An outstanding welcome!

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

“Time expands in the barrel.” - Shaun Tomson, 1976.

Welcome to Swellnet's new website. This is the third website we've built in our twelve years of existence and it's the one that nearly killed us.

I gave up telling people the launch date for this site long ago, probably about the time people began rolling their eyes and chortling when the topic came up. I realised then we'd been making promises for a long time but had naught to show for it.

As anyone who's built a complex website can attest things never run to plan, and it's fair to say we had our share of unplanned obstacles. From flunky Gen Y developers, to big lies, to even bigger budget blowouts...the works. At one stage, before we found our current developer, we had to totally throw out the code and start again from scratch. And so the 'three month project' somehow took three years. Yeah Shaun, barrels ain't the only place time expands...

But enough of the bellyaching, this is red carpet time. Take a look around, it's more than a new set of drapes we're rocking here. We've got long range forecasts, an expanded report network, and international wave modelling using proprietary technology.

What's the surf like in Lahinch, Ireland? Click to find out. Taranaki, New Zealand? It's there too. The five day forecasts and WAMs are available for gratis. However, if you wanna peer a little further into the future then we've got 16 day forecasts and WAMs for the right price. Just choose the plan – monthly, quarterly or yearly – and enter your digits. Not only will you get a further 11 days of info, you'll get widescreen surfcam vision with no pre-roll ads.

What you see today isn't the finished product. Over the coming months Swellnet will grow in various ways. First will be an online store, stocking surfwear and hardwear, then a board directory and a travel section too. Lastly – or perhaps not – will be a surf video portal. In the meantime we'll tweak and tug at different parts of the site to improve the functionality.

As always, Swellnet's staff will be online to answer questions, engage in banter, or listen to your criticism. We'll also run a few tutorials in the near future to sharpen up your forecasting skills and make sure you're getting the most out of the tools provided.

Comments

the_jackel's picture
the_jackel's picture
the_jackel commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 2:57pm

had a quick geez, site looks great...just one question: what does WAM stand for?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:00pm

Hey Jackel,

It stands for Wave Amplitude Models, or simply wave models.

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:03pm

New site looks great guys - well done.

So have you done away with the summary notes that used to accompany both the surf forecasts and the extended forecasts?

How do we know when the forecast was last updated? I always used to just check the extended forecast date/time.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:13pm

Thanks Maddog,

We'll have a new section with detailed forecast notes in the near future.

And the new model forecasts update four times a day. We'll add a notification of this in the coming weeks.

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:11pm

Just noticed when I log out I can only see the first comment by Jackel on this forum. If I log back in again (so I can post this) I can now see the rest of the comments by Stu and myself. Cheers

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:17pm

Interesting.. we haven't seen that behaviour yet. Anyone else?

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:23pm

Just tried it again - logged out and went back to this topic - can only see the first 3 comments now - Jackel, Stunet and mine.

Logged back in again and now I can see all the comments from Craig's reply onwards. Cheers

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:28pm

Also under 'Latest Comments' on home page - when I am logged out the latest comment on this topic is from Craig but when I click on it I can only see up to my first comment which is one comment before Craig's . I cannot see Craig's comment at all. If I log in however the Latest comment is from me and when I click on it I can see all the comments. I am using Firefox if that makes any difference.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:29pm

Thanks MDM.. great info. We'll investigate from our end.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 3:41pm

Woah, well done guys. Congrats to you all! Some pretty interesting forecast areas too. Karumba QLD!!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:00pm

Sweet, love it!!

And nice to see the international forecasts including my neck of the woods.

All the best and looking forward to your continued success.

1173

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:17pm

Unreal Zen. Would love to get some feedback on the forecasts from your region.

top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:02pm

Great work guys, love the overhaul.

salt's picture
salt's picture
salt commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:18pm

Awesome fellas, great work. My computer at work has an older browser would that be making the home screen wonky ie words going off the screen, word not showing up?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:22pm

Yeah unfortunately we had to make a decision as to how back we'd support various browser versions. And with IE on the decline (and already such a small percentage of our market) it's hard to justify spending time/money making it fit into somewhat archaic technology.

cron_mon's picture
cron_mon's picture
cron_mon commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:20pm

Nice roll out fellas. having relaunched Surfing Life a few times over, I know the feeling of relief you get once you've finally deployed. Yew!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:44pm

Congratulations it has been worth the wait! Great international coverage and all the info you need in one spot!

butts's picture
butts's picture
butts commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:44pm

Guys,

Big congrats!!! Its finally arrived. :-)

Nice, very nice indeed.

