Stab Magazine | The Next (Affordable) Step In Shark Repellents: Organic wax?

The Next (Affordable) Step In Shark Repellents: Organic wax?

Wax on, sharks off. 

news // Aug 25, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sharks! Gasp! In the recent onslaught of sharks v surfers, a lot of R&D’s gone into repellents, and some thought into “let’s just kill them all!”

South Africa, Australia, Northern California, Reunion Island, Kauai, Florida and inland tourists have piqued interest in the new, don’t-get-bit technology (there’s also if-you-did-get-bit-programs – post medical attention). And, right now, there’s a handful of mechanisms on the market. There’s the Modom Shark Leash, wrists bands, anklets (it’s called house arrest and is the most effective), shark repellent sprays, Sharkcamo decals (zebra print!), and a Shark Repellent Grenade (kaboom!).

But one South Australian revolutionary seeks to solve this issue with an organic formula that we used every time before hitting the water: Wax – aptly named Chillax. Ingenious, simple and calm – like Xanax in the morning (or green tea).

However, it’s yet to be tested. Mr Campbell’s not convinced by the electronic and magnetic aids on the market; so he stripped back the tech, went organic, and it’s so 2016.

Shark Attack Mitigation Systems SAMS

Or you could just wear this.

“I moved to South Australia in June last year, and that presented me with the perennial problem for a surfer – sharks,” he told ABC.

And thus he began research into natural animal repellents.

“It’s simply local beeswax, cold-pressed coconut oil, a bunch of essential oils and spices,” continued Neil. Similar ingredients of a 12-dollar green juice at Whole Foods.

“The essential herbs and spices came about from me researching a range of repellent combinations across a range of species.”

According to ABC: Clove oil, which has been used to euthanise Port Jackson sharks, is one ingredient. So too are hot peppers – as Mr Campbell said sharks are olfactory predators, meaning they hunt by scent.



Hey man, you got to chillax…


This organic, anti-technology has yet to be tested. But in September Neil’s taking Chillax to Neptune Island – a seal breeding area filled with exceptionally large great whites. He’ll be accompanied by Flinders University aquatic researcher Professor Charlie Huveneers and shark dive operator and researcher Andrew Fox.

“One of the things they won’t let me do is jump into the water with the sharks,” said Neil. “Though I am keen to do it as I think that is what surfers will want to see.”

So the initial test will be a board or decoy covered in wax and placed in the water. They will be examining the molecular spread of the product and the sharks’ reaction to entering the “infected” zone.

“We are going to scientifically measure the validity of what has been until now only a good argument,” Mr Campbell said.

If proven, don’t let them clip your wings, Neil. Dive in, paddle and repel, all in the name of science!

“I anticipate that we will get some good results from the [September] tests and we can go from there.”


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022


‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022


“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022