We all use Surfline, Magicseaweed and the like. That said, is there more to surfing apps than robotic surf forecasts? I submit that there is.
Click here to download the free goFlow app in the iTunes store today.
How often are the reports accurate or consistent? You’ll find quite a variance between different apps. Surfline may claim 3-4 foot, occ. 5 foot, while Magic Seaweed or Wetsand says that was the original forecast, yet wind and a quickly dropping tide has dropped the surf to 2-3 foot with inconsistent sets.
Let’s say that conditions read consistently across all your major apps. Awesome. But wait, now that you see decent swell on the radar, you get that disdainful taste in your mouth thinking about the crowd. It’s gonna be packed! Forget it, I’ll chance a lesser-known break that may not forecast as strong as your favorite wave. You get lucky, have a lone-wolf session with nobody else around to see it go down.
Perfect! Any surfer will forego an eyewitness for the betterment of their wave count. Why are wisetails and fish stories so entertaining? It’s the mythical aura surrounding the truth and how long it’s been stretched. Enter the goFlow surfing app.
goFlow is a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram platform for surfers. It is designed to create a network of surfers posting real-time photos and conditions for their local and traveled surf spots. There’s no replacement for eyewitness reports and footage to capture the truth.
Simply sign up using Facebook and start tagging your favorite spots around the globe. I found my favorite wave in mere moments, a wave I was surprised to see listed on an off-name surf application. Not only that, it also has swell size, direction and interval (for four different times during the day). Further, it lists wind speed and direction, sunrise and sunset, the tide chart for the day and a full weather chart for the day. It’s social media and Surfline combined.
From here, you can search forecasts and posts centered around your GPS location or worldwide.
The toolbar at the bottom of the screen also allows you to capture an image of the spot you surfed or are about to surf, rate the conditions and leave notes for others searching local spots to paddle out at.
The first rating is a general feeling about how the waves look or how they were. Apply a thumbs down, thumbs up or blast a shaka if you’re still grinning from that last wave. The second rating lets you claim the wave/swell size using a sliding scale (i.e. flat, overhead).
Next, rate the wind in the same way by stating the ocean’s surface texture (i.e. glassy, blown out).
Finally, rate the crowd. Is it empty or packed? Click save and you’re done! Your friends know where you’re paddling out and whether it’s worth joining you or not.
GoFlow makes everything worth it when you see your friends leashing up while peering out from within a four foot head dip gem!
The final element of GoFlow lies within a surfer’s log. The app records your data input for every session, listing your last paddle out and total number of recorded sessions. This is where you gain credibility for your session posts.
Price: Free. It’s Surfline/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram all in one and simplified. The platform is incredibly easy to use and bug-free. If this app continues to expand, the world wide web will finally be doing things right when it comes to traditional wave hunting. “We drove by Beacon’s on my way here, it’s way better down there and empty, we’re headed back that way, roll with us. And shhhhhh! Surfline said it was weak.” You can choose to say something to your buddies or just go get it and tell your friends about it later online.
GoFlow needs more users. There are only a few local people posting in my area while LA is loaded with useful posts. It’s a great idea otherwise. The good news is you can create your own little network of buddies you already surf with.
Knowing what I do based off my own personal experience, I had to get the inside scoop from goFlow founder Roni Eshel.
Roni! We have waves coming so tell me about your last goFlow post.
My last post was on November 30th from Ventura Point. This was the first north swell of the season. Waves were an awesome 4-6 foot, and it was pretty crowded, but we had enough waves rolling through for everyone.
Dreamy. How did goFlow get started?
As a former pro surfer and former Israeli women’s champion, I spent most of my time traveling and searching for perfect waves. I used all the forecast and weather platforms for surfers out there just to know when the swell would arrive. That never quite worked for me. The online forecasts for surf spots were rarely accurate, and they maybe worked 50% of the time on good days.
