Also, sometimes it's nothing, I can say from personal experience i've gotten spooked and realized that it was just my imagination and kept on (at least that what i tell myself). Sometimes the swell movement as a set is approaching will cause movement in the water and sometimes your leash may get caught on something and you may think something pulled it but it was probably just you..... or is it???
My mind gets the better of me all the time. If I felt a sharp tug on my leash, and I was out by myself, I would be on the beach before you can blink. And there would be no thoughts of going back in. A lot of brave souls on this forum
trust your gut... if something says to you get out of the water...get out. some places i feel comfortable... some places i don't dangle my feet in the water.. but I always try to be aware of whats going on around me. A sharky area or a shark doesn't necessarily mean get out of the water but uncertainty or a change conditions around you might. I got bumped once I posted it... I went back and surfed it the next day
... here it is.. picture and all
Climbing down a 30 meter cliff with a board to surf a freight train left point on a shallow reef. It was my 30th B-day weekend and I wanted to dodge the crowds and do something epic. Even at a few feet overhead I wanted no part of the sets on the point. Injury meant re-climbing the cliff or a mile paddle to the nearest inhabited beach. Only an hour or so before dark. The ocean goes from the deepest point in the world to a reef covered by maybe two foot of water. I catch a few waves sitting just down from the point and then BUMP. For a moment I was too scared to look down. No way that just happened. No way I just saw what I think I just saw. Please tell me that was a coral head and not a submerged dorsal fin and a tail I just cruise by. Not sure... had reef booties on. Scan the water surface...nothing. Do a shallow duck dive and look around.. nothing. Wait. The reef is fairly flat. Don't even care what the next wave is looking like... closeout...deathpit... whatever ...I'm on it. Probably the fastest I've ever paddled in my life. Scrapping fins or stepping on urchins I was getting out of the water fast. Watch from the beach...nothing. Get lost in the jungle trying to find my way back to the trail up the cliff make it up as the last rays of sun are fading. Not sure what to believe I had to go back the next day and do it again. I'm not one to spook easily. Surfed it no problem as the swell was dieing. Talking to a local a short time later he was surprised I surfed there. Turns out just off the reef is a favorite spearfishing spot and quote "sharky as hell".
Had something tug hard on my leash in S. Nags Head last year. Was about 1/4 mile south of where they were dredging so the water was dark brown and couldn't see a thing. Paddled in immediately. Told some swimmers by us what had happened, must've thought I was BS'ing them cause they did nothing. After watching them swim for a few minutes without incident, paddled back out but was still too spooked and came back in after a couple waves.
Next day, went a couple miles further south where the water was clear and there was no one out. As we're getting ready to go out, I happen to look up at a wave coming in and see something about 6ft long with a vertical tail fin swimming through it. It was a split second and maybe my mind was playing tricks on me, but still decided we should walk up to the closer to the lifeguarded area where other people were swimming/surfing.
in the mid atlantic on a longboard I would've probably pulled up feet/hands and looked around a bit
in a foreign land - especially place known for big sharks / crocodiles I would likely have a very different reaction