Best surf watches on the market

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I think you’ll agree that having the convenience of tidal data and surf conditions on your wrist is really helpful.

Especially if you are just starting out surfing and want to learn about the tides or, if you travel to a lot of different breaks.

There are plenty of options to choose from so to make life easy for you, we put together this list of the best surf watches to help you pick one.

Best surf watches

There are few different surf watches on the market with brands like Nixon, Rip Curl, Vestal and Freestyle dominating. Here’s a quick list of the watches we covered and then you’ll find more information on each one below.

Rip Curl Search GPSrip-curl-search-gpsCheck US PricesCheck UK Prices
Nixon Ultratidenixon-ultratideCheck US PricesCheck UK Prices
Vestal Brig Tide & Trainvestal-brig-tide-trainCheck US PricesCheck UK Prices
Rip Curl Mens Rifles Tiderip-curl-mens-watch-rifles-tideCheck US PricesCheck UK Prices
Freestyle Killer Shark Tide Blue XLkillersharktidewatch_blue-1Check US PricesCheck UK Prices
Rip Curl Womens Maui Mini Tiderip-curl-womens-maui-mini-tideCheck US PricesCheck UK Prices

Rip Curl Search GPS

Rip Curl Search GPS Watch - best surf watches

This is a surf watch designed for the data junkies. A fitness watch for surfers. Using the GPS you can track your surf sessions. It will give you your wave count, speed and distance covered. This data is available live whilst surfing or kicking back in the line up, but after the session the data is uploaded to the cloud via your iPhone’s bluetooth (no Android app) or via USB cable to your laptop. The data is then magically turned into charts and overlaid on maps to give you an overview of your time in the water.

The data can then be used to build up a logbook of your surfing and share with or compare to friends with the same watch. You can even compare to Rip Curl sponsored athletes.

It’s a big watch and might look a bit strange on smaller wrists (watch the video below to see how big it looks). It’s a 47mm case but I guess the inclusion of GPS takes up additional space compared to a normal surf watch which gives it the chunky look.

There were some early teething problems with locating a GPS satellite and some glitches in tracking. But these seem to have been ironed out.

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Key features:

  • One touch auto set with 1,360 tide locations
  • Track each wave you catch
  • Track speed and distance
  • Sync surf sessions to the cloud (bluetooth via iPhone or USB to laptop)
  • View surf session data on your iPhone or laptop
  • Share data with friends
  • 10 hour battery life on GPS (6 months on normal use)
  • 100m water resistant
  • Clear, easy to read display
  • Available in Charcoal, Black, White, Blue, Green
  • Get more information…

Nixon Ultratide

Nixon Ultratide - best surf watches

Another data junkie watch. And, wow, a lot of data is available with the Ultratide from Nixon. What they have created is a mini surf computer for the wrist with promises of providing 10x more data than other surf watches.

Nixon have partnered with Surfline (provider of surf forecast data for 30 years) to bring key information to the wrist. Full list below but you’ll get a fast geolocation that gives you a Surfline rating (Flat to Epic), wave height, swell height and direction, forecasted swell height / direction, real time and tomorrow’s tide and much more.

The one downside is that the companion app for easy set up is iPhone only. No word on if and when an Android app would be available.

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Key features:

  • Surfline rating
  • Wave height
  • Swell height / direction
  • Forecasted swell height / direction
  • Real time tide
  • Wind speed / direction
  • Water temperature
  • Air temperature
  • Sky conditions
  • Tomorrow’s tide
  • Tide data for 3,300 locations
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Create custom surf alerts for your favorite locations
  • High res LCD display (can be inverted for white on black / black on white)
  • 45mm case
  • Waterproof to 100m
  • Hardened mineral crystal to protect against scratches
  • Available in Black, Marbled Multi, Blue / Gunmetal, Olive/ Gunmetal, Red/ Gunmetal, Concrete (shown in pic), Neon Yellow/ Gunmetal, Waves for Water, Antique Copper / Black.
  • Get more information…

Vestal Brig Tide & Train

Vestal Brig Tide & Train - best surf watches

Vestal’s Brig Tide & Train is endorsed by Jordy Smith and is aimed at those that are training for competitions or want to try out that routine. Tide data for 200 breaks is included and feedback suggests that this watch provides some of the most accurate tidal data on a surf watch.

