Tide, the essential surfing companion?

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Fancy heading out into the cold and wet? Probably not if you're in the UK at the moment. That notwithstanding, dedicated to surfers everywhere, and just updated to a mature v1.4.0, Tide 'creates a gestural way of exploring waves through time'. No, really. With up to the minute forecasts for thousands of surf locations across the world and a genuinely interactive interface, Tide is a stylised but perfect companion for the dedicated surfer.

From the Windows Phone Store description:

Tide is powered by Magic Seaweed, and the forecast includes Surf Height, Swell Rating, Primary Swell and Weather information. We are currently in the process of adding more beaches, but Tide currently features Australasia, Europe, Indonesia, America and the Pacific Ocean. 

- 24 Hour scrolling forecast feature.
- Accurate 5 Day forecast.
- Beautifully Animated Waves.
- Integrated Sharing. 
- Add your favourite spots.
- View in UK, US or EU units.

As usual, a walkthrough will demonstrate all this better than reams of text. Here's Tide v1.4.0 in action:

Tide screenshotTide screenshot

Continent by continent and country by country, you drill down to the surfing beach that you're interested in. Somewhat oddly, there's no 'search' feature - though, once found by drilling down alphabetically, you can set any beach as a 'favourite' and thus see it instantly on the app's starting screen.

Tide screenshotTide screenshot

The thumbnails of each beach are a nice touch, but if I'm honest they're all just tiny photos of waves and there are no follow-up larger versions in the application, which is a missed opportunity. I'd have liked to have seen the bigger version of each, plus a rough map of the beach, parking, etc.

Shown above right is the main surf display, showing the swell and wave frequency. What's not evident from static screenshots here is the 'interactive' nature of Tide here. Leaving aside the somewhat trivial animation of the choppy waves across the screen, as you move your thumb or finger up and down the screen, the time index changes accordingly, as does the surf forecast. So, by dragging up and down you can see at a glance the very best time to make a break from the cafe, don the wetsuit and head out into the waves.

Tide screenshotTide screenshot

The panorama gives a weekly forecast too - looks like today is the best for surfing! (Right) there's also a look-up for the tide times, essential for shallow beaches where the waves can be a long way from the sea front at times.

Tide screenshotTide screenshot

The menu offers the aforementioned 'favourites' option, plus a helpful guide to the stats on offer

An excellent tool considering the price point, though I'd be looking for a next-gen version 2.0, with maps, larger photos and a search facility.

You can download Tide v1.4 for free from the Windows Phone Store.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store