Is there any phrase quite as frightening as “shark season?” Maybe “10-page paper due tomorrow” or “unexpected pregnancy,” but that’s beside the point.
Shark season is exactly what a paddleboarder came face to face with on what was supposed to be a nice morning surf session in the Pacific Ocean. Wagner Deabreu was at Manhattan Beach, CA on the morning of May 13th of this year when he chased a great white around the shore. Lots of surfers seem unphased watching in the water and Deabreu got a few unnerving shots under the water with his GoPro.
Apparently the lifeguards at the beach were attempting to tag the sharks in an attempt to keep track of their migrating patterns.
Lots of stand up paddlers seem to have chance encounters with all kinds of sea life. While in the Florida Keys, this SUP paddler ran into some manatees and what appeared to be a shark in the spring of this year. Just in case you were worried the creatures aren’t limiting themselves to one ocean. Nope—they can be found on either coast.
This final video seems much more ominous. Put out by Discovery a few years ago, the narrator explains how paddle boards are a good way to approach sharks because it’s non-intrusive relative to a boat (although he obviously doesn't recommend it to everyone). These investigators were off the coast of South Africa observing great whites for Discovery channel’s now-famous “Shark Week.” The paddler coasts alongside a great white that is longer than his board which is a behemoth in its own rite at 11’6. He assumes the shark is about 13 feet long.
He also remarks how quickly the shark is moving considering he’s working really hard to catch up with the shark and it’s gliding smoothly through the water.
I’m sure this guy is a skilled paddler, but this is an instance where you REALLY don’t want to fall in the water.
I'm hoping I could keep my cool if I was ever to encounter a shark or two while paddleboarding. Somehow I doubt it.