Ray Collins's picture
Ray Collins's picture
Ray Collins commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:47pm

Awesome guys, great work! So much detail, loving the primary/residual swell feature too!

timmeh's picture
timmeh's picture
timmeh commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 4:58pm

Just wondering why you've included Europe and not the America's in your surf forecast section Stu?
Site looks good! Any subscriber discounts for being a hated judge? haha

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:01pm

It's coming Timmeh, it's coming! The whole Earth's coastline is mapped and we'll roll out those regions not showing in the coming weeeks. When finished there'll be 2,000+ points.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:09pm

Interesting forecast places throughout the Medeteranian, Northern Territory, FNQ ect. Are you going to monitor the usage/hits or is it all an automated forecast upload?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:15pm

We'll be monitoring everything of course, however only the previous Australian locations will continue with manual forecasts for the time being. We will expand in this area in a comprehensive way over the coming weeks though.. stay tuned.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:02pm

Already got the sig sorted, eh Ray? Jeez you're a professional.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:11pm

The Japan surf report seems pretty accurate (for my area).

Stating NE winds at 15 kts, Sth swell at about 10 seconds in the 5-6ft range.

Partly cloudy, 19 deg.

Pretty much spot on.

I'n liking this new site already, well done guys.

1173

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:18pm

Great to hear Zen! 

We've been monitoring it closely for the Australian region and a few other international locations but it's good to get on the ground reports from the rest of the world.

rogg's picture
rogg's picture
rogg commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:33pm

After all you have been through its a pity its not responsive... Would be interested to know what % of visitors view on a mobile device, I'm sure like most websites these days its quite high.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:36pm

We've got a responsive mobile site on the way (due shortly), as well as two native Apps for Android and iPhone. We could have waited until the m-site was ready (to launch the website) but decided to launch with what we had an slowly roll out a long list of new functionality over the coming weeks and months.

rogg's picture
rogg's picture
rogg commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:42pm

Good to know, a responsive site if done well will be of more benefit to you than an app.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:43pm

Traffic wise yes, but monetising m-sites is rather tricky.

rogg's picture
rogg's picture
rogg commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:49pm

You mean getting any decent conversion rate out of advertising jammed into a mobile site. Yes, very hard. Traditional online ads don't convert as well as they did anyway, look to content integration, your store is going to be the winner in this as well.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 5:34pm

Monday 5pm, happy hour at the Swellnet office.

Tried to post a friggen photo of the three of us drinking Coopers and had as much luck as Wellymon posting photos on the old site.

Another bug I've gotta log.

Right after this beer...

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 6:12pm

Are you replacing your avatar too Stu? Or is that a "happy hour bug" :)

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 6:18pm

Well that's weird. I made a point of sticking with the old avatar - the 'tripkick' as Peter Bowes called it - but now it's dissappeared?

Another bug another beer.

Fair deal.

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 6:29pm

Awesome job SN, well worth the wait, high tech stuff, nice colours (Ocean kind of Green)?
Yeah Stu I couldnt really do to much on the old site, posting pictures, links etc.
Looking forward to your tutorials on forecasting, maybe even one for posting pics and links etc?
Have a beer for me :)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

jezza64's picture
jezza64's picture
jezza64 commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 7:24pm

Great new look. The new forecast stuff looks awesome. Doesn't quite make up for missing the weekends Vicco swell through a) in-laws 50th wedding anniversary and b) being crook as a dog. Will certainly remain my number one go to site.

niggly's picture
niggly's picture
niggly commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 7:32pm

looks great guys well done

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 8:14pm

Great looking site guys, well worth the wait! I'm also looking forward to checking out what you got in your new online store.
I've managed to test out one of the new Swellnet legropes thanks to Ben donating a few for our Daly Heads National Surfing Reserve fundraising drive. They are excellent quality and I can't wait to see what else can be purchased in the Swellnet Goody Bin! Bring it on;)

dave's picture
dave's picture
dave commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 9:11pm

Cracking work Lads, Looks great!

southey's picture
southey's picture
southey commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 9:26pm

do i have to re do my avatar .... or am i involved with the same Bug that lost Stu's
" layback - bottomturn " classic ...

one bug to bare .... could we get the page No's at the top of Forum pages aswell as the bottom .......

Congrats overall , for this healthy " overdue " electronic Baby ......

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

mitchvg's picture
mitchvg's picture
mitchvg commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 11:31pm

Would love to see the extended forecast back. Otherwise I like how it hasn't changed much in many ways, buttons along the top, etc. Still easy to find what you want. I really like the surfcam screenshots too.