The training element includes a “Suffer and Recover” mode that is an interval training that can be used for all forms of sport, not just surfing. Essentially these are two countdown timers that work simultaneously with the stopwatch.

The Heat mode is a countdown with some quick presets (eg 15 mins, 30 mins) with surf competitions in mind. You get warnings at the 5 minute and 1 minute mark.

Most people buy this watch for the Tide features as the training elements are quite basic.

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Key features:

  • Tide data for 200 beaches worldwide
  • Digital tide graph with tide height
  • Future tide mode
  • “Suffer and recover” interval timer
  • Heat mode countdown
  • Oktolock system buckle
  • Oktogrip on underside of band
  • Waterproof to 100m
  • 42mm case
  • Stainless steel case back
  • Available in Grey / Marine, Grey / White, Blue / White, Grey / Blue, Black / Polished Steel, Black / Blue, Salmon / Black, White, Purple / Black Yellow, Charcoal / Black, Black / Positive, Black / White, Black
  • Get more information…

Rip Curl Mens Rifles Tide

Rip Curl Mens Watch Rifles Tide - best surf watches

The Rifles Tide is one of Rip Curl’s bestsellers. It has tide data for 500 beaches worldwide and has an intuitive menu system to allow easy, manual free, set up. In fact the Rifles Tide doesn’t ship with a manual (but you can download one).

At 41mm the case is a little smaller than some of the other surf watches on this page which makes it better suited to smaller wrists and guys who don’t want a huge wrist computer.

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Key features:

  • Tide data for 500 locations worldwide
  • Tide displayed in either graph or detailed view
  • Dual time
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • Alarm
  • Waterproof to 100m
  • Menu based setup
  • 41mm case
  • Highly tear resistant band
  • Available in Black, Blue, Charcoal, Fluro Green, Lime, Midnight, Navy
  • Get more information…

Freestyle Killer Shark Tide Blue XL

Freestyle Killer Shark Tide Blue XL Watch - best surf watches

Freestyle’s Tide range is a robust, chunky (48mm case) suited for larger wrists. The watch has accurate tide data for 150 beaches worldwide that will help maximize your time in the water. If your break isn’t featured you can take your nearest tide data and adjust by up to 2 hours to get a reading closer to where you are.

The strap is comfortable but secure and never feels like it’s going to come undone or slip off whilst paddling out. Whether you are surfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding or just messing about in the water, this watch can take a beating.

Available in various colors but we’re big fans of the blue version – we added to the list of best surf watches as you will definitely get noticed when you’re wearing it.

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Key features:

  • Tide data for 150 beaches worldwide (list of beaches)
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Water resistant to 100m
  • Durable silicone strap
  • Hardened mineral crystal to protect from scratches
  • Dual time
  • Chronograph
  • Countdown timer
  • Alarm
  • 48mm case
  • Available in Cyan/Grey, Black, Grey, Blue
  • Get more information…

Rip Curl Womens Maui Mini Tide

Rip Curl Womens Maui Mini Tide - best surf watches

Surf watches with tide data designed specifically for women are harder to find than for men so it’s good to see that Rip Curl have the Maui Mini Tide on the market. Based on the successful mens Rifles Tide this has been made smaller (35mm case vs 41mm), given a more feminine look but retained all of the technical features.

The Maui Mini Tide has 500 tide locations and an easy to set up menu system so that you can ditch the manual (maybe hold onto it just in case!). Tide data can be displayed graphically or in a more detailed view.

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Key features:

  • Tide data for 500 locations worldwide
  • Tide displayed in either graph or detailed view
  • Dual time
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • Alarm
  • Waterproof to 100m
  • Menu based setup
  • 35mm case
  • Highly tear resistant band
  • Available in Peach, Mint, Black, Slate
  • Get more information…

Wrap up

That ends our list of best surf watches on the market today. as new surf watches are launched we’ll be updating this list.

Drop your comments below…

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