That shark attacks are rare isn’t the point. Fears aren’t rational and facts don’t make them go away.
I’ve been in the ocean all my life and have never seen a “dangerous” shark. Angel and leopard sharks, yes. Dogfish, rays, skates, shovelnose guitarfish, also. I dove on a 6’ sand shark hiding under a rock in Hawaii and spent a great deal of time watching the beast, it didn’t seem to care a lick that I was there. In all my time paddling, boating, and diving, I’ve seen more whales than sharks and one really huge ray - easily over ten feet across during a dive. When I feel uneasy and look behind me underwater, I generally find a sea lion or harbor seal only a couple of feet away (you can’t get away from these in Monterey Bay and a dive where a sea lion sees you as a plaything is awfully common).
There are always great whites along the California coast, but though attacks are rare, there is always that nagging thought in the back of the mind. Not knowing if there is a shark (there probably is) or whether it can/will attack, can be disconcerting. I am willing to bet that I’ve spent a lot of time in the ocean not more than 50-100 feet away from a great white and never knew it. The water is murky here and it is hard to believe this hasn’t happened.
I’ve met 5 shark attack survivors (seems amazing, but if you live near the ocean and participate in ocean sports, it happens) and their injuries were certainly frightening. None of them saw the shark until after the attack happened. That is what nags the psyche. You feel nice and safe, in control, until it all suddenly changes.
So, paddle where you are comfortable. Learn a bit about sharks if you wish to start to overcome your fears. You will learn that sharks are not the monsters portrayed in movies (or even documentaries (they tend to chum and/or feed sharks to get the footage - what they show is NOT normal shark behavior). You will also learn that, as apex predators, they can act capriciously and viciously, but one step you can take is to paddle a larger boat. in the animal world, size improves safety, so a longer boat should be safer than a shorter one and the attack statistics back this up.