocaine and just participate in bad behavior only to get attention. That this sort of thing is my modus operandi. He was mostly right except for the never having done cocaine bit and, again, I should have admitted this and apologized but laughed at him for being a 7x Irish longboarding champ instead.

Then he went and deleted all his comments which, in turn, deleted all mine which made me very sad and only haunted by the people he knows who know me. The people who have informed him that I am a rude fraud.

How many longboarders do I know? How many longboarders know me?

It is definitely time for an apology tour.