To celebrate the launch of the first-ever 4K surf film, Hurley recently invited us out to Hawaii to meet pro surfer John John Florence, his friend and film director Blake Vincent Kueny, and the most famous wave photographer in the world Clark Little.
In an effort to teach us how to shoot underwater, Little---who meets up with his friends regularly to go out and shoot anything in the sea, from sea turtles, sharks, waves, body boarders and surfers---and One Ocean Diving took us three miles off shore to go free-diving with sharks.
We were taught numerous techniques and rules to follow when swimming with sharks. For example, we had to swim without using our arms, and only tread water lightly with our flippers. There were also ways to read when a shark is becoming agitated. If the sharks flaps their gills, arch their backs, swim in pairs, bump you, or flare their teeth, it's time to get out of the water.
With no protection but our cameras and Hurley shorts, we spent a terrifying, calm and long 20 minutes in the clear blue Pacific Ocean swimming with what seemed like over 20 sharks.
The experience was a trip, and we learned that sharks are not monsters the media portrays them to be. Yes, they could bite you if they wanted to, but biting a human is often the last resort for a shark. Being able to learn how to read a shark, understand what aggravates them, and see their shy character with our own eyes was a valuable experience.