The Top Five Apps For Waves
By Aleksei Stojanovic
Considering the amount of technology we have available to us, it has never been easier to check your local spot! You wake up, roll over, and check the surf on your phone. Based on the conditions you’ll grunt and go back to bed or get stoked and run out your door.
What are you using to check your spot, and how are you checking it?
These apps below are the most prominent web and mobile platforms for finding the best waves on any given day.
Surfline, the most commonly used surf forecast platform. Why? It has cameras. How many? Over 500! Their camera expansion in 2018 brought its network to over 500. Making Surfline the preferred surf platform in areas such as the US, Canada, Australia, and certain parts of Europe. However, a lot of these cams are exclusive to premium subscribers who pay Surfline 7.99 per month. Surfline’s user interface brings you wave size, tides, swell direction reports, wind, ideal spot conditions, sunrise time, sunset time, and a forecast for the day you are checking and the next days without premium, and 17 days with premium.
Magic Seaweed, a platform for more in-depth surf forecast reports, and more cost-efficient! If you access magic seaweed you will be a bit overwhelmed with the amount of data displayed, unless you are very knowledgeable about conditions and reading surf forecast data. Magic seaweed has a lot fewer cameras than Surfline, even though Surfline acquired magic seaweed in 2017. Magic Seaweed brings a lot more to the table if you’re looking to check the waves for free. If you are dependent on cams to know if they are waves, you should generally stick to Surfline (especially in the US)
Lazy Surfer, a mobile application based out of San Diego for detailed surf forecast and recommendations based on your quiver and preferences of conditions. How does Lazy Surfer know your quiver and preferences? You upload your quiver on the mobile application, log 5 sessions with location, rating, and a description of your session. After 5 sessions Lazy Surfer starts recommending spots and times to surf based on your previous sessions and the board you took out. You won't have to scout a few breaks before finally paddling out. You can check Lazy Surfer, choose your break, and paddle out giving you more time to catch more waves!
BUIO, a mobile application based out of San Diego that creates a custom forecast for the user based on a combination of swell and weather reports from their network of buoys. BUIO has described itself as a “classic surf journal with current swell and weather data from buoys and weather reporting systems into a custom surf forecast.”
Windy, a mobile application displaying weather and in-depth wind data created to appeal to a variety of watersports so participants on watersports stay informed of conditions. Windy has been argued to be the most in-depth weather app for watersports but its UI and UX do not necessarily appeal to surfers as much as others mentioned above. Nonetheless, Windy’s access to in-depth weather and wind data is quite impressive.