7 Best Surf Watches With Tide Details And More

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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.

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.

With the help of this article, we would like to help you find out the perfect surf watch for yourself that would make surfing a lot more fun.

We have reviewed several types of watches for different types of surfers which include tide watches, smartwatches, and rugged type watches. We are confident that next time you will head out into the ocean, you will have a reliable surf companion.

Use the links below to navigate to the specific section of the article:

Best Surf Watch Comparison Table





Best Overall 

Rip Curl Seaarch GPS 2 Digital Surf Tracking Watch

RIP Curl Search GPS 2

  • Record and track your surf session

  • Water Resistant up to 100m

  • Sync and share your surf

Best Smartwatch For Surfing

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6

  • Track your activities on the Fitness app.

  • App Store support

  • Swimproof with calling function

Cheapest Watch For Surfing and Other Outdoor Activities

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

  • Heart rate tracking, Sleep tracking

  • Compatible with both iOS and Android

  • Various Fitness modes

Best Watches For Surfing 

1. Rip Curl Search GPS 2

Rip Curl Seaarch GPS 2 Digital 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.

Rip Curl immediately jumps into action, along with you, and records all the action like location, length of ride, top speed, and even surf conditions. Consequently, the Rip Curl iOS app might be the best surf watch app for surfers.

Rip Curl Search GPS’s app allows you 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 an option to use the web version.

There are several features that make it perfect for you 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 resistance 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 Good
  • Best for surfing
  • Best surf watch app
  • Dedicated app and website for users
  • Various features like surf speed for users
The Bad
  • No Android app available
  • Not suitable for diving activities
  • Surf Forecast data only available on iPhone

Click Here to Check on Amazon

2. Nixon High Tide A1308

Nixon High Tide A1308

You are looking at Nixon High Tide A1308, which as the name suggests is geared towards swimmers, surfers, or any other users with similar activity.

It has a high-resolution MLCD meaning you will get crystal clear and sharp text. Furthermore, the watch has 550 pre-programmed locations meaning it will tell you about tides, moon phases, and sun data, all that just on your wristwatch.

Nixon uses recycled ocean plastics to reduce water pollution. Don’t worry, the device is of not low quality or average build quality it can withstand water up to 100m. One of the biggest reasons to go with this watch is you don’t need a smartphone to get the best out of it which makes it one of the best surf watches.

Watch feels great comfortable even while wearing a wet suit. The home screen is customizable so you can choose what information you want in your display.

Whether you are a beginner looking for their first tide watch or a professional who is just looking for unmatched tide details, it won’t be farfetched to say it 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 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

3. Garmin Instinct Solar Surf

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf

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

Instinct Solar Surf from Garmin comes with a Surf App which allows users 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 you to ride on that perfect wave.

It has military-grade build quality so it can face high-speed tide head-on without breaking a sweat. We 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, 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 sports watch which is suitable for surfers who also go on a trek, run, and 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

4. Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6

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 surf watch, let us be the first one to tell you, yes it is! If Apple were to make a dedicated surfing watch we can’t imagine it being much different than this.

Apple Watch Series 6 is 50m water resistant making it one tough cookie, so you can take your smartwatch with you for surfing wherever you go.

The biggest reason to go for the Apple watch is the App Store. There are so many apps available at your disposal that users have lots of options. Some of the best third-party 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.

Dawn Patrol App allows you to record top speed, longest ride, longest ride time, best session, best distance, and you can even see waves you missed or surf path in your iPhone. If you will say Dawn Patrol is the best surfing app out there, we won’t blame you.

Other than surfing you can take calls and reply to text messages using Siri. Moreover, Apple’s Fitness app helps you track all your fitness activities in one place. It is truly a multipurpose smartwatch worthy of all the praise it gets.

Who it is for: Apple Watch will be perfect for surfers who also want some productivity-related features like notification, calling, etc.

The Good
  • Comes with Fall Protection
  • 50m waterproof
  • Multiple 3rd party surf apps available on App Store
The Bad
  • Compatible with iPhone 7 or later
  • Average Battery life
  • Doesn’t auto-track activities

Click Here to Check on Amazon

5. Suunto 7

Suunto 7 GPS Sports Smart

Suunto is a Finnish brand that is well known for its sports and divers watch. It is one of the well-renowned brands when it comes to sports smartwatches. Surely Suunto has something to offer for everyone, so fellow surfers don’t worry Suunto has got your back.

Suunto 7 smartwatch runs on Wear OS by Google which means there are a lot of apps available on the Play Store. This watch also comes with several sports modes including a heat map for surf and beach. A heat map allows you to monitor your activity on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

It also has a feature called my radar which basically sends you updates about the weather coming your way.

Since it’s based on Wear OS you can install apps like Waves Tracker. This app allows you to record the speed of your surfing, waves, distance traveled and calories burned. The app is free to download but requires a subscription for an ad-free experience.

Suunto 7 has Gorilla glass protection that protects your watch display from shock, dirt, water, or snow. It has a physical button so you don’t face any problem while using the watch with wet hands or wearing gloves. Not only surfing Suunto has teamed up with various fitness partners like PWR LAB,  STRAVA SUMMIT, UA MapMyRun, FATMAP, Training peaks, Relive, and many more.

Don’t worry just like most of the smartwatches on the list, it is water-resistant till 50m. All these features definitely make this one of the best surf watches from Suunto.

Who it is for: It is perfect for surfers who also want productivity-oriented features in their surf watch along with support for other sports activities.

The Good
  • Wear OS has Play Store
  • Suunto App is feature loaded
  • Compatible with Google Fit
  • Robust Build Quality
  • Heat Map to map your surf
The Bad
  • Average battery life
  • Several apps need to be installed

Click Here to Check on Amazon

6. Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

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

Fitbit Versa 3 is swim-proof and the cheapest surf watch on our list. You can use the Surfline app on your Fitbit Versa 3. Surfline is a well-known app within the surfing community that has been helping surfers since 1985. It allows you to see and download reports of several surfing spots available worldwide. Surfline also keeps you updated on waves.

Your Surfline app is updated hourly and interpreted by Surfline experts worldwide, giving you the best surfing experience.

Surfing is not the only forte of this smartwatch but it has other modes for your daily fitness routine.

After surfing, you can just go straight to the gym or for cycling, and your Fitbit will always give you the company. Since it is a full-blown smartwatch, you can even see notifications, control Spotify and even take calls hands-free.

Fitbit Versa 3 is a great smartwatch and it has features like Heart Rate Tracker, sleep tracking, and sleep score that will help you lead a healthy lifestyle. This watch is a great health companion that will help you keep track of all your fitness activities.

Just like all the modern smartwatches, it gives you the option to change your watch face according to your personality.

Most surf watches are either not supported on some platform or don’t have an app at all. Fitbit solves that problem as it works smoothly on both iOS and Android devices.

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
  • Feature loaded
  • Hourly tide updates
  • App Available for both Android and iOS
  • Supports Surfline
  • Hands-free calling available
The Bad
  • One button interface can be a hindrance
  • The heart rate sensor is inconsistent

Click Here to Check on Amazon

7. Casio Men’s GWF1000 Frogman

Casio Men's GWF1000

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 watch might give you an impression of just being a normal digital watch, let me tell 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 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.

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 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, hourly time indicator, and also indicate battery power levels. Many watches are, “jack of all trades, master of none”, but Casio is 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 Surfing Watch

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 surf watch-like RIP Curl. So based on your preference, you can choose the appropriate watch.


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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