May 24, 2015
It’s Sunday morning, the sun is rising, and you’re on dawn patrol at a new beach with your board in hand. The brisk breeze gently caresses your face as you amp yourself up to embark on another legendary surf session. To your surprise, the water is flat, so you patiently wait for the tide to pick up, observing your surroundings only to find the sand littered with garbage. Utterly disappointed, you leave the new spot to go to a more familiar one, but during the commute, storm clouds begin to form and bring forth an unexpected thunderstorm. Bummed that your day is now ruined, you drag yourself home and hope for better luck tomorrow.
At some point in every surfer’s life, they’re going to experience days like these. Whether it’s being underwhelmed by a new spot, or having the day cut short by severe weather conditions, there are always going to be annoyances that are difficult to avoid. Thankfully, we’re in an era where mobile apps are being developed for everything, bringing valuable information to the screens of surfers’ phones and wearables. Here is a list of some of the coolest, most useful surfing apps to ensure you’ll be riding the swell instead of sitting in the mush.
A creative design firm that transforms ideas into web and mobile apps, Smashing Boxes’ latest idea is an Apple Watch app that allows surfers to check the surf conditions of their favorite spots. Sporting a sleek and simplistic design, CRNT provides access to information such as weather, wind speed, and tidal information; all for the purpose of ensuring surfers are finding the best breaks. It was originally a personal project of its designer, Raleigh Felton, but soon became a company endeavor after he presented the idea to his boss. It’s the first surfing app to be developed for the Apple Watch.
Whereas CRNT gives a snapshot of current weather and tidal conditions, TideGraph provides users with wave data for an entire month. Although the design may not be the most pleasing to the eye, the app is incredibly useful, especially when planning a surfing trip. On top of the vast amount of data is a real-time wave tracker that shows whether the tide is currently dropping or rising.
Surfr is a community-based app in which users log and share data from their surf sessions. Unlike the aforementioned apps, it provides access to valuable surf data, while adding a social element. While you’re not ripping through waves, you can sit back and follow your friends’ surf adventures by viewing and commenting on pictures, or simply chatting with them about their most recent surfari.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of Surfr comes with a touch of philanthropy. All logs are crowdsourced to determine water cleanliness, beach sanitation, and conservation needs in coastal communities. Once the data is accumulated and a problem is found, Surfr collaborates with a relevant non-profit group to clean the area. They’ll even help out the less fortunate if a user documents a nearby village in need of food and medicine.
Not just one, but a collective of useful apps for surfers of all ages and skillsets. The various iSurfer apps are there to help users with any tasks, whether it be finding a new surfboard, or recovering from an injury. Those who are just getting into the sport can download an app that teaches techniques, while more experienced surfers can log and share session data. Although it’s a pain that all of this is fragmented into several different programs, it’s still nice to have one go-to brand when searching for useful surfing apps.
RipCurl Search GPS
Incongruous to the rest, RipCurl Search GPS doesn’t only track data of surfing conditions, but the performance of the surfer as well. This watch and app enables users to track their sessions, providing them with a breadth of data like wave count, top speed, length of ride, and overall session time. The statistical reporting keeps surfers in the water longer because they’ll keep trying to improve on the previous wave, ride more waves than they did in their last session, or want to see how far they can paddle.
Since the watch and app uses GPS technology to pinpoint your exact location, it can give you valuable information on which direction the best waves are coming from, giving you optimal opportunities to track your performance. It also features a social component, allowing you to follow friends and professional surfers, view their performances, and try to one-up them on your next run.
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