When Dave Martin was mauled to death by a shark in San Diego in 2008, it surprised some shark researchers. Since 1926, San Diego has had only had 18 attacks [source: ISAF]. Shark attacks in California are much more likely to occur farther north, in the infamous Red Triangle.
About 90 miles (145 kilometers) of Northern California coastline between Point Reyes and Monterey Bay form one side of the Red Triangle; from those two points, lines extend to meet just past the Farallon Islands, to the west of San Francisco. These waters are home to lots of seals, which in turn attract lots of great white sharks.
But within the Red Triangle are many beaches that are attract surfers, including Bolinas Beach and Stinson Beach. One tour guide operator deemed Stinson "the granddaddy of all shark beaches" [source: Regenold]. While the Red Triangle is known for the great whites, the rest of the state's coastline also holds the possibility of attack. Since 1926, 122 attacks and at least 14 fatalities have occurred in this state [sources: ISAF, Shark Research Institute]