Associate Editor
The Nixon Base Tide Pro

Don’t care who you are. The mental clock will never be as effective as an actual timepiece. Photo: Kevin Welti/The Inertia

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: This feature is supported by our friends at Nixon. Check out their new surf watch, the Base Tide Pro, here.

My wife loves that I surf. Let me rephrase that. She loves that I have an outlet – an activity that when I paddle out a grumbling, sour soul, weary from life’s obstacles, I often come back in with the grin of a ten-year-old girl on the last day of school.

What my wife doesn’t love, though, is how long surfing as an activity generally takes. And I have to empathize with her there. Between driving to check surf spots, changing, actually getting in the water, getting out of the water, changing, driving home, hosing down all my crap, and showering, an average surf is typically an hours-long affair. With a newborn child at home, that routine has been abbreviated some over the last few months, and sessions are fewer and further between. But, when they do happen there’s typically the conversation that includes, “When will you be back?” and “Okay, have fun.”

Which brings me to a very recent dilemma. After my years-old surf watch recently conked out on me, the only tool at my disposal the last few months has been asking people in the lineup around me for the time. As an introvert, that prospect versus “just keeping time in my head” often leads me to believe that my internal clock works perfectly fine, thank you very much. It doesn’t.


I think you know where this is going, but after mutually agreeing on a time that I’d be home – with a commitment to get on the road to meet with friends – I turned up at home salty, forty minutes tardy, and apologizing to the Mrs. profusely. All that to say, a watch would have come in handy.

Given the rapid technological advances of the digital age, the capabilities of waterproof watches have reached new heights. But, for those who don’t need to track how many hundreds of yards they travel in a session, call an Uber, rocket to space, or scroll Instagram while waiting for a set, there’s something to be said for a surf watch that’s simply back to basics. The Nixon Base Tide Pro is such a timepiece.

Nixon Base Tide Pro

What are you doing watching the waves? Get out there, dummy. You’re burning valuable session time! Photo: Kevin Welti/The Inertia

The functions are simple and straightforward: the thing tells time on a mid-size, low-profile, digital display, and the simplified negative LCD makes for easy underwater reading (if you’re a breath hold guy/gal). It has 550 pre-programmed tides and sunrise/sunset locations, which most likely includes your local or wherever you might travel. It’s got three types of alarms as well as a countdown timer and chronograph with a split function. The watch and pushers are water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters.


We’ve come to expect many of these features from our surf watches, but that can get increasingly cumbersome when including information and displays to swipe through that we don’t want or need. Most importantly, the silicone band feels incredibly durable. It’s also available in more colors than you’ll find in a packet of Skittles, too, so if you prefer muted tones or are more the Echo Beach neon type, Nixon has you covered.

Out the door, the Nixon Base Tide Pro will run you $125. And for you guys and gals that routinely lose track of time in the water much to the chagrin of your significant other, think of it as an investment in the longevity of your relationship. Can you put a price on that?

Learn more about the Nixon Base Tide Pro on their website.


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