The Western Australian

Big wave surfer turns attention to shark deterrent device

A WA big wave surfer has turned his efforts to making the sport safer with a new invention to deter sharks.

Shanan Worrall won the best tube ride of the year at the Big Wave Awards last year for a barrel ride at a break called The Right, a few kilometres off the South Coast of WA.

“To be barrelled is probably the peak of our sport, so to be able to get in a tube that big was absolutely amazing,” he said.

But after a string of close encounters with sharks over the years, he's now turned his talents to making the sport safer.

As an abalone diver, Mr Worrall was there when Greg Pickering was attacked by a shark near Esperance in 2013.

Mr Worrall helped save Mr Pickering’s life but struggled to return to the water after that.

“It definitely put a different outlook on sharks for me,” he said.

“Not trying to promote fear at all, but if you’re in WA waters, it is chewing away at your carefree attitude to being in the water a little bit.”

Mr Worrall has since developed a shark deterrent device consisting of a big set of false eyes that can be attached to the bottom of surfboards.

“It’s taking the element of surprise away from apex predators,” he said.

Shark Eyes is still undergoing tests to determine its effectiveness, but Mr Worrall is confident the device works.

Vision used in this story was shot by renowned big wave cameraman Tim Bonython who will release his new movie later this month.

Dates are Fremantle on Wednesday May 24; Event Cinemas in Innaloo on Thursday, May 25 and The Common at Margaret River on Friday, May 26.

For original blog visit The West Australian