Surf Apps Worth a Screenshot

With the world at your fingertips, these apps should be on your phone

| posted on July 11, 2012

Instagram recently sold for $1 billion, which I had to spell out because I’m not entirely sure how many zeros there are in a billion. The deal was a testament to the handheld revolution, a clear indicator that apps are changing the way we work and live. In this information age, with surf forecasts, buoy reports, HD cams, and more at our fingertips, apps will eventually change the way we chase waves as well. Here are a few worthy of a download; surf apps worth at least $0.99.


All the World Tour events in one place, conveniently covered in one all-inclusive application. Streaming webcasts, live scoring, heat results, rankings, photos and video highlights for all sanctioned contests around the world. A blogroll of recent ASP news feeds directly into the app, which includes the updated rankings and earnings for all the surfers on Tour. It’s free, and it keeps you from having to download event-specific brand apps for each different contest.

Price: Free

Surf Journal

A digital diary for your time spent in the ocean. Log sessions and map where you surfed, what the tide was like, and what direction swell works best. Attach photos to sessions, and add custom surf spots you discover to your map. The app gathers bouy and tide data for specific breaks, and archives the info with each session. For the more detail-oriented surfer, this app can build an extensive digital archive of swell patterns and session scrapbooks.

Price: Free

Surf Watch

Sets your ideal conditions for your go-to spot, local or abroad, and alerts you with push notifications when the wind, buoys and swell are lining up for an all-time session. The price tag is high, but for the experienced swell chaser this app is an asset for alerts to when your secret spot is going off. Not one for the casual weekend warrior, so save your beer money if you’re just looking for standard forecasts.

Price: $9.99

The Stormrider Surf Guide

The Stormrider name is the cornerstone of surf travel information, and this organizes their almanac of surf guide books into an app designed for on-the-road use. In-app GPS spot location navigates the local breaks for you wherever you are in the world, including five-day surf and tide forecasts for the area. Provides accurate spot info whether online or offline, so no internet connection is needed for basic use and local surf knowledge. An essential app in case of adventure.

Price: $7.99


Access to a collective of surf news from a variety of major surf publications, journals, and websites, the most important of course being SURFER. Videos, blogs, articles and more streamed to one single app, accumulated in an easily navigable format for a constant overflow of surf content on your screen.

Price: $1.99

NOAA Ocean Buoys Pro

Lists the real-time buoy info for swell tracking and preliminary reports, live data streamed from more than 200 buoys throughout the world. Bookmark your favorite buoys to keep tabs on your go-to spots and get the info you need for checking the surf on the go. Plus, NOAA is a federal agency and is thus void of corruption, so it’s a reliable source when the forecasters conspire against us to get sessions to themselves.

Price: $0.99

Shralp Tide 2

Plain and simple, this app has a high ease of use and a valuable function. Provides a clear display of the current tide as well as high and low tides for upcoming days. Choose from thousands of tide stations to swipe through, and turn your phone sideways to enter an interactive tide graph for the next 24 hours.

Price: $0.99


The most reputable name in the surf forecast game, scaled down to a convenient app. Find Surfline forecasts and reports from all around the globe, or check your local haunts on your favorites page. There’s plenty of content when the surf is flat as well, from videos to trick tips. Pay the money for the HD cam Premium access, and you got yourself an oceanfront view no matter where you are. The Surfline network HD cams are all streamed for paid Premium members in the app, which is its biggest asset.

Price: Free

MSW Surf Forecast

Provides in-depth surf forecasts for more than 2,500 breaks around the world in a very intuitive app. It taps into the extensive forecasting knowledge of MagicSeaWeed and puts it all at your fingertips. Provides more information than you even need to know in order to score a solid session, everything from basic tides to atmospheric pressure levels. After you score, use the local business directory to find a post-surf burrito to celebrate.

Price: Free

*Honorable Mention: Flipboard

Yeah, it’s not a surf app, but there is really no better way to read on your iPhone or iPad than on Flipboard. Scroll through all your social media feeds with a flick, and when Facebook is slow, just read SURFER again.

Price: Free

  • Ben Anderson

    It is sad to not see many apps that show wave reports on the Great Lakes. Don’t get me wrong I love using the free Internet sites (like NOAA) but the kids I have taught to surf over the years need it delivered to them in their language. As for pessimists out there who think there is no such thing as hollowed out freshwater barrels there are more boats lost on the Great Lakes than any stretch of coastline in the united states. Or just try to tell that to Gordon Lightfoot. I enjoy surfing a quit break but love to see good people sharing in the natural wonder that is the Great Lakes.
    PS I have surfed all over the US (including Maui), Port Aransas, TX is my 2nd favorite spot, South Haven, MI would be the first. I also enjoy reading Surfer Magazine for the articles, of course.

  • Seth

    I often use MSW, but you have to be careful with the wave heights at each spot. Some are rated consistently bigger or smaller than actual size, but you can adjust the wave heights at your particular spot. The wind direction and swell direction, however, are a safe bet. I agree this app is worth the download. Surprisingly, the weather channel app’s boat and beach forecast is pretty accurate with wave heights and conditions without all the extra detail, so give that one a shot too.

  • Trent Bell


    I was co-developer on “surf watch” and it actually does work very well for the lakes. It was the 4 years that I spent in Berrien Springs MI that made me understand how important constant buoy monitoring was if you wanted to score any surf at all. The app works perfect for the lake… until they take the buoy out for the winter…and the lake freezes over.

  • WaterWays Travel

    Some solid surf Apps here! Can’t leave home with out the Surfline premium member app, important to “Know Before You Go”.

  • joao

    what about this apps for android? wake up developers!

  • clem

    Great apps! Thanks…
    You forgot the Pixrider apps 🙂

  • Matty

    You guys are missing the top selling surfing app worldwide…iSurfer – surfing coach. And not to mention the isurfboards app where you can create and order custom surfboards from within the app.

  • Corbin

    Don’t assume everyone is on iPhone….only 3 of your apps are on Android….”Android is the platform leader, with about 52% of the market, iOS is in second place with a little more than 34%, and BlackBerry accounts for 8%. (Windows Phone and other operating systems make up 5.9% , according to Nielsen.)”

  • David

    Android you say?

    OceanLife for Android is the Android equivalent of Surf Watch and NOAA Ocean Buoys applications combined.

    Check it out.

  • shark_boy

    don’t forget 110% surfing techniques! that’s an awesome training app. and ripcurl the search video game is fun. if anything you learn all the names of the different moves by playing it. best part is it doesn’t silent your itunes play, so you can videogame surf to your own music, like…. modern collective soundtrack 🙂

  • Andrea Interguglielmi
  • Toby

    There is clearly a lot to realize about this.
    I assume you made certain good points in features also.