random happenings

Great White Clears J-Bay Lineup

Pumping waves left unridden as a great white sends surfers rushing for shore

| posted on June 16, 2014
Surfers rush for shore as a great white looms outside. Photo: Grambeau

Surfers rush for shore with a great white looming out in the lineup. Photo: Grambeau

With a building swell at J-Bay on Sunday, a great white shark cruised through the lineup and sent every single surfer rushing to shore. “The 6-foot surf was just beginning to fire,” said photographer Ted Grambeau. “About 50 surfers vacated the lineup for at least a half hour.” Dan Ross, a former World Tour surfer from Australia, first noticed the shark when it swam between him and South African surfer Frankie Oberholzer. After everyone was safe onshore, Grant “Twiggy” Baker paddled back out into the pumping surf with a shark pod. “The surf had risen to overhead in that short time and proved irresistible to most of the crew, so they returned to a rather tense lineup,” said Grambeau. Although shark pods have proven to be successful in deterring attacks, surfing with only one of them out in a crowded pointbreak lineup is still sketchy. Would you paddle back out?

Surfers look on as pumping sets roll through and Grant "Twiggy" Baker sits outside alone. Photo: Grambeau

Surfers look on as empty sets roll through and Grant “Twiggy” Baker sits outside alone. Photo: Grambeau

  • Digitalsupe

    They are always there. Just because you see one doesn’t make it any more or less dangerous. Surfed in Hawaii after potting a 12′ Tiger. It’s definitely unsettling being out there after seeing one though.

    • Paul Oriente

      Very true.

    • ms green

      true that. saw one myself 15 years ago – and Seal Point in the White Tips buffet line right around the corner. THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE, ignorance can be so blissful

  • Rafael Aramburu

    Que abusivo ese tiburon quiere ganarse solito!

  • T Squared

    last month surfing, spotted a “big” tiger cruising, slowly,checking me out… Not good when your the only one out….50 surfers ? I’ll take my chances but when it is you and the creature, not a good feeling..

    • Paul Oriente

      Agree, there is more safety in numbers but, look at the swimmer who got attacked/killed in San Diego a couple years ago. He was an avid swimmer and was with a group of other swimmers in the water. Probably mistaken identity but, the white shark test-bite is devastating.

      • Mik

        Avidly swimming alone outside of the surf line is basically asking for trouble.

  • Klansea

    If you see one then you know you are not bait

  • robbie

    Iv surfed la jolla when there was a huge group of sand sharks(not threatning but still). Water was so clear i spotted over 30 of em. Still had fun.

    • FoReals?!

      So you surfed with fishes, basically.

    • Steve Irwin

      Cool story bro.

    • Paul Oriente

      Those are leopard sharks and you see them all the time there. They don’t bother anyone.

  • Adam

    The latest research conducted by SARDI suggests that shark-shields are not effective at deterring white pointers.

    • http://www.sharkshield.com/ Scott Wilson

      Hi Adam, I would like to point out that the information you have posted is not actually correct. I will disclose that I work for Shark Shield.

      The SARDI testing was actually very positive and proved Shark Shield is effective as a shark deterrent. This is also the conclusion of the author Charlie Huveneers. This includes stopping charging great whites on a seal decoy tow which you can see in this video http://youtu.be/oNCedUi_jPg

      You can also read more on Swellnet http://www.swellnet.com/news/surfpolitik/2012/10/19/makers-shark-shield-hit-back where Shark Shield briefly explain the reason that the static bait testing was not set up properly. The static bait was basically outside the Shark Shield protective field. When set up correctly, all static bait tests ever performed on a Shark Shield have worked 100% of the time. This was also the conclusion from another scientific paper by Smit & Peddemors where it was tested correctly.

      You can view a video of the SARDI setup explained here showing why testing was not as effective as it could be if set up correctly http://youtu.be/AmO5lY-Qrsg

      All videos and independent scientific papers are available on our website http://www.sharkshield.com.

      Shark Shield is the only scientifically proven and independently tested shark deterrent. We stand behind our product, its technology and its safety record of protecting thousands of surfers, divers and spearfishers since 1992 (Shark Shield testimonials http://www.sharkshield.com/view/blogs/).

      I would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

    • Gustav

      Hi Adam,

      About 3 months ago surfing on the wild side of PE (bay opposite J bay) I had a 4 meter Bull shark swim right up to me. i had my pod on, it came towards me from the front, got within about a 1 meter range of the front of my board and suddenly turned as it got within range. My bru, when that pod comes passed my head i can feel my fillings going. Been shocked in the head to the point i need to re orientate myself. I believe they do work, the bigger the shark the bigger the sensory organs, just be sure you don’t turn it off duck diving, i have done that a few times and constantly get off to quality control when im surfing dodgy area’s by myself. Also make sure its FULLY charged.