I still had to wake up early in the morning, check my phone to see if anyone texted me from a surf spot, check out some blurry surf cams and sometimes spend two hours driving between surf spots just to find out that the best wave was actually five minutes away from me and I didn’t even know it.
I then opened a What’sApp group for myself and 10 of my close friends, and that actually worked very well. But that was still a very small group of people. Next, I decided to build something that would combine the wisdom of hundreds of thousands of active surfers from all over the world into one big surfing community. After all, the best information comes from surfers’ eye-witness accounts, which is very similar to what the ‘Waze’ application has done to disrupt traffic reports.
If the wisdom of crowds wasn’t enough, I also wanted to assure that our users get the best weather forecast for every spot on the map and formed an exclusive partnership with StormSurf. Our map is connected to their map so you can get forecasts for any spot, even the one you have created.
What’s your role in goFlow’s creation and continuing growth?
I started goFlow with the intention of it becoming “the app” of the global surf community. When you think about it, nobody has managed to form a community of surfers who share information, passion, ideas, etc.
A big part of what we do is to listen to the feedback of our users. My role is to get as much feedback as possible and make sure we integrate it into our next versions. From there, the sky is the limit. We need to reach a critical mass of users and then work on preserving, growing and enriching our community through collaborations that will ultimately benefit our users. goFlow belongs to all of the surfers in the world. I am just here to make it work in the best way for the surf community.
goFlow feels like a way for surfers to connect. These days, it feels like people in the water are all out for themselves, greedy for waves. Is goFlow trying to promote knowing your neighbor in the water and sharing waves?
Of course! If you’re up for it, it’s a great platform to be social in your surf community and actually know more surfers around you in the water. I am sure that when you share the surf conditions with your fellow neighbor/surfer, they’ll be grateful. There’s always more stoke in the water when everyone’s hootin’ for each other.
I know some surfers, including a few of my friends, that don’t like to share good conditions with everyone and goFlow is also good for those surfers. You can always set up your privacy for your reports and share it with just your friends or even keep the knowledge for yourself. Part of us being part of a surf community is there’s nothing we like more than access to real-time surf conditions from eyewitnesses. Here at goFlow, we appreciate you for sharing with us and the surfing world alike. It’s all about our common bond and common cause.
What else does goFlow promote? Where is the app currently in its development?
It’s just getting started. We still consider ourselves in beta mode, but the app is working amazingly and there’s much more to come. By the end of this year, we will finish the beta version. Any feedback you have, please email me or send via the feedback in the app. We are planning to expand to any weather dependent sport. If you have any ideas, or want to be the next sport activity on goFlow, it’s time to let us know.
What’s in store for the future?
So many things will be unveiled in the coming versions. You need to be keen on updating to see those. There is a huge surprise to come and we will let everyone know in the next couple of weeks. I assure you, it’s going to be awesome.
What does/will goFlow success look or feel like to you?
The fact that even today I can already wake up in the morning and check out surf reports from surfers around me on goFlow is a huge win for me. That, coupled with having met lots of new fellow surfers/ friends was well worth the effort. When you open the app, you won’t be able to resist it. You can feel the amazing energy of our community flooding in with every surf report and every photo being posted.
Where’s the best place to get involved and on board as a goFlow community member?
Download the app and start exploring the waves around you. The more friends you invite the more accurate and fulfilling your surfing experience will be. The bottom line is, like in every community, we need active participants who are passionate about goFlow. Those “ambassadors” are the users that will help goFlow spread and eventually help it reach its potential. Email me personally if you would like to be involved in any way, or be a goFlow “ambassador.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I want to thank everyone who is part of the goFlow community. This app is growing and working amazingly only because of the community in it and I am happy to be part of it.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to send me any feedback and any other cool ideas you may have.
Can’t wait to see the next updates 🙂
Click here to download the free goFlow app in the iTunes store today (Android version coming in early 2014). Join a surfing family instead of following the masses. Start logging your sessions today!