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Are you afraid of sharks?

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ham-er
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Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby ham-er » Fri Jan 19, 2024 12:41 pm

Just wondered, how do you deal with risk of sea creatures when kiting abroad and especially in tropical locations?

In the UK, the risk is pretty much 0 and you can safely go out anywhere at any time without any worry.


I remember visiting Sweden one summer and decided to go swimming as it was hot. Jumped in the water just to find out it was infested with jellyfish. Although they were not the life threatening kind, the rest of the day was very unpleasant.

I was looking into some kiting holiday destinations, but it's always at the back of my head. Is there anything in the water which can harm me?

Am I overthinking it or is it best to do some proper research before you put yourself in the unknown water?

Any advice welcome.
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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby rw30 » Fri Jan 19, 2024 1:12 pm

are you afraid of comet hitting the earth? of some unfriendly nation launching nukes at your country / hometown? of another CoVid-like pandemic? I guess odds of any of these are similar or even greater to being bitten by shark. No hard evidence tho.
Last edited by rw30 on Fri Jan 19, 2024 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby Toby » Fri Jan 19, 2024 1:29 pm

One reason I don’t go to Capetown ! Too much body dragging…besides the cold water.

In Brazil, state of Ceara, has been 1 shark attack in 100 years, and it was not fatal.

In Recife they had about 70 shark fatalities meanwhile.

I would be afraid of Jellyfish in Australia, I think they are only in the north…more or less invisible and deadly.
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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby FrontRangeJeff » Fri Jan 19, 2024 2:16 pm

No...but I rely on statistics to make risk assessments.
You are more likely to be injured by your lawn equipment or a meal -- do you worry about those?

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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby Jamie-NYC » Fri Jan 19, 2024 3:32 pm

I typically kite in the ocean waters on the south shore of Long Island New York (off Fire Island). I have played in those waters for more than a half century, and had never seen a shark until a few years ago. Now they are everywhere; black tips, spinners, sand tigers, and bulls as well. Two years ago I was foiling in relatively light wind (almost always relatively light wind there) and my board came to a dead stop. As I launched off the front and into the water, the shark I had hit was leaping out of the water right next to me. That was a direct hit - glancing blows are more common (and less disruptive!). It’s a real issue, and makes me wonder if some device could be affixed to the foil to provide a warning sound, much as whistles can be attached to cars to alert deer.

Has the presence of sharks changed our behavior? Not much. If you drop your kite in a failing breeze, hurry into it and self rescue instead of dallying at the end of your lines; stay away from the Menhaden schools (often hard to avoid); always make sure the tourniquet is in your kite bag. Be grateful that the ocean rescue personnel now have wave runners.

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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby StellaBlu » Fri Jan 19, 2024 4:31 pm

I kite, wing, surf around Cape Cod and the islands which has always been sharky, but has become increasingly so - specifically Great Whites. In our area, the sudden uptick is largely due to the booming seal population. 2023 season didn't have a lot of shark sightings, but 2022 was insane and the beaches were frequently closed.

I have seen them from boats several times, but oddly enough I haven't actually seen one while in the water. Ive seen large dark bodies that I attribute to seals (maybe I'm just telling myself that), but very large great whites have been seen at spots that I frequent. If I'm honest, its always in the back of my mind when I'm in the open and dark ocean, and while it kind of scares me, it also doesn't keep me out of the water unless there has been a very recent sighting. In those instances, I just go to bays or more "closed" areas with less frequent sightings.

One of my wing boards is all black and about the size of a hearty seal. I put checkered decals on the bottom in an effort to differentiate myself.

We also get jellyfish, and I react very strong to them, but I don't really worry about that. I just wear a wetsuit when it gets really bad.
Last edited by StellaBlu on Fri Jan 19, 2024 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby Vivo3d » Fri Jan 19, 2024 4:59 pm

I totally get you.

Last year I went to El Gouna and it was right after that guy got killed by a shark and the coast was still closed. But once I was kiting, I didn't think about it. And also not while body dragging.
But if I'm out there swimming in very deep water, I'm always aware of the fact that there could be something in the water that doesn't want me to be there :D

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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby Boston kiter » Fri Jan 19, 2024 5:49 pm

StellaBlu wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2024 4:31 pm
I kite, wing, surf around Cape Cod and the islands which has always been sharky, but has become increasingly so - specifically Great Whites. In our area, the sudden uptick is largely due to the booming seal population. 2023 season didn't have a lot of shark sightings, but 2022 was insane and the beaches were frequently closed.

I have seen them from boats several times, but oddly enough I haven't actually seen one while in the water. Ive seen large dark bodies that I attribute to seals (maybe I'm just telling myself that), but very large great whites have been seen at spots that I frequent. If I'm honest, its always in the back of my mind when I'm in the open and dark ocean, and while it kind of scares me, it also doesn't keep me out of the water unless there has been a very recent sighting. In those instances, I just go to bays or more "closed" areas with less frequent sightings.

One of my wing boards is all black and about the size of a hearty seal. I put checkered decals on the bottom in an effort to differentiate myself.

We also get jellyfish, and I react very strong to them, but I don't really worry about that. I just wear a wetsuit when it gets really bad.
I definitely have my head on a swivel when kiting at Hardings. Once over on the flats I'm much more comfortable..
But it would never stop me from going out..

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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby Greenturtle » Fri Jan 19, 2024 6:03 pm

Clear water is safer. If they can see you clearly , there is less risk of one thinking your foot is a struggling fish.

Tropical locations should be the least of your worries. Great whites are a cold water species and one of the few that regularly and intentionally targets man-sized prey at the surface (seals/sea lions)

Its less risk than many many other things, but I understand it’s difficult to ignore the possibility of being bitten by a real life monster, even if chances are very low.

When spearfishing, sharks are a real concern.
When kiteboarding, just try to forget it and enjoy your vacation.
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Re: Are you afraid of sharks?

Postby nafets » Fri Jan 19, 2024 6:49 pm



Same response as most above. I try not to think about it, but whenever I have to body drag, I get those feelings :D

Having said that, I would recommend the channel above to everyone! It's a marine biologists that follows great whites at the cost of southern California. Gives so many explanations about their behavior! Chances are, they are around us all the time, we just don't know about.
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