    • Braden

      Adam – your comment is largely inaccurate, vague and unsubstantiated. The latest research on Shark Shield technology does NOT suggest an ineffectiveness against Great White Sharks individually. In fact, the latest research calls for greater funding & further trials so that testing can be improved and variables reduced during each shark experiment. A little background knowledge would go a long way for critics like yourself, good effort though.

  • Chris

    Top Right of the screen, is that a surfer paddling in the back wave??

    • Siguy

      nope, it’s the shark catching the wave of the day at uncrowded J bay lol

    • Deon Lategan

      Thats actually me – no jokes
      was up at Boneyards quite oblivious to the shark
      when I finally figured that all the people on the beach weren’t hooting my waves or pointing out sets and got in
      everyone was already on their way back out

      • Kimbo

        Thank your stars amte, you’re proof they’re not man eaters … or maybe he wasn’t feeling very peckish at the time.

    • Vicente Fictício Cruz

      “Surfers look on as empty sets roll through and Grant “Twiggy” Baker sits outside alone. Photo: Grambeau”

  • ichorousmedia .

    if there is 50 other people out there with you, why the hell not paddle back out, except to avoid the crowd haha

  • Dennis Heroy

    I wonder why the insane crowds at Malibu never get out of the water ? Spotted lots of sharks in the line up.Hey it’s their ocean. And those guys at Mavericks/Todos/Cortez Banks…..they are there,you just dont see them !!!

  • Strand

    You don’t have to out-swim the shark. Just the surfer next to you.

  • Tyson Galvin

    Yeah, they are always cruising around. I had a 2m bronze whaler cruise under me 3in from my feet and at the same time I had a 4m bronze whaler cruise 3m in front of me. Pretty trippy. I just moved to a denser crowd and surfed for another hour. I have to admit that every shadow was a shark after that, lol.

    • RoAcH

      I’m living in Reunion Is. was riding for 20 years now……. If you know our actuality, i can’t just imagine that feeling…. keep riding bro.

  • saltana

    fuck hero man @dustinsurprenant:disqus

  • Brock Manion

    Been out voodoo when a great white pokes its head out of the water and looks around and most of the guys in the line up said they wernt going in but after 3 waves i was spooked on and fell off i went in and at that time there was only 1 other surfer left out haha scary

  • Zac Baxter

    on it! sharks are friendly ;)

  • Alex C

    I’ve been to J Bay twice, very sharky, always has that shaky feel.

  • Pop-Up

    It was me standing on the cliff all the time with my “New and Improved” RC shark. Launched it when no one was looking. Great crowd control toy!

  • Jason Christopher

    Some of my best friends have fins! I would have thrown old Sharky a shaka thus becoming good bros. Getting out of the water is amateur…and a good idea in reality.

  • Joel

    Does anyone know what shark pod Twiggy was using. I bought a shark shield but its really not feasible for surfing.

  • Joel

    Does anyone know what Shark Pod Twiggy uses? Ive tried one thats not too suitable for surfing.

    • Murray Elliott

      Hi Joel
      The Device that Twiggy uses is the unit that is made in Hawaii,it is a small unit that fits onto your ankle.the device is called ESDS (Electronic shark defense systems) i have been using, importing and selling them in South Africa for over 2 years now.i have my advert in the zig zag under the show case adds

  • Wernich

    Nice waves its a shame u had to come out…..

  • Titus Kodzoman

    Met one in at J-bay in 1991. I elected to leave the water and go a bar instead.

  • Al

    As long as you see them, all good. When they come for you it will happen fast and without notice ;-)

  • Snaps

    25 years ago a 5m Great White was sighted at Smiths beach Phillip Island Australia. I was out the back and could only tuck in and wait it out. Once the all clear was given I caught the first wave in and have only just got back in the water this year. Did I shit myself ? Bet your arse I did and it still affects me when surfing alone but being in the water is well worth the risk. More people die in car accidents each year than from shark attacks and we all still drive cars hey.

  • Murray Elliott

    ESDS (electronic shark defense systems)
    look in the zig zag under show case adds. this is the small unit that fits on your ankle,and does not get in the way when you surfing…the unit that Twiggy uses

  • sunspell

    My guess is Twiggy was wearing E Shark Defense- The only way Twiggy wouldn’t have been worried about it…
    http://www.sharkprotection.com.au

  • DumbDumb

    Sharks. They only bite, when you touch their private parts.