7 Best Surf Watches & Smartwatches To Track Surfing

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Tom and his team mentions and reviews only those products that they find good enough after using & researching them for several weeks. By doing this we make sure that you get a well rounded review and recommendations to make the best decision for yourself.

Surfing today is incomplete without surf watches, they have become an important gear for surfers all over the world. Today watches not only provide tide data but also provide useful information and features like weather updates, wave tracking, wave speed, surf speed, and much more.

GPS Surf watches are robust and can withstand high-speed waves compared to regular waterproof watches. But with so many watches available, selecting the right surf watch can get overwhelming.

But worry not as I have written this article to help surfers like you find out the perfect surf watch for yourself.

I have reviewed several types of watches for different types of surfers which include tide watches, rugged watches, & smartwatches for surfing.

Yes, even smartwatches! I have used various smartwatches from brands like Fitbit & Suunto for surfing. And, I am confident that next time you head out into the ocean you will have a reliable GPS surf watch with you.

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Best Surf Watch & Smartwatch Comparison Table

IMAGE

PRODUCT

SPECIFICATIONS

VIEW ON AMAZON

Best Fitbit For Surfing

Fitbit for surfing

Fitbit Versa 3

  • Heart rate tracking, Sleep tracking

  • Compatible with both iOS and Android

  • Various Fitness modes

Best Smartwatch for Surfing

best smartwatch for surfing

Apple Watch Series 8 Ultra

  • Supports many third-party surfing apps

  • Rugged build & water resistant upto 100m

  • Also available in cellular variant

Best GPS Surf Watch With Tide Details

RIP curl gps 2 surf tracking watch

RIP Curl Search GPS 2

  • Record and track your surf session

  • Water Resistant up to 100m

  • Sync and share your surf

Affordable Smartwatch For Surfing With Surf Profile

Amazfit T-Rex 2 smartwatch for surfing

Amazfit T-Rex 2

  • 810 military grade build quality

  • AMOLED display

  • Water resistant up to 100m

Best Watches & Smartwatches For Surfing

1. Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit for surfing

Fitbit is one of the most renowned smartwatch brands. If you aren’t aware of Fitbit then let me tell you that they make some of the best smartwatches for surfing available out there. So much so that Google acquired it in 2021.

I have reviewed Fitbit Versa 3 on our channel Wearholic & this is the ideal Fitbit for surfing. In the past, when I recommended this Fitbit surf smartwatch, it used to come with the Surfline app.

It was a pretty cool app but it has dropped support for Fitbit devices. Surfline is one of the best surfing apps as it allows you to see and download reports of several surfing spots available worldwide. So if you are looking for Surfline app support then you will be disappointed.

However, I found a different Tide Table Chart app in the Fitbit App Gallery. It is not as good as Surfline but it is better than having nothing. This paid app provides high & low tide forecasts for various locations across the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, & various other countries. Once the watch is connected & you have installed the companion app on your Fitbit watch & phone, it will download tide data on the watch.

Before you buy this Fitbit smartwatch for surfing & go to the beach, I would also advise replacing the stock Fitbit strap. During my usage, I have found that Fitbit straps are susceptible to coming off. That’s why I use Spigen’s rugged strap for Fitbit Versa 3 while surfing. This ensured that watch didn’t fall off to the bottom of the ocean while surfing.

Surfing is not the only forte of this surf smartwatch as I used it to track my daily fitness routine. After my surfing session, I went straight to the gym or cycling & using Versa 3 I was able to track my activity. You can watch my GPS accuracy test video below to know about the watch’s sports tracking accuracy. I tested & compared the heart rate & the GPS performance to Garmin Forerunner 245M in the video.

Besides all that, this Fitbit surf watch offers good sleep tracking, stress monitoring, & sleep score feature that Fitbit is known for. I found it to be really useful for tracking my sleep without wearing a dedicated sleep tracker.

Talking about the build, this is going to be one of the smallest surf watches on the list. The size of the watch is around 40m & weighs only 28.5 grams. I have reviewed plenty of watches on my channel & I found it to be the best Fitbit for surfing as it is one of the most comfortable watches to wear.

