You know what would be super cool "swellnet alert"

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming started the topic in Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 2:18pm

I guess it would be an app or something or a service you pay extra for.

A Swellnet alert, that alerts you ahead of time on certain conditions and sends a message to your phone with the details and rating.

For example you subscribe to the service then you enter the details of conditions you want to be alerted to ahead of time.

Like combination of winds/strength, swell size/period and even tide heights, you get say ten conditions you can put in and be alerted too and you rate them yourself with a star rating and how far ahead you would like to be notified and a reminder.

For example, your favourite reef, breaks best on a real high tide,N- NE wind and a nice solid swell, you program in the details, then go ahead living your life

Then its Monday and the forecast is looking good for the wednesday three days away for it to fire and it sends you out an alert.

Wednesday morning the forecast is still looking good for the arvo high tide, it then sends you a reminder, but if conditions have changed it doesn't remind you.

Great idea yeah?

Wonder if its been done yet?

Im never going to do it, so the ideas yours but hopefully i get a free subscription for the great idea :P

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 9:53pm

Ok, I googled it, and just like every other great idea i have its been done.

But I'm sure you guys can do it better :D

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 7:26am

Yeah, the 'alert' thing has been done many times over by many other websites. However I think most alert systems are inherently flawed - too many false negatives/false positives, and not enough useful information.

For most surfers who are able to surf just the one region 90% of the time (which is most of us), long range forecast alerts don't offer anything over and above what a user would get by checking the forecast themselves. 

As such, I've been working on something a little different that I think would be more beneficial considering the way in which we access surf information these days. Not sure when we'll have it out but I think it'll be a nice tool to accompany the standard forecast information.

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 9:08am

after your favorite break gets record number crowds you will be cursing this alert . in the book ghost wave sean collins found out the alert had ruined a major secret . bringing record numbers to cortes bank , cowboys on jetskis just driving around in circles just for fun

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 9:50am

That's one of the big flaws in alert systems Camel: being notified that a specific break is 'on'. Aside from the ethics (my preference is to provided regional information, which surfers can then use to ascertain how their own local break may be faring), I don't think it's possible to regularly automate (with a high degree of accuracy) this kind of data for the greater percentage of national and/or international surf spots.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 10:28am

Yeah that is true if alerts were already pre set to certain spots

Id rather an alert that you could program conditions in yourself rather than an set alert for a certain spot….for instance for me as i get older I'm over junky type waves, my local generally works best on longer period swells, when i scan the forecast I'm more interested in swell period, while size and wind if light, i take them as they come,for example most of the time at my local id much rather surf a light onshore long period 3 foot swell, than a short period offshore six foot swell.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 10:35am

At many spots though that won't guarantee that the waves are 'on'. There are many other variables which contribute to 'excellent' surf days. Hence my comments re: false positives, false negatives.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 11:26am

Fully agree Ben. Anyone that's hung out at a world class wave can attest to the hype build up amongst crew on the same program for swells that often fail to deliver. Those Hollywood swells don't always equate to the best days, even though on paper they can look amazing. And vice versa for days that don't look so spectacular on the forecast can still produce great days.

Even identical looking swells ie direction , period and size are often very different .

Add in the vagaries of a less than world class spot , such as sand formation and it's a roll of the dice.

Forecasts are great, but never a guarantee.

Of course you already know this Indo, I'm just enjoying typing for some inexplicable reason.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 12:04pm

Yeah true, and I guess its part of the beauty of surfing, its the same with fishing, sometimes technically everything can perfect but you still don't get good waves or fish other times you just hit it anyway and you score good waves or fish, i think its part of the addiction, the never quite knowing factor.

joakse's picture
joakse's picture
joakse commented Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 12:10pm

I coded the exact program you suggest about a year ago using some api data that is available from a number of sources. I would never share this with anyone as ethically I have some reservations even after my mates begged for it and I denied them. Honestly it really took the fun out of my surfing of local waves and even though there was a fair range set on the variables missed some really fun waves as it made you lazy on the check. I do still run it on a server for a few spots a bit further afield with some pretty good success and charts I would never check without the sms alert sending me to follow up. I curse the guy that ever made this stuff available but surely it is a matter of time and no doubt if I have done it there are a hundred others surfers globally that have the same thing running. This forum alone horrifies me. I saw it the other day and hoped it would disappear with no comments or follow up. Careful what you ask for.