He’s had a couple of encounters with sharks over the last 8-10 years. On one occasion, he was kitesurfing off of Scarborough Beach near his home. A big shark – probably 3.5 meters or more – swam between Ryland and a mate. The encounter definitely spooked him.
Then, in 2011, he was on a trip to the south coast and got chased out of the water by another big shark when he was 200 meters offshore. It was a tricky situation, but he escaped unscathed and even got video footage to relive the nightmare!
“I think anything that gives people more knowledge and another opportunity for the shark to be spooked, or not interested, is a good thing. Living in West Australia, shark encounters are becoming more regular and there is not one surf session when you don’t think about it. So, anything to even calm my own nerves makes every time I hit the water a little bit more enjoyable. Yeew!”