By the way, the reason I am suggesting you pick this watch over the latest Versa 4 is because of Fitbit has removed third-party app support. So you won’t be able to download the tide app on the latest Versa 4 watch. Fitbit might add support for the same sometime in the future but it seems very unlikely right now.

Who is it for:  It is perfect for fitness enthusiasts who are looking for a smartwatch that will help keep track of all of their fitness routines and surfing.

The Good
  • Built in speaker & microphone for taking calls
  • Supports both Android & iOS devices
  • Best-in-class sleep tracking
  • Get Tide data on the watch
  • Supports Spotify & Deezer for music playback

The Bad
  • Surfline app for Fitbit is no longer supported
  • No dedicated surfing profile
  • Requires purchasing a rugged strap for surfers

Click Here to Check on Amazon

2. Rip Curl Search GPS 2

RIP curl gps 2 surf tracking watch

Any watch recommendation list for surfing is not complete if it doesn’t have Rip Curl Search GPS 2.  It’s a dedicated watch tailored made for surfing enthusiasts.

When I went surfing, Rip Curl immediately jumped into action along with me & recorded all my surfing actions like location, length of ride, top speed, & even surf conditions. Consequently, the Rip Curl iOS app might be the best surf watch app for surfers.

Rip Curl Search GPS app allowed me to search for a new surf location! Follow professional surfers, create clubs, and much more. The only downside is that the app is not available for Android devices, which is a bummer considering how great this watch is, although users have the option to use the web version.

There are several features that make it the perfect GPS surf watch like inbuilt GPS, activity tracking, and tide tracking. You can even see your surf path later and share it with your fellow surfers. The watch is water resistant up to 100m so it can withstand some strong tide pressure.

While this watch may look like an ordinary digital watch but looks can be deceiving and that’s the case with this watch.

Who is it for: It is perfect for beginners as well as professional surfers. This watch will fulfill all your surfing needs. The watch lasted me 2-3 months on a single charge so it is a great alternative to smartwatches with 1-2 days of battery life.

The Good
  • Best watch for surfing
  • Dedicated app & website available to control the watch
  • Provide various metrics like surf speed to users
  • Excellent surf apps

The Bad
  • Still no Android app support
  • Not recommended for diving
  • Surf forecast feature exclusive to iPhone

Click Here to Check on Amazon

Suunto 7 Watch For Surfing Outdated

Suunto 7 GPS Sports Smart

Note: This Suunto Surf watch is no longer actively supported & maintained by Suunto. It runs on an outdated version of Wear OS that has limited to no third-party app compatibility. Suunto has also not launched a fresh variant of the watch. That’s why I am recommending Amazfit T-Rex 2 instead of the Suunto watch for surfing.

3. Amazfit T-Rex 2

Amazfit T-Rex 2 smartwatch for surfing

If tide data is not what you are after instead you want a smartwatch with a surfing profile then T-Rex 2 is what you are looking for. This watch comes with a dedicated surfing profile that tracks surf duration, heart rate, distance, speed, elevation, & location.

Besides that, this surf smartwatch also comes with the Assistant feature which you can use to get alerted by setting a timer. I usually use it to set a 1 hr 30min alert which comes in handy as I often forget to keep track of time.

My main reason for including this as one of the best smartwatches for surfing is the fact that it comes with a military 810g rating. It is also 96h salt spray resistant making it perfect for surfing. So I never had to worry about saltwater damaging the watch. By the way, this GPS surf watch also offers an exceptional water-resistant rating of 100m.

Moving on to the build, while the watch is a little heavy but I loved the fact that it can be operated independently by either using touch or buttons.

Besides all that, this smartwatch for surfing also has built-in ABC sensors. Altimeter allowed me to track the altitude changes & compass in tracking directions. The barometer sensor can be used to track atmospheric changes. It helped me keep an eye on the potential weather changes whenever I went sailing or fishing.

Another feature that makes T-Rex 2 great for surfing is the fact that you can connect your Amazfit T-Rex 2 to Strava app. The only downside of the watch is the fact that third-party support is limited & I discussed that in detail in my review video. You can check out my Youtube video below to know the pros & cons of Amazfit T-Rex 2 in detail.

