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While some surfers refuse to give up the habit of driving from break to break, circling back to the first one they initially checked, many of us prefer to wave scout from the comforts of our couch.
In this guide, we’ll cover the best apps for surfers when it comes to checking conditions, logging wave counts, entertainment, and more.
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Operating System: iOS | Android Size: 38mb
With over 500,000 downloads and available in 6 languages (English, French, German, Japanese, Portugese and Spanish), the Magicseaweed app is one of the most popular apps for surfers. It offers long-range forecasts from thousands of surf spots around the globe giving you information on wave height, swell height, wind speed and direction. You can also read real-time surf reports from a trusted network of surf experts–whatever that means.
The Magicseaweed app is linked to over 150 surf cams worldwide. So even if you’re still planning your surf trip, you already have a glimpse of the local conditions. A gallery of HD photos also helps surfers scope out any new breaks.
Surf cams are quite controversial. But chances are, if it’s not your home break that’s streaming, you find them an asset. Surfline has the largest network of live surf cams in existence. If you go premium, you can access over 600 live streaming HD surf cams where you can see the surf conditions in real time.
A global team of forecasters and meteorologists provide daily surf reports, revealing when swells arrive, wind conditions, temperature and tidal fluctuation. While premium subscribers enjoy 17-day forecast models from 3,000 global surfing spots, free subscribers can make use of the free 3-day surf forecast. Those who want to truly geek out can check out their rides through the Surfline Sessions feature, where the camera films and records your surf session–synced to your surf watch.
Not sure which surf break is good for your skillset? If you’re looking for an app that can suggest a surfing site based on skill level, then consider installing the Weesurf app. It has an interactive world map with over 4,000 surfing spots sorted according to skill level. It’s a great travel companion if you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to hunting down new surf spots.
The Weesurf app can be customized. You can select your favorite surf spot and you will be notified when conditions are favorable for a great ride. If you are keen on details, you will like its forecast features where you can access vital data on waves, wind, tides and water levels.
Are you a data geek? Or simply love logging your surf sessions for sentimental reasons? At The Salt Sirens, it’s no secret that we love recording our surf sessions. The Lazy Surfer app is the only digital surf log that lets you record and rate each session. It uses machine learning combined with its forecast features, alerting users when conditions are favorable. So when your phone vibrates and you see the Lazy Surfer logo, it’s time to grab your board.
Sharks are magnificent creatures. However, some regions are sharkier than others and it may make sense to opt out of the water if a fin is spotted. Looking at you, Western Australia… With the Dorsal app, you can navigate the interactive map and check if there has been a shark sighting or attack within the past 12 hours. It features reports from partner channels and aerial surveillance, giving you a glimpse of the site. The surf app is available in Australia, USA and Hawaii.
The next best thing to actually surfing could be watching the sport’s best compete against one another. The WSL app notifies surfers of current stats, upcoming events, and allows users to watch tour and big wave events directly. The World Surf League app allows you to follow world-class champion surfers. You can even make your own “My WSL” feed that features the latest news, rankings, photos and videos of your favorite surfers.
The NOAA Buoys Weather app offers access to over 1,800 buoys with the use of its interactive map. The app allows you to view the nearest buoy around you or configure the measurement (either metric or imperial). You can even search for a specific buoy by placing its name or station ID in the apps search bar. After selecting a particular buoy, the app can now give you detailed information about temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and cloudiness.
Windy.com is an app for weather forecast visualization that can be used not just for your surfing adventures, but also for travel. This app is popular among surfers, pilots, skydivers, boaters, fishermen and more. It is fast, intuitive, and has a detailed visualization of weather systems around the world.
Using weather maps, Windy.com tells you everything about the weather of your destination. Generally, you can get information such as wind, rain, humidity and temperature. Specifically for surfers, you can use the CAPE index data which forecast the pressure to swell ratio.
The Apple Watch is one of the world’s most versatile smart watches and it is possible to make it as a surf watch. This is made possible with the Dawn Patrol app, used as a surf tracker for Apple watches.
The Dawn Patrol surf app allows you to have the latest forecast right on your wrist. Since you can wear it while surfing, the Dawn Patrol app can track and analyze your ride, count your waves, determine your top speed, measure your wave time and the distance surfed per wave. It can even track your heart rate and calories burned. And what’s best with the Dawn Patrol is that you can instantly synchronize your surf records to your iPhone.
Operating System: Android Size: varies with device
If you’re using a smart watch and want to turn it into a surf watch, then install it with the WavesTracker app. Designed with a simple user interface, the WavesTracker can record your actual surfing adventures like how fast you go, how many waves you’ve ridden and how far your wave took you. All you need to do before heading out is turn on the GPS of your watch and synchronize it with the app.
After the ride, the WavesTracker app can synchronize with your phone and relive your surfing adventures. Or, share your surf session on social media using a unique URL. Just take note that the WavesTracker app does not work on all smart watches–you’ll only want to download it if your watch is compatible.