The 12 Best Surf Watches

When the word “surfing” is mentioned, it’s unlikely that a surf watch is the first thing that would come into your mind. After all, there are other things you will likely think of such as a surfboard, a surf travel bag, or even sunscreen. But this doesn’t mean you should not consider getting a surf watch if you are a novice or even an expert surfer.

After all, surfing can take hours. You’ll have to go to a surf spot, put on your wetsuit, get in and out of the water, shower, and then drive home. So, you will appreciate having a good watch wrapped around your wrist.

A good surf watch will not only come in handy in telling time. It can also perform other functions, such as serving as a reliable source of information. With a good surf watch, you can determine the tide levels in your area and when the high tide is going to occur. It can also tell you information about your favorite surf spots, like wind speed, wave height, water temperature, and air temperature. And some surf watches have an emergency function, which can save your life in case something unfortunate happens to you.

Indeed, a surfing watch is a must-have for any surfer regardless of his or her experience. Here are the 12 Best Surf watches.

Apple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 4

This is considered by many surfers as the best surf watch today. It’s hard to argue with them given that this product is simply packed with features. It is water resistant up to a depth of 50 meters. You can also install GPS tracking and surf forecast apps on this phone.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is powered by a 64-bit dual-core S4 processor, which is up to 2 times faster than the processor of its predecessor. Another difference between the two is that this Watch Series has an electrical heart sensor and an ECG app which is set to be launched this year.

Moreover, it has a fall detection function that will come in handy during a medical emergency. This function is smart, to say the least. It can ask you if you are okay once it has detected that you fell hard. If you fail to respond in a minute, the function will automatically call an ambulance and send the location to the emergency contact.

This smartwatch has a battery life of about 18 hours.

Purchase

Vestal Men’s Brig WatchVestal Men’s Brig Watch

Vestal Men’s Brig Watch may not be as glamorous as an Apple Watch, but it can deliver the goods, so to speak. It has a sleek digital interface and advanced features that make it appealing even to the most discerning buyers.

One of the more prominent features of this surf watch is its ability to determine the tide at more than 200 beaches around the world. Even more impressive is that it can do so for the next 10 years, which practically makes the watch a good investment. The watch presents a digital tide graph for quick and easy interpretation of data.

Water resistant up to a depth of 100 meters, the Brig Watch has a hard polycarbonate crystal face. This watch was designed by renowned surfer Jordy Smith.

Purchase

Rip Curl RiflesRip Curl Rifles

For many surfing aficionados, Rip Curl is a brand that needs no introduction. It is known for its advanced and well-made surfing sportswear and accessories. This surf watch is pre-programmed with 500 tide locations, which makes it a great accessory for surfers. It has an old-school design that should capture the attention of people who like retro-looking watches.

It has the standard features, such as alarm, countdown timer, stopwatch, and light that are all useful to novice and experienced surfers alike. And because it doesn’t have the advanced features of a smartwatch like the Apple Watch, it practically doesn’t require overnight charging. It works on a standard battery, which will require replacement every few years.

Made of marine-grade stainless steel with hardened mineral crystal, this watch is rugged and 100% waterproof. It is water resistant up to a depth of 100 meters. The watch is comfortable, too, as it is strap is made of polyurethane. The strap is highly resistant to wear and tear.

Purchase

Nixon Ultratide Tide WatchNixon Ultratide Tide Watch

There are a lot of things to love about this surf watch from Nixon. Designed with surf report agency Surfline, this watch can deliver accurate information useful to surfers, such as air temperature, wind speed, tide, wave height, and water temperature. It is smart enough to notify its users on the best time and place to surf.

This is a battery operated watch which is available in several colors. It is water resistant up to a depth of 100 meters. It can also be synced with Bluetooth capable devices. There is an app available on the Apple App Store that can be harnessed to sync the surf watch with an iPhone.

The watch has a high-resolution display that continuously updates forecast data for various surf spots around the world. It features a heat timer and surf session tracking that lets users keep track of the duration of their surf. While some people may think that the Ultratide is a bit heavy for its size, its flat profile more than makes up for this.

Purchase

Rip Curl Men’s A1111-CHARip Curl Men’s A1111-CHA

As mentioned earlier, Rip Curl is one of the best brands in surf accessories. It once again proves that good reputation with this SearchGPS watch. This model is capable of tracking surf, registering top speed, and distance. It can also be synced with an app to better record your progress.

The watch has a retro-inspired square design with a digital display that shows the date, time, and day. The strap is made of silicone with buckle closure. It is water resistant up to a depth of 100 meters.

It can let users relive their surfing experience as it can show vital information, such as top speed, wave count, and session time. Moreover, it is possible to share those details online so that your friends will appreciate what you have just accomplished. This watch can also give information regarding more than a thousand surf locations.

When in GPS mode, the Search’s battery can last up to 10 hours. But when the GPS function is turned off, the battery life can extend up to six months.

Purchase

Vestal Alpha Bravo 10Vestal Alpha Bravo 10

If you are looking for a surf watch that you can use when not on the beach, then consider getting the Vestal Alpha Bravo 10. It looks like a watch for casual wear, but it is built and designed for surfers.

The casing and buckle, for example, are made from lightweight and sturdy polycarbonate. Its strap is made from polyurethane. The watch is water resistant up to 100 meters.

However, this surfing watch won’t give you any other information apart from the time. It is basically a water-resistant timekeeper that’s good enough for most surfers and just about anyone who’s into water sports.

Purchase

Nixon RegulusNixon Regulus

This is another surfing watch that you can wear while on the beach or when strolling in the city. It combines style and functionality in one neat package. While it is marketed for men, it is also versatile enough to be worn by ladies.