I also tested the GPS accuracy of the watch & found it to be on par with Garmin Forerunner 245M. You can check out the GPS accuracy of the watch by checking the video below. I found the Amazfit Bio Tracker 3.0 on T-Rex 2 to be pretty good in heart rate tracking. The best part is that this surfing watch is available for less than $200 which makes it a perfect deal.

Who Is It For: If you are looking for a smartwatch that comes with a surfing profile then this will be the perfect watch for surfing.

The Good
  • Comes with built in surfing profile
  • Supports Bluetooth external support
  • Water resistant up to 100m
  • Can be connected to Strava
  • Supports 5 navigation satellites for outdoor sports tracking

The Bad
  • No tide data app available for surfing
  • Limited third-party app support

Click Here to Check on Amazon

4. Nixon High Tide A1308

Nixon high surf tide watch

The next best surfing watch that I used is Nixon High Tide A1308, which as the name suggests is geared towards swimmers, surfers, or any other users with similar activity.

This surf smartwatch has a high-resolution MLCD meaning you will get crystal clear & sharp text. Furthermore, the watch has 550 pre-programmed locations meaning it will tell you about tides, moon phases, sun data, and more on your wristwatch.

Also, the Nixon surf watch uses recycled ocean plastics for making their watches to reduce water pollution. Don’t worry, I noticed the device is of not low quality or average build quality. In fact, it can withstand water up to 100m. I recommend going with this watch for surfing because you don’t need a smartphone to get the best out of it which makes it one of the best surf watches.

The watch feels great & comfortable even while wearing a wet suit. The home screen is customizable so I was able to choose what information I wanted on my display.

Whether you are a beginner looking for your first tide watch or a professional who is just looking for unmatched tide details. It won’t be farfetched to say that this might be one of the best tide watches for surfing.

Who it is for: Nixon watches might be the best alternative available for Rip Curl watches. This watch is perfect for beginners or professionals. Its features are not smartphone-dependent so you can leave your phone at home.

The Good
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Feature loaded
  • Not smartphone-dependent
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Accidental button
The Bad
  • Lacks Map feature
  • No second hand just a chronograph

Click Here to Check on Amazon

5. Garmin Instinct 2S Surf Edition

Garmin Instinct 2s solar surf edition

Garmin is a name that needs no introduction. They make some of the best and most robust smartwatches with tides available out there. So if you are looking for a Garmin surf watch then your search ends here.

Instinct 2S Surf-Edition from Garmin comes with a Surf App which allowed me to record and save surfing activities like the number of waves, longest wave, and Max speed. It also has other features like Tide data allowing me to ride on that perfect wave.

Moreover, this smartwatch for surfing has military-grade build quality so it can face high-speed tide head-on without breaking a sweat. I recommend this to users who are looking for an all-in-one sports smartwatch. Garmin surf watch is like a multi-purpose Swiss knife, so if you want a watch for surfing as well as a smartwatch then go with this one.

Another feature that Garmin offers is the ability to charge the watch using solar energy, so charge your watch while surfing or resting on the beach.

There are plenty of dedicated watches for surfing but some lack Android support while some are only compatible with iOS. This watch offers the best of both worlds without compromising a lot.

Who it is for: It is a versatile Garmin surf watch that is suitable for surfers who also go on a trek, run, and do other sports activities.

The Good
  • Military-grade build quality
  • Gives Weather Forecast alerts
  • Versatile for daily use
The Bad
  • No Tide data without a smartphone (Don’t know if it can be fixed with a firmware update but seems unlikely)

Click Here to Check on Amazon

6. Apple Watch Series 8 Ultra

Apple Watch Series 8

Whenever anyone thinks of a smartwatch, they think of Apple Watch! That’s how popular Apple Watch is. They continue to dominate the smartwatch market for a good reason.

You might be wondering if this watch really has what it takes to be a GPS surf watch. Let us be the first one to tell you, yes it is! If Apple were to make a dedicated smartwatch for surfing then I can’t imagine it being much different than this.

Apple Watch Series 8 Ultra is 100m water resistant making it one tough cookie, so you can take your smartwatch with you for surfing wherever you go.

For me, the biggest reason to go with this smartwatch for surfing is the App Store. There were so many surf apps available at my disposal so I had lots of options. Some of the best third-party surf apps like Dawn Patrol are available on the App Store. There are other apps available but we found Dawn patrol the best one for surfing.

