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Best surf watches

Surfing is fun. Watches are cool. Surf watches are, therefore, cool AND fun. Image: Unsplash/Rip Curl/Nixon

The Inertia

Do you like surfing? Do you also like watches? Do you like watches that tell you about your surfing? Oh, have you come to the right place! For a lot of people, adding numbers onto things is extraordinarily helpful, especially if you’re trying to improve at said things. Want to know how far you surfed this morning? Want to know your top speed? Want to know how far you paddled and how fast your heart was beating while you were doing it? There are a million watches and apps out there that can help. But since there are so many, a lot of the good ones get lost in a sea of similar products. So here, without further ado, are five of the best watches for surfing on the market.

1. Apple Watch Series 5: $429.99
Apple watch

Yeah, you might think that a “surf watch” should be made by a surf-centric company, but you might also be wrong. When it comes to smartwatches, Apple basically has a stranglehold on the market, and it’s for good reason. Aside from the fact that the Apple Watch Series 5 has GPS, electrical and optical heart sensors, Emergency SOS, and is swim-proof, there are a few fantastic apps that it hooks up to specifically for surfing. For example, Dawn Patrol, a free app that tracks your session. It counts your waves, lets you view them on a map, gives you your top speed, measures wave time, records your distance surfed, and has sharing options so you can brag to your friends. Buy here.

2. Rip Curl SearchGPS Smart Surf Watch: $291.21

Rip Curl tide watch

Rip Curl is a tried, tested, and true brand. It’s been in the surfing game since 1969, when Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer started making surfboards in Torquay, Victoria. Since then, it waded into any and all things surf, including surf-specific watches like the Search GPS. It features a tide tracker, records your wave count, top speeds, distance traveled, and time out in the ocean, and it’s water-resistant up to 330 feet — which, of course, means that no matter how far down you get pushed next time you’re surfing Jaws, you’re unlikely to damage the thing. You can also connect your GPS watch to the Rip Curl Search App or website to re-live your session with location maps, image sharing, and graphic charts. Buy here.

3. NIXON Base Tide: $100

Nixon surf watch

Nixon was founded in Encinitas with a heavy focus on youth lifestyle. “Youth lifestyle” in Encinitas leans heavily on surfing, and Nixon’s watches reflect that. The Base Tide is a simple, clean watch with a simplified negative LCD for easy underwater reading. It features future tide times which comes in really, really handy when you’re planning the next time you’ll call in “sick.” Buy here.

4. Rip Curl Men’s Rifles Midsize Digital Tide Surf Watch: $124.95

Rip Curl watch

Another surf watch from Rip Curl, the Rifles Digital Tide Surf does a LOT. It keeps track of high tides, low tides, and future tides with 500 pre-programmed tide locations in the graph or detailed display. Unlike many watches with all sorts of capabilities, it’s sleek and lightweight, which is a plus if you’re wearing it under a wetsuit. And it’s water-resistant up to 330 feet, so you know… Jaws. Buy here.

5. Casio G-Shock “G-lide Watch: $120

Casio G-Shock

Casio’s G-SHOCK has been supporting surfers for a long time now. The G-Lide is the latest addition to the lineup, and like many of its predecessors, it’s got pretty much everything you need crammed into it. A tide graph on the display provides essential information about conditions. It’s got a moon data function, too, and is water-resistant up to 650 feet, which is far deeper than you’ll ever need to go. Buy here.


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