For a good while there was no Surf Report application for the iPhone. Then suddenly there were two, one from Oakley and one from WaveWatch (who is interenstly enough, sponsored by Oakley). Of course, I opted for the free one – Oakley’s Surf Report (powered by Surfline). My general feeling is that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Even though it’s free, don’t bother. If you have an iPhone, just open the web browser and use Surfline’s mobile site – http://mobile.surfline.com.
The Oakley app seems to have conflicting surf reports. For example, I got up this morning and checked my “favorites.” (1st image) Notice that it indicates El Porto is crackin’ at “3-4 ft with Fair – Conditions.” Sweet, right?
WRONG! I click on El Porto for more detailed infomation. (2nd image). In big bold numbers it firmly maintains that it’s 3-4 ft. But notice the text near the bottom – “Fair -. 1-3 ft. – ankle to waist high.” 3-4 vs. 1-3 makes a HUGE difference in whether you might go out or not. (I’m going out anyway, I always do, because these reports are too often wrong.) What’s with the two reports?
Then, I click on the Details tab for more info. (3rd image) The Detail page is sticking to the second story about some shoddy 1-3 waves. But at least here you’ll find some useful tide info and sunrise/sunset times. The tide/sun data tends to be right and I do use this info. But it gets even better…
Now I click on the Forecast button. (4th image) I have two beefs with page. First beef: this claims to be a two-day forecast, but one of the days show is the current day. You can’t include today in a forecast. (I have this same issue with Surfline’s “three-day” forecast, which is really today and a two-day forecast.) Second beef: it’s telling me that today (which happened to be Wednesday when I wrote this) is “FAIR – 2-3 ft. – knee to waist high.”
So today at El Porto was either 3-4, 1-3 or 2-3 feet. Super helpful. For every day of the year, I can blindly predict 1-4 feet at El Porto and I’m going to be right 90% of the time.
This app does have some useful bits, but the primary information I am after, the surf conditions, are unreliable. And if the surf report isn’t good, the rest doesn’t matter. No shakas for this app.