Rusty Surfboards to put shark deterrent zebra patterns on boards in Australia

While 1980s fashion may be making it’s way back into the cycle, surfboards with zebra stripes soon to be popping up in Australia and New Zealand aren’t part of a harkening back to those days. Rather, they will be surfboards aimed at deterring shark attacks on surfers.

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In a new licensing deal with Shark Mitigation Systems, Rusty Surfboards will be putting the shark deterrent zebra patterns on boards in Australia and New Zealand.

A Rusty surfboard with the patented SMS zebra pattern. Photo: Courtesy of Business News Western Australia

According to Business News Western Australia, “The deal with Rusty will see the Perth-based iconic surf brand place those same patterns on their surfboards during the manufacturing process, potentially giving surfers some peace of mind when hitting the waves.”

Shark Mitigation Systems is the company that has also developed the Clever Buoy, which the World Surf League started using this year at the J-Bay Open.

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While shark deterrent technology has been gaining lots of press and steam, especially in Australia, the effectiveness of these systems are still in need of further experimentation and study. Last month, a surfer in Florida was attacked by a shark while wearing a Sharkbanz bracelet told to deter sharks from coming near.

The University of Western Australia did conduct a study this past summer using wetsuits with this zebra pattern from SMS and found that those with the pattern took sharks 400-percent longer to engage with, Business News Western Australia noted.

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The details of the licensing deal are not yet known, but it could lead to production of wetsuits, as well as other global markets outside of Australia and New Zealand. Above all else, be smart in the water.