This surfing watch is water resistant up to 100 meters. It has dual chronographs and a large LED backlight display. The watch is powered by a battery that can work up to five years. It is also made of shock-absorbent materials.

It has a digital module with a nice array of functions, including calendar, alarm, dual time display, countdown timer, and a light for adjusting the brightness of the LCD display. It is impact resistant, too, with its crown casing made of custom stainless steel and injection molded with silicone pushers.

Purchase

Rip Curl Black AuroraRip Curl Black Aurora

The Rip Curl Black Aurora is a woman’s watch designed for those who live an active lifestyle. It is water resistant up to a depth of 100 meters. Its polyurethane band makes it comfortable to use. Yet it is versatile and stylish enough to be used for casual wear.

The Rip Curl Black Aurora, contrary to its name, is available in two other colors: pink and mint. It has a 38mm plastic casing holding the crown together. The polyurethane strap is durable and wraps tightly around the arm, preventing the watch from falling off when you are in the water.

This is a reasonably priced surfing watch for women that lacks many of the advanced features of the other surfing watch on this list. If you are looking for a surf watch that you can wear during a special occasion, then the Rip Curl Black Aurora should be on your shortlist.

Purchase

Casio Men's G-Shock ClassicCasio Men’s G-Shock Classic

The Casio Men’s G-Shock Classic might be a surprise pick for you, but it’s really a versatile watch that can be worn while surfing. This classic sports watch is water resistant up to a depth of 200 meters, better than most of the surfing watches on this list. It is also shock and anti-magnetic resistant.

The Casio Men’s G-Shock is actually more of a dive watch, but it is still useful for surfers. Its rugged and casual look is also suited for daily use. It offers several functions: a daily alarm, stopwatch, and an auto-calendar. There is a dial with a three-hand analog display. The familiar G-shock logo is also on display.

And because it is made by one of the more reputable watch brands in the world, you can be assured of the top-notch quality of the G-Shock Classic.

Purchase

Nixon Men’s Baja Digital DisplayNixon Men’s Baja Digital Display

The Nixon Baja watch has a high-contrast LCD screen that can show the time even when it is dark. There is an embedded flashlight that you can also use in navigating your way. It’s not the brightest but should be enough to help you find your way in case your headlamp fails. The surfing watch also features a compass. Aside from those features, the Nixon Baja has a thermometer function.

The watch has a rugged and comfy nylon strap that prevents the lightweight polycarbonate housing from falling off. It also displays hours, minutes, seconds, day, and date of the week.

It is a premium quality sports watch that may have too many settings and buttons for some people. Still, you will get your money’s worth with this surfing watch.

Purchase

Freestyle Shark Leash WatchFreestyle Shark Leash Watch

The Freestyle Shark Leash watch has a retro-inspired design. It is water resistant, although up to 50 meters only. Suitable for recreational swimming, it features functions a night vision backlight, chronograph, alarm, and countdown heat timer. You don’t really have to be a techie to determine how to access those functions. The stainless steel hydro pushers will still work even when you are underwater.

The design of the watch should match well with your trunks or wetsuit while out on the beach. It has a velcro strap that is easy to put on and adjust.

In short, the Freestyle Shark Leash Watch is a great steal given all its features.

Purchase

Nixon Men's Unit 40Nixon Men’s Unit 40

Rounding out our list is this men’s surfing watch from Nixon. Like some of the surf watches on this list, this surfing watch looks good enough to be worn for special occasions. It is water resistant up to a depth of 100 meters and features a built-in thermometer and countdown timer.

The face and housing material is made from polycarbonate, while the strap is made from silicone. This surfing watch has a classic design that makes it stand out from the rest of the competition. The watch also has dual time zones, which makes it a good choice if you like to travel in search of the best surfing spot.

Purchase

What to Consider When Shopping for a Surf Watch

You’ve probably picked up on what makes a great surf watch from our reviews, but here’s a brief rundown of what to look for.

Water resistance. Arguably the most critical factor in choosing a surf watch is the water resistance of the product. As you will have noticed in our reviews, this consideration is measured in terms of depth. You should get a surf watch that is water resistant at a minimum depth of 50 meters.

Functions. Most surf watches today can be considered smart watches capable of providing real-time information, such as weather and tide forecast, wave height, and air temperature, among others. Others can keep track of your surfing session, record information, such as the number of waves that you caught, your top speed, the length of waves, and the distance padded.

Obviously, you’ll have to pay more if you want to get a surfing watch with this type of capability. Another disadvantage is that the watch battery life is limited to a few days, meaning you will have to recharge the battery every now and then. You can also opt for a simple surfing watch that will only display the time. There may be limited functions, but, at least, the battery life can extend to years. It’s really up to you to decide on the functions or features you want from a surfing watch.

Comfort. The last thing you want from a surf watch is one that’s uncomfortable to wear. The strap is critical. To be on the safe side, consider getting a watch with a strap made of resin, silicone, or polyurethane. These materials are not only comfortable to the skin but can also take the pounding from the waves and won’t degrade over time.

Battery life. As mentioned earlier, high-end surfing watches with advanced features have one glaring weakness: battery life. These models won’t last for more than a day or so, which can be quite a downer, especially if you are wanting to spend your time camping on the beach. But if you insist on getting a high-end surfing watch, make sure that the product has a special, waterproof USB adaptor or charger. Consider, too, the charging time required for the battery.

Style and color. This really depends on your personal taste. Yet you’d be surprised to learn that many surfing watches are now designed to be worn by either men or women. Except for the color, there’s really no difference in terms of the design between men’s and women’s surfing watches.