How technology can make you a better surfer

In 2019 most of us can attest to integrating technology into our lives on a regular basis.

For many of us, without the use of some sort of technology our lives would look very different. We rely on technology for our jobs, livelihood, food, transportation, hobbies and entertainment-and this is just skimming the surface. Technology is a tool for connection, innovation and communication, but have we ever reflected on what role it may play in our lives as surfers?

For us surfers, we are a fortunate bunch because we get to immerse ourselves in the natural world every time we paddle out. But what role has technology played in the designs of our favourite boards, the foils of our fastest fins, or the designs of our warmest wetsuits, for instance?

It is easy to think of the two worlds as separate-surfing being an “all natural” experience, and technology being the opposition-but in our modern world embracing the latest technologies with open arms can only prove to enhance our surfing experience. Let’s use the examples below:

How many of us can attest to using one or more of these technologies as surfers?

  • Surf forecast websites like Surfline or Swell Watch, for example. Surfers now use surf forecasting websites to ensure we arrive at the right beach during the perfect conditions. For those of us who don’t live next to the beach, or only have limited time to “check it”, this can be a huge plus when it comes to maximizing water time! Not to mention, most sites are free and often quite accurate (this includes weather forecasting as well.)
  • What mode of transportation do we take to get to our favourite beach? Whether we use public transportation, drive our own vehicles, fly to faraway tropical destinations. . .where would we be if we didn’t have the technologies behind our modern transportation? We are a lucky few if we live right on the beach at Pipeline, for instance, but what if we want to branch out and try new spots? That brand new 747 airplane that we take on our next trip, fully equip with WIFI and free entertainment these days, is a quite the luxury.
  • Social Media- I am sure most of us can attest to either using social media to connect with friends from the line-up, find out about great surf shops, shapers or our favourite pro surfers at least once in our lives. Social media even has a way of keeping us up to date on latest surfboard technologies, wave parks, surf equipment and surf competitions and can keep us up to date on our social lives.
  • Surfboard Innovation: With advancements in surfboard technology surfers can actually experience wave riding to a newer and more exhilarating degree. Now we can try out four fin boards, hydrofoils, honeycomb fins, epoxy (unbreakable) boards, etc. The list goes on and on.Shapers are constantly keeping up with the demands and innovation of pro surfers, and now all of us can benefit from this exchange. Heck, there are even websites where you can enter the dimensions of the board you desire and order the entire thing online.

All in all, whether we are modern in our approach to surfing or more “old school”, so to speak, we all can benefit from the technologies available in 2019. The world is literally at our fingertips and so are the waves.