The Xarki (pronounced ‘sharky’) is a surfboard equipped with a series of features designed to protect riders against sharks. It has sonar, shark repellent, and even a secret weapon!
In late October, I received a letter from Walter Steemans from Belgium. He had seen a few of my concepts in the November 2015 issue of the Dutch magazine KIJK, and he sent me a few ideas of his own. One of them got my attention and inspired me to create this surfboard concept. Industrial designer Gebre Mesquitta from Chicago threw in some of his own ideas too and created the 3D renderings of this surfboard.
How It Works
The Xarki is a surfboard made of composite material reinforced with carbon nanotubes. It’s light, but strong enough to withstand impacts. The Xarki could be equipped with various optional features to protect the riders against sharks.
First of all, built-in sonar would be able to detect large fish or mammals approaching the board from a distance. Clever buoy is working on a similar warning system, so they could probably adapt their technology to fit on the Xarki. The sonar could sound the Jaws melody… wouldn’t that be fun?!
When a shark is close by, strong LED lamps located on the side of the board could flash like a strobe to blind the shark.A high-pressure pump located inside the board could eject a special formula of vinegar, pepper, and chili pepper into the water to affect the shark’s electroreceptors. This system could incapacitate him temporarily and give the rider some time to paddle away.
As a last resort, a hidden weapon could be used to stab the shark on the nose. This weapon is simply a rigid pole but it could double as a telescopic paddle (The paddle is not shown in the images). You could use it to catch a wave or get away from the shark faster!
I also thought about adding an electronic sensor on the Xarki’s nose. This sensor would be able to detect specific chemicals or scents in the water. This section of the board could also be used to send electromagnetic pulses designed to drive sharks away.
At any point, the surfer could activate an onboard 911 calling system. That would alert rescuers and transmit the Xarki’s location.
The added value
The obvious added value is providing riders with a series of options to protect themselves against sharks. The cost, effectiveness, and performance of the Xarki’s options will differ based on various factors. Some customers will prefer the sonar, some will prefer the repellent. Some might be happy just with the reinforced board and cool led lights since sharks attacks are statistically rare.
The Xarki concept was developed in collaboration with Gebre Mesquitta, an industrial designer from Chicago, USA. Gebre graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a B.S. in Industrial Design Technology, and is the CEO and Chief Designer at Alama Kayani.