We designed our products to protect users from stingray stings. We have tested them with real Round Stingrays (Urobatis Halleri), but we can't guarantee they will prevent all stingray injuries. It is still possible to be stung by a stingray while wearing our booties, although wearing them will significantly reduce the odds of being stung. Please see our Product Liability Disclaimer for more detail.
Round Stingray Striking Force Meter
Step 1: Puncture-Resistant Material Testing
In order to verify the stingray resistance of our products, we started by sampling the average force of round stingray stings. Our team performed tests on five separate round stingrays, by inducing them to sting a force meter and flesh analogue. Based on these samples, we created a pendulum to replicate sting strength, which we then loaded with round stingray barbs. We used this pendulum to test the puncture resistance of a variety of materials, eventually settling on a hybrid design that balances puncture resistance with flexibility. All stingrays were released back into the ocean following testing.
Sting-Replication Pendulum Calibration
Step 2: Stingray Sting Location Survey
In parallel to this testing, our team performed a survey of individuals who had been stung by stingrays in order to determine the frequency of different sting locations on the foot. We determined that almost all stingray stings occur on the foot, at or below the ankle line. This survey is ongoing, and if you would like to contribute to it, you can find it here!)
Regions of the foot for Sting Location Survey
Step 3: Percent Coverage CalculationsNext, in order to calculate the “Coverage %” numbers listed on each of our different Stingray-Resistant Bootie models, we:
a) cut apart the booties and took photos of them spread flat on a white sheet of reference paper from a set distance:
Achilles Heels Flat Patterns on Reference Paper
b) used image analysis tools to determine the percent of bootie surface area covered with stingray-resistant materials.
Example Image Analyzer Results
The final figure reflects the approximate percentage of the bootie surface area that is covered with stingray-resistant materials. Although we design our products to reduce the chance of a user getting stung, it is possible for the stingray barb to penetrate through the stingray-resistant materials. Again, please see our Product Liability Disclaimer for more detail.
Step 4: Validation Testing
Finally, our team performed another test to further verify the stingray resistance of our design. We inserted a foot-shaped flesh analogue into a pair of DragonSkin® booties, and induced round stingrays to sting a section of these booties entirely covered with protective material. We used a thin membrane on the outside to determine how many strikes landed in the appropriate area, and a membrane on the inside to determine how many strikes penetrated through to the foot. We then repeated this test with a regular neoprene surfing bootie for comparison. The results were as follows:
Outer (# strikes)
Inner (# penetrations)
Regular Neoprene Bootie
This test was performed over a section of the DragonSkin® booties covered entirely with protective material. The full booties do not cover the entire foot with protective material, in order to allow for stretch and flexibility. The estimate for percentage coverage for each model is explained in Step 3: Percent Coverage Calculations above.
Stingray Protection Validation Test Equipment