For a proper surf watch, the only REAL requirement is that it’s waterproof. From there you can go super simple or super-computer.
You can’t go wrong with Nixon surf watches though.
The Base Tide Pro surf watch is a great choice that tells the time and the tide in a compact package with a variety of groovy colors to choose from.
This water-resistant surf watch features clean, durable design and construction with preprogrammed tide data for 550 beaches around the world.
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Top Picks for the Best Digital Surf Watches
Our choices for the best watches for surfers are:
Top Picks for the Best Smart Surf Watch
If you need something more advanced, these are the best smart watch options for surfers:
Nixon Base Tide Pro Surf Watch
The Nixon Base Tide Pro offers everything you could want in a surf watch.
Pair that with a variety of different colors and an attractive, easy-to-read watch face and you’ve got yourself a watch that you’ll probably want to wear around the clock.
This surf watch features:
- Water-resistance up to 100 meters.
- Clear, easy-to-read 30mm face.
- Patented Locking Looper strap system to keep it extra secure while surfing.
- 550 pre-loaded beaches with tide data and sunrise/sunset times.
- Other features include: stopwatch, 3 separate alarms, backlight, and date functionalities.
If you spend a lot of time in the water and at the beach, this watch is going to be useful. With the pre-programmed beaches around the world, it extends it usefulness even while you travel.
If you don’t like a silicone watch strap or the semi-retro style, this watch isn’t for you.
But, if you’re looking for a functional watch built with surfing in mind, it’s a great choice.
Best Water Resistant Surf Watches: More Top Choices
Like we said, a surf watch only needs to be water proof (and tell the time).
In addition to Nixon Base Tide Pro surf watch, some other great choices for the best surf watch include:
NIXON Base Tide Surf Watch
The Base Tide surf watch is similar to the Pro version.
This is a little smaller with a slightly simplified design.
It still has tide functionalities, but you’ll need to set this yourself and realize it’ll give you general data and rough estimates.
Freestyle Shark Clip Retro Surf Watch
If you’re only looking for a simple watch that doubles as a nostalgic time machine for your wrist, you can’t go wrong with the Freestyle Shark.
The Shark leash comes in a variety of groovy, retro colors and throwback designs.
Simple controls, comfortable & secure strap, and water resistant up to 330 feet (100m).
Freestyle Shark Classic Leash Surf Watch
The Freestyle Shark Leash is just like the Shark Clip with a different strap mechanism.
The Shark Leash’s strap secures to your wrist with a few overlapping velcro flaps – much like your surfboard leash’s rail saver.
This makes the strap slightly bulkier than the Clip and can tend to snag your wetsuit sleeve, but still a great choice for surfing.
Best Smart Watches for Surfing
For surfers who are more tech-oriented, you’ve got a few options when it comes to smart watches for surfing.
However, take phone calls in the lineup at your own risk…
If your looking for a smart watch for surfing that’s capable of hooking up to Surfline Sessions, some good choices for the best smart watch for surfing include:
Waterproof Apple Watch
Probably the most well know smart watch, the Apple Watch can be used for surfing and swimming.
Add a UAG strap (see below) and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent sports smart watch.
If you go with the Apple Watch for your smart surfing watch, an upgraded strap designed for surfing and active stuff is not a bad idea.
URBAN ARMOR GEAR offers a quality sports strap for the Apple Watch that can make it a little more secure while you surf.
For not all the much extra, you can better prevent your Apple Watch from falling to the bottom of the ocean into the tentacles of an octopus who could use the smart watch features to become even smarter, learn how to extend its lifespan, and take over the world.
Rip Curl SearchGPS Surf Watch
Rip Curl’s SearchGPS has some GPS & tide functionalities on its own, but when paired with your iPhone (and likely other smart phones in the future) you can tap into Surfline Sessions and surf forecasts.
Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Watch
Garmin Smart Watches are designed for the outdoorsmen or woman in mind.
The coolest feature may be the battery’s solar charging capabilities.
What is Surfline Sessions?
Surfline Sessions allows you to tap into Surfline’s network of cameras to film yourself while you surf. You’ll also get data about your surf, which is useful if you want to go home and make graphs and spreadsheets and stuff, I guess.
To use the app, you’ll need:
- A smart watch like the ones listed above.
- An iPhone.
- The Surfline App.
Just forget the surf watch and extend your sessions until your arms fall off from exhaustion.
It’d be nice if we could all just surf for as long as we’d like whenever we’d like, but life outside of the water just keeps on getting in the way!
A surf watch is a necessary evil to achieve a healthy surf-life balance.
You might as well get one that you like to wear with some features that will help you get the most out of each session.
Do you have experiences with any of the surf watches described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!