Reunion Island is a paradise for surfers but, after a series of fatal shark attacks, surfing all but ceased along much of its coastline for several years, except around the small enclave of La Jetée. La Jetée also happens to be one of the best air waves in the world and in early 2022, we made the journey back to Reunion to reconnect with this incredible island and its people.
Shark attacks are still a concern on Reunion Island, and surfing outside of the designated protected areas is still technically illegal, but there has not been an attack in three years at the time of posting. Scientists can’t say with certainty why, but there is important research being done and the establishment of protected surfing areas at places like St.Leu have made getting in the water safer. The local surfing and lifeguard community have done an incredible job of rallying together with scientists to create water patrols and establish a number of protocols to try minimise the risk of an attack as much as possible at these spots. Now Now media is busy working on a more in-depth documentary on the shark situation in Reunion but in order to surf at St Leu, you’re supposed to register on the beach and have a shark deterrent device. Surfers still surf other parts of Reunion without organised protection measures but this is technically illegal (you could face a fine) and at their own risk.
Eli Beukes | Luke Slijpen | Allain Matthieu Guillaume
Alan van Gysen
Alan van Gysen | Ian Thurtell | Julian ‘Ciel’ Celeste | Will Bendix
Directed & Edited
By Will Bendix