Appy days: 7 extremely downloadable apps for surfers

© Tim Marshall
To separate the serious tech from the seaweed, we’ve done a deep dive and surfaced with seven of the best apps for surfers.
By Adam SlaterPublished on
As a piece of kit, your phone can be as an essential as your leg rope, especially when there’s now an ocean’s worth of handy apps to help you find a wave, stay safe or keep you busy when the onshore blows in. Here are some of our favourites.

WSL app: Your surf all-rounder

“The best sports app on earth” is how one surfer described The World Surfing League’s mobile offering to us. Featuring full HD streaming of every event on the tour, the WSL app also gives you the ability to follow your favourite surfers and set notifications that alert you the moment they hit the water. There’s even a fantasy surfing league if you’re keen to compete with your fellow surfers for more than waves.
Get it on the App Store or Google Play.

WillyWeather: Weather in your pocket

There are loads of weather apps out there, so chances are there’s one specifically optimised to predict local conditions in your hood. For Australians, we have it on good authority that WillyWeather is the most reliable weather app down under. Its simple, no-fuss interface packs in all the wind and tide information you’ll need to determine whether to suit up or stay in bed.
Tip: If you live outside Australia, or are curious about surf conditions around the world, NOAA Ocean Buoys is another great resource for live swell heights and ocean conditions. Word is that it’s the surf report app of choice many pros too.
Julian Wilson gets airborne at Bells, 2016.
Julian Wilson gets airborne at Bells, 2016.
Get it on the App Store or Google Play.

True Surf: Surf anywhere

Fancy some barrels in the bathroom? It’s now possible thanks to True Surf – a slick, surprisingly realistic surfing game that more than scratches the itch for those craving a few virtual waves. The graphics and physics feel solid, and there are heaps of famous breaks for your fingers to carve up, making this easily the most enjoyable surfing game on the market.
Get it on the App Store or Google Play.

Boardline: For picking your ideal board

The brainchild of a water-science engineer with a PhD in ‘fluid mechanics’, Boardline is a clever little app designed to help you pick the perfect surfboard. By imputing your physical dimensions, experience level and surfing style, Boardline will scour hundreds of boards to find one that best matches your data. If reviews are anything to go by, the developers seem to be ironing out a few technical issues, but if you’re after a new board, it definitely beats asking the grommet in your local surf shop for advice.
Get it on the App Store or Google Play.

Dorsal Shark Reports: For dodging sharks

The one app we hope you never have to use. That’s the sell from Dorsal, a crowd-sourced platform that logs sharks sightings and encounters on beaches in the USA, Hawaii and Australia. Dorsal’s data set combine the observations of over 200,000 surfers with information from aerial surveillance partners and official marine reporting to create a detailed (but definitely not definitive!) map of shark activity in coastal waters.
Get it on the App Store or Google Play.
Mick Fanning surfs at Bells Beach in 2016.
Mick Fanning surfs at Bells Beach in 2016.

Dawn Patrol: Strava for surfers

If you surf to escape the distractions of technology, this probably isn’t the app for you. But if you’re the type of person who can’t run around the block without letting the world know, or just love collecting data, the feature-filled Dawn Patrol app turns your smart-watch into a pretty handy surf tracker. From counting your waves and calculating your top speed and distance, to measuring your heart-rate and calories, it’s a cool way to challenge yourself, or settle any disputes over who had the wave of the day.
Get it on the App Store.

Red Bull TV: Your ultimate surf content companion

Red Bull TV
Red Bull TV
Packed with hours of surf content, including films like Modern Collective and Paradise Lost, the Red Bull TV app is lets you stream all the live and on-demand sport you can handle, to any device you can dream of. And best of all, it’s completely free! If you’re hungry for surfing films, documentaries and events – this is one app you’ll want stuffed in your boardbag.
Get it on the App Store or Google Play.