In a world that is now dominated by technology, it makes perfect sense for us to use such tech to our advantage.
Nowadays there is an app for just about anything you can think of, and surfing is not left off the list.
A simple search on Google play store for “surfing” or “surf app” will result in hundreds, if not thousands of results with varying reviews, which makes knowing which apps to use a complex decision.
Whether you are looking for weather information, surf locations, tutorials, competition updates, or you simply want to play a surfing game to pass some time, there is an app for you.
To help you avoid downloading and deleting countless apps while you look for the best, we have compiled a list of the best apps for surfers.
10 Best Apps for Surfers
- Dawn Patrol
- Dorsal Shark Reports
- Da Surf Engine
- True Surf
- Red Bull TV
1. Surfline (Best Overall)
Surfline is one of the most trusted surf forecast companies in the surfing world. Packed with surfing information such as break locations, HD webcams, swell forecasts, starred condition ratings, and break descriptions, this is a one-stop app that surfers of all levels will enjoy.
|Interactive maps to find breaks in your area||Does not provide in-depth weather forecasts|
|The most trusted surf resource on the web||App is not as good as the website|
|Easy to use interface||Free version has limited resources|
2. Youtube (Best for Beginners)
Everyone knows about youtube, but most people don’t know the true value that it holds.
Youtube is essentially a free university where a lesson on just about anything can be found.
It is one thing to read about how to do something, but once we see it all the dots begin to connect.
Whether you are trying to master a new trick, want to know how a particular wave breaks, or simply want to watch the best surfers in the world for reference and inspiration, then youtube is the place to be.
|Multiple teachers of the same material so you can find what works for you||Surfing videos can give you inaccurate ideas of the waves you should expect at your local break|
|The most extensive library of free visual education on the internet||YouTubers are not all professionals and may provide incorrect information|
|Easy search mechanism to find exactly what you are looking for||Sifting through results to find what you want can be tedious|
3. Dawn Patrol (Best for Advanced)
Dawn Patrol is basically a Fitbit app for surfing. It does require you to take your iPhone or Apple Watch into the ocean with you, but once you do, the app opens up a whole new world.
Your watch will track your waves and measure the results. Once your surf is done the results will be sent to the app and provide you with information such as how many waves you caught, the size of the waves, the speed you traveled, as well as how long and far you surfed on each wave.
This is an amazing app for advanced surfers who are trying to document their sessions in order to improve the finer details of their surfing.
|Provides in-depth information about your surf||Requires an Apple Watch or iPhone in the water|
|Easy to track your progress.||Does not add many benefits for new surfers|
4. Windy (Best for Weather)
Windy is possibly the best weather app available. This app is fast, intuitive, and provides a stunning visual representation of storms, wind, swell, water temperature, and more.
Not only is windy accurate, but its global visual representation of the weather makes swells and storms easy to track no matter where they are moving in the world.
If you use Windy then there is no other weather app that you’ll need.
|Color-coded system to help judge swell height, wind speed, rain amount, etc||The app is laggy when compared to the website|
|Highly accurate when compared to other weather apps||Long forecasts lose their accuracy|
|Covers all the elements that affect surfing|
|Stunning visualization of the elements|
|Easy to use and intuitive|
5. Dorsal Shark Reports
One of the biggest worries that surfers come across is not knowing what is swimming beneath them.
Dorsal is a community-based app that allows surfers to locate any shark sightings in their area within the past 12 hours.
Although the app is limited to the USA and Australia, the community is growing and is likely to spread to other countries.
|The more the app is used the more accurate it becomes||GPS and push notifications are only available on the paid version|
|Community-based which adds real-time information||If the community does not add reports then the app is useless|
|There is a fully functional free version||Locations are very limited|
6. WSL App
The World Surf League (WSL) app is the perfect place to keep up to date with surf competitions, league results, and more.
This app will allow you to stream live competitions as well as provide you with updates on your favorite surfers.
If you not only enjoy surfing but also enjoy following competitions, then this might be the app you are looking for.
|Notifications for competition dates, times, and results||App is very buggy|
|Live streaming of surf competitions|
7. Da Surf Engine
Da Surf Engine is a one-of-a-kind wave locator that allows you to find your perfect break.
With this app, you can search through 8,000 breaks around the globe with your personal preferences when it comes to skill level, wave size, wave type, weather conditions, geography, surfing style, and more.
This app makes it simple for you to find the best waves that suit your preferences.
|Perfect to find waves that are perfect for you||Many surf spots still need to be added for the app to be complete|
|Simple and easy to use||Only available on the Apple Store|
|Over 8,000 locations|
8. True Surf
The official WSL and Surfline mobile surfing game, true surf will help ease your craving when the waves are just not working.
If you are in the bathroom or waiting to go to work, this highly realistic surfing game is the perfect time waster that will get you through the day until you can make it to the real waves.
|Created by leading surf companies||Some of the “missions” are near impossible|
|High level of graphics and physics||Does not have many famous wave breaks|
|Available on IOS and Android||Making progress is slow if you do not pay|
9. Red Bull TV
No extreme sport lovers app arsenal should exist without the presence of the famous Red Bull.
This free app will allow you to stream live surfing events, documentaries, and surf films on just about any device you can think of.
This is one app that an extreme sport loving surfer should not go without.
|App sends notifications for live events||Streams can lag from time to time|
|Large variety of content||Navigation is confusing|
The perfect app for finding your perfect surfboard.
Boardline is a smart physics based app that allows you to input your details such as your height, weight, experience level, and even your surf style.
This app will then calculate your data and provide you with hundreds of boards that will suit you.
|Makes finding your perfect surfboard dimensions easy||App is no longer on Google Play Store|
|App is educational||Facebook or Google login is required|
What to Look For in a Surfing App
When trying to find the best surfing app for your needs you should always keep in mind the problem you are trying to solve.
Decide whether you are looking for new surf sports, if you are trying to track the weather, or if you simply want to indulge in surfing entertainment.
Once you have decided what you need the app to do you will greatly decrease the list of apps available. From here you should consider both the reviews and the price.
Reviews on apps are one of the most important parts of deciding what to use. A developer’s description, although helpful to understand what the app does, will not give you an accurate idea of how well the app works.
Taking real personal reviews on an app can help you decide if it is worth downloading or not. Just always make sure to take the opinion of others with a pinch of salt.
The price of a new app is also important to consider. Many apps are free, with the option of paying to use added features.
It is important to weigh the free options vs the paid price and decide if the difference is worth it. If an app is extremely expensive and the free version does not offer the most important features then it may be a good idea to stay away from it.
That being said, some paid apps far outdo the free ones. In this case, the reviews may help you decide if it is worth spending the money on.
The operating system (OS) that supports the app you want to use will also make a difference.
For example, the app “Da Surf Engine” is only available on Apple and not Android. In most cases you will be able to find a similar app on your own OS but this does not mean that it will work the same.
Be aware of what your OS supports before you set your heart on a new app.
With a world filled with applications, there is no surprise that there are countless apps designed specifically for surfing.
Although not all surfing apps are necessary, apps that show you surf conditions, weather patterns, and surf locations are all tools that most surfers use at some stage.
Of course, you could use your web browser, but having a handy app that keeps all your information in a single place will make your research faster, and therefore, allow you more time in the water.