Watch / App for recording wave length and speed

Apr 4, 2020
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What watch and app are you guys using for recording wave length and speed? This is for prone foiling. I have too many wrecks to even think about keeping my iPhone on me.

I've been using a Garmin Fenix 5 and the Surf Tracker2 app for the past couple of years. While I'm foiling/surfing, the watch will tell me last wave speed/length and longest wave/top speed for the session. I can also view a map while I'm in the water. The map is good for dropping pins for the lineup when I'm night surfing.

The Garmin specs says it's good for 24 hours of GPS recording, but I only get about 10 hours of GPS recordings before the battery dies.

The only problem with the Surf Tracker2 app for the Garmin is that it doesn't give me a nice looking graphic of my waves after the surf session like a RipCurl surf watch. With the GPS data, it's possible for me to create the surf tracks, but that's a PITA.

I've thought about the Apple Watch, but a friend of mine only gets about 2 hours of GPS recordings on his Apple Watch before the battery dies.
 

surfdad

Tom Curren status
Jan 10, 2002
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I use a Apple Watch and dawn patrol app. Works good I guess. Not sure how accurate speed and distance is but wave count is accurate as I’ve counted waves I rode and it was the same on the app.
 
Apr 4, 2020
21
16
3
I use a Apple Watch and dawn patrol app. Works good I guess. Not sure how accurate speed and distance is but wave count is accurate as I’ve counted waves I rode and it was the same on the app.
Which Apple Watch do you have and how long will the battery last while using the surf app?
 

grendel95

Billy Hamilton status
Nov 1, 2005
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Which Apple Watch do you have and how long will the battery last while using the surf app?
I have apple watch series five and it easily lasts a few hours. I use the waterspeed app to measure top speed and calories. I was looking at my ride length in the beginning, not so much now unless I get something exceptional.

Surfline sessions function to watch your rides is kinda cool, but it usually chops up the pump out.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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Apple Watch is the best...dawn patrol is #1. But I am too cheap, so:

1. Garmin vivoactive: gone through 2 of them, both eventually crapped out. The garmin app isn't great for surf but you can export data.

2. Huawei Band 4 cheapie: works pretty well. App is kind of ok, not great (can't see wave stats), but can't export data

3. A free older iphone in a waterproof case tucked into wetsuit. It works! But dawn patrol won't for some reason. So I used the Watersportstracker app instead. However, not happy with the stats for wave count etc, so I paid the subscription fee in order to download data. Then upload the data to my Samsung phone, with the WavesTracker app (also paid a subscription fee, to be allowed to import data). This is the closest android equivalent to Dawn Patrol. And with all that hassle....meh.....can't be bothered most days. All in all, better to just pay the $200 for an older apple watch and be done with it. I think version 3 and up can run dawn patrol.

Screenshot_20201118-115759_Waves Tracker.jpg Screenshot 2020-11-08 at 9.23.01 AM.jpg
 
Apr 4, 2020
21
16
3
Thanks for the replies. It does look like the Apple watch/Dawn Patrol is the most user friendly option. The short battery life compared to a Garmin Fenix is the only reason I'm not buying the Apple watch yet. I do get the occasional 4-5 hour marathon session.

I'll try out the WavesTracker app with my Garmin Fenix.

When my current Garmin dies, I will likely switch to the Apple watch. I doubt Garmin will get a user friendly surf app anytime soon.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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Thanks for the replies. It does look like the Apple watch/Dawn Patrol is the most user friendly option. The short battery life compared to a Garmin Fenix is the only reason I'm not buying the Apple watch yet. I do get the occasional 4-5 hour marathon session.

I'll try out the WavesTracker app with my Garmin Fenix.

When my current Garmin dies, I will likely switch to the Apple watch. I doubt Garmin will get a user friendly surf app anytime soon.
In my post above, WavesTracker was the one on the left. It shows session stats, I think the fee was to unlock individual wave stats. Their instructions below on uploading files. Worked ok, although a little clunky ... worth doing if you already have a working watch, it's close enough to dawn patrol. I did notice the speed was about 10% higher than the apple phone app....not sure which was correct, but I went with the higher one. :)

In general, agree with above posts....it's fun to see your tracks, see how long your rides are, max speeds, # waves, and total distance... but after a while it gets repetitive. Start using it only if something novel going on, new spot, etc. It is useful though for wing testing: eg if you switch from low aspect to high aspect are you actually going faster or just feel like it?


FILES:
WavesTracker is also compatible with Fitness Trackers / GPS Watches!
1) Record your surf session using the GPS of your watch and sync with its application.
2) Export your recorded activity to GPX or TCX and import into WavesTracker, simple as that!
3) You can import the GPX or TCX using our web app and see your surf session on your phone.
 
Apr 4, 2020
21
16
3
In my post above, WavesTracker was the one on the left. It shows session stats, I think the fee was to unlock individual wave stats. Their instructions below on uploading files. Worked ok, although a little clunky ... worth doing if you already have a working watch, it's close enough to dawn patrol. I did notice the speed was about 10% higher than the apple phone app....not sure which was correct, but I went with the higher one. :)

In general, agree with above posts....it's fun to see your tracks, see how long your rides are, max speeds, # waves, and total distance... but after a while it gets repetitive. Start using it only if something novel going on, new spot, etc. It is useful though for wing testing: eg if you switch from low aspect to high aspect are you actually going faster or just feel like it?


FILES:
WavesTracker is also compatible with Fitness Trackers / GPS Watches!
1) Record your surf session using the GPS of your watch and sync with its application.
2) Export your recorded activity to GPX or TCX and import into WavesTracker, simple as that!
3) You can import the GPX or TCX using our web app and see your surf session on your phone.
I downloaded the Waves Tracker to my Fire tablet. The wave count and max speed on the Waves Tracker was similar to the Info on the Garmin surf app (Surf Tracker 2). I also paid for the Waves Tracker premium subscription for 3 months.
○ The Waves Tracker stopped tracking my pumping too early on at least one of my waves.
○ This works well enough that I won't be tempted to buy an Apple Watch for awhile.
○ It's not as accurate as manually reviewing my GPS tracks for wave data, but manual reviewing is too tedious.
○ Iphone Dawn Patrol app does look nicer and gives more data per wave.
○ With Garmin, it's easy to export GPS data.

I use to have the Rip Curl Surf Watch (v1). When I wore both watches simultaneously for a couple surf sessions, the number of waves caught were similar. However, the Garmin regularly gave a higher max speed by 1 or 2 mph.

I gave away my Rip Curl Watch when the surf app stopped working with the watch.
 
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