Can These Wetsuits Really Keep You From Becoming Shark Food?
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The ocean has long been a hub for recreation—swimming, surfing and kayaking are just a few activities that have drawn a growing crowd of participants. As these sports have grown in popularity, the market for gear has been expanding as well and some of the products out there are pretty unbelievable.
The company SAMS (Shark Attack Mitigation Systems) has come up with two uniquely patterned wetsuits, one for surfers and the other for divers, both designed to keep sharks at bay. SAMS sought the help of the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia in designing these suits.
The suit for surfers, SAMS Warning (pictured directly above), is made to distinguish the surfer from typical shark prey by taking the look of a poisonous animal. The diver’s suit, SAMS Cryptic, makes it difficult for sharks to spot the diver, as it blends with the water.
Both of the suits are in the “early stages” of testing and though SAMS says the “science is sound”—they can’t make any safety guarantees.
All sharks are dangerous and unpredictable creatures. It is impossible for SAMS to guarantee that 100% of sharks will be deterred under all circumstances with the SAMS technology. Water based activities in the presence of sharks is inherently dangerous and is not recommended therefore we recommend that if a shark is sighted that the user leaves the water.
SAMS has also designed stickers for the bottom of surfboards and the technology as a whole has earned them the International ISPO Award for Best New Product 2014/ 2015. It’s still unclear how well this technology will work in the water, but the biggest takeaway is that when you see a shark you should clear out, even if you’re wearing this protective gear.