The Dawn Patrol app allowed me to record top speed, longest ride, ride time, best session, and best distance. I was even able to see waves I missed or surf path on my iPhone. If you will say Dawn Patrol is the best surfing app out there then I won’t blame you.

Other than surfing I also took calls & replied to text messages on the smartwatch using Siri. Moreover, Apple’s Fitness app helps me track all my fitness activities in one place. It is truly a multipurpose smartwatch worthy of all the praise it gets.

Who it is for: This Apple smartwatch with tide details will be perfect for surfers who also want some productivity-related features like notifications, calling, etc.

The Good
  • Comes with fall detection
  • Water resistant up to 100m
  • Many third-party surf apps are available on App Store
  • Also, available in the LTE variant
  • Supports Apple Pay for contactless payments

The Bad
  • Average battery life
  • Doesn’t support Android devices

Click Here to Check on Amazon

7. Casio Men’s GWF1000 Frogman

Casio Men GWF1000 Frogman

Time to end the list with an ultimate watch for surfers, behold Casio’s GWF1000 Frogman. Casio is one of the most prestigious watchmakers of our time. While the watch might give you the impression of just being a normal digital watch, let me tell you that you are wrong.

First of all, the watch is water-resistant up to 200m deep underwater. It also has multi-band atomic timekeeping which means it will automatically set the time based on the timezone(US, UK, Germany, China, Japan). It also has moon data and tide data as well.  This watch is of robust build quality and can easily take a beating from high-speed waves.

According to me, Casio Men’s GWF1000 Frogman is probably the best surf watch for men. If you are also into diving then this watch can also be your underwater companion. Furthermore, this watch is capable of using solar energy to charge itself, making it perfect for users who crave adventure and want a long-lasting battery.

Watch also has interchangeable bands, shock resistant body, an hourly time indicator, and also indicates battery power levels. Many watches are, “jack of all trades, master of none”, but Casio is a master when it comes to durability and performance. So if you are looking for a surf watch from Casio then go with this one.

If you have a high budget then this watch is definitely worth the premium it’s asking. It will definitely meet all your expectations

Who it is for: It is a rough and tough watch from Casio that is used by both divers and surfers. It is perfect for users who just can’t stay away from surfing and don’t want to do a lot of aftercare after using their watches in ocean water.

The Good
  • 200m water resistant
  • Moon and Tide data
  • Multi-band atomic timekeeping
  • Auto calendar available
  • Comes with auto backlighting
The Bad
  • Bulky design
  • No smartphone connectivity

Click Here to Check on Amazon

Things To Consider Before Buying A GPS Watch For Surfing

1. Durability

It’s important to check that the watch you are purchasing is durable enough and can withstand high-speed waves. While some watches like RIP Curl are ready to go for surfing in their original condition, other watches might need a different sports band like Apple Watch Series. Make sure to keep that in mind while making the final decision.

2. Waterproof

While all the watches in this list are water-resistant at least 50m which should be enough for casual surfers but if you are a professional surfer we would recommend going for Casio or Nixon High Tide. So make sure you choose an ideal watch according to your requirement.

3. Features

Some users prefer full-blown smartwatches like Apple Watch while some prefer dedicated GPS surf watch-like RIP Curl. So based on your preference, you can choose the appropriate watch.

FAQs

Is Apple Watch Good For Surfing?

Absolutely yes, Apple Watch is resistant for up to 50 meters underwater making it perfect for surfers.

What Is The Best Watch For Surfing?

RIP Curl Search GPS 2 is the best watch for surfing. This watch allows you to record your wave surfed, distance traveled, time spent in the ocean, top speed, and much more.

Why Do Surfers Wear Watches?

Surfers wear watches because it allows them to keep track of time, and moreover it provides useful data like wave count, surf speed, longest wave, top speed, and a lot more. Not only that, but watches also provide tide data which helps you in getting the perfect surf opportunity.

Are RIP Curl Watches Good?

RIP Curl is a surfing sportswear company. They really make good surf watches, and they have something for everyone, no matter whether you are a beginner or a professional. So yes, RIP Curl watches are good.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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