Stab Magazine | Man Punches Shark In South Australia

Man Punches Shark In South Australia

“I didn’t want this thing to bite my new board, it cost me a thousand bucks.”

news // Jul 1, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Awful lot of shark punching going on these days within the world of surf. Well, really just Mick Fanning at J-Bay last year, and then a surfer named Matt Manik this week in South Oz. There’s likely been more that haven’t made headlines, but even twice in as many years is enough.

Matty was surfing off Middleton on Wednesday, when what he thought was a stingray started circling him. He soon realised it was actually a curious 2m bronze whaler.

Now, BW’s aren’t well-known for chomping humans, but they do rank sixth in the world when it comes to unprovoked attacks.

After some eyeing off, the shark started making its way towards Matt. “It got closer and closer and about one foot away and I didn’t really know what to do and it got too close, so I belted it on the head, right between its eyes,” Matt told The Advertiser.

bronze whaler 1

Regardless of where this shark ranks when it comes to unprovoked attacks, it’s not the kinda thing you wanna share the lineup with.

Despite Matt’s rattling left hook, the shark momentarily appeared to consider going back for more. “I hit it pretty good,” he said. “I gave it a decent left hit and for it to come back, that was pretty surprising. I’d already given it one and I was gonna do what I needed to do.”

Luckily, he didn’t need to deploy his fist again, and was relieved to see the shark swim away. “I just hope I didn’t hurt him too badly, I think he was a bit dazed but OK.”

Through the ordeal, at least Matt had his priorities right: “At the time I was pretty focused because I didn’t want this thing to bite my new board, it cost me a thousand bucks.” It’s a Channel Islands Average Joe, in case you’re wondering.

Matt scratched to the shore and ran to let alert another surfer down the beach. Meanwhile, Matt’s mate sat in their heated car completely oblivious to what was unfolding.

Shark Mark

That’s a powerful fist. Picture: Dylan Coker/The Advertiser

Understandably, the encounter may have ruined Matt’s plan to do Dry July: “It worked out really funny but at the time it could have gone either way so it will be a good story to tell over a beer — I was going to have next month off the beers but might change that now.”

“It’s a box I wanted to tick off before turning 40,” he joked. “I’ll get back out there on Sunday but I might sit with a mate for a bit in case one comes again so we can tag team it this time.”

This is quite timely, considering that Matt’s run-in occurred within the same 48-period as Mick’s first surf back at J-Bay since the airwave-melting encounter last year. And, also considering that yesterday, Stab was told by Kimi Werner that the best way to avoid a shark attack is to front up and mirror its behaviour.

Anyways, good for you, Matt. If you see this man at the pub, buy him a beer.


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