Isn't there too many crocs in the gulf of carpenteria to surf anyway?

Also, Point Lookout has had long lulls between 3-4ft sets, coming in from somewhere more E than SE. 2ft in between sets. I've only bothered to hang around Main the last couple days so can't really say if there's been multiple swells or just waves bouncing off the headland. the wind has even felt offshore at times, never really onshore. Haven't quite had a land breeze though.

mitchvg's picture
mitchvg's picture
mitchvg commented Monday, 21 Oct 2013 at 11:42pm

How about the north end/sth end Goldy reports? Just sth end now? And does that go for wind obs too then?

Done away with the rating too I see

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 at 5:33am

There's just one Gold Coast forecast (previous forecast was duplcated anyway) however the 'south facing' aspect of the GC forecast is bang on for the northern end of the Goldy and TOS.

We have local wind obs from all locations and will shortly include a list of all nearest locations.

The loss of the rating is an oversight that will be restored soon.

hamo's picture
hamo's picture
hamo commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 at 9:43am

Let's face it - this website is more important than any other. Refine & define our surfing futures please!!! good work

HAMISH TILLER

braithy's picture
braithy's picture
braithy commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 at 1:56pm

Not sure what kind of server you got, and how it's different from the last one. But this site is about 200% faster.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 at 2:05pm

Yeah we're happy with the performance so far. And so we should, it's cost around 200% more than the last one!

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 at 4:28pm

Love the new site Ben et al. Nice work! Look forward to all the extra tweaks being added to it (and the app)

Go deeper Taylor, go deeper!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 at 4:31pm

Thanks yocal. We've got a huge amount of new features to add.. can't wait to get them all live!

sandspit's picture
sandspit's picture
sandspit commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 7:29am

love the upgrade, well done

thismancan's picture
thismancan's picture
thismancan commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 10:19am

I can't view surf cams I could before it's saying I need a player??is there an app I need also is there an app for swellnet now.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 10:26am

What OS and browser are you using to view the surfcams? They're working fine for most people, so the problem could be related to your computer or software.

Re: App - we don't have one yet but will do soon.

BennyT's picture
BennyT's picture
BennyT commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 11:15am

Love the new site. brilliant job will use it everyday

sandfly's picture
sandfly's picture
sandfly commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 4:00pm

Hi
I use Surf Tracker on the desktop of my PC. It has nothing past Friday. Will you still support this?

Sandfly

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 4:07pm

Should still be working sandfly, however we're not supporting it any more (and haven't for the last couple of years). I'm surprised that there are still people using it!

The Surf Tracker is fed data via Weatherzone so I'll try to see what's happening.

uncle's picture
uncle's picture
uncle commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 5:59pm

When opening up the reports and forecasts page could it have a drop down menu when you hover over the link instead of opening up in a new page and then having to select your state and spot?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 6:03pm

Yep, coming soon.

uncle's picture
uncle's picture
uncle commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 7:50am

Nice one.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 at 7:20pm

ok fellas how does the private message system work ?

xplorer's picture
xplorer's picture
xplorer commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 10:26am

The update looks great, fresh and clean and lots more functionality! Are you going to add in more locations such as America? Im off to the states in a few weeks and would love a forecast.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 10:30am

Yep, we've got the entire world covered (over 2,000 forecast locations covering about 5,000 surf spots) - we'll launch the rest of them over the coming weeks.

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 10:45am

South China Sea by any chance?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 10:57am

Yep, here's a screen grab of the locations that will have forecasts reecen..

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q10/sasurfa1/ScreenShot2013-10-24at10...

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 11:00am

Unreal thanks Craig.

xplorer's picture
xplorer's picture
xplorer commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 1:06pm

Rad!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 11:22am

We've had a few reports of surfcams not working. After speaking with our developer, they have passed on this information:

1. Sounds like a Flash Player issue.... there are some well documented Mac/Flash issues. The common solution I found is that Flash player should be upgraded. See: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3987917

2. The other solution is to disable hardware acceleration on the Flash player preferences. See here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/891337

3. The other solution is to use Chrome because it includes its own version of Flash.

Those of you experiencing surfcam problems - can you please try Chrome and see if you're still having issues?

southerncharger's picture
southerncharger's picture
southerncharger commented Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 at 8:38am

love the new site and extra locations, but what happened to the daily North East Report for Tasmania? I used that one a lot, will it reappear at some stage? Cheers

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 at 8:43am

The North-East daily surf report has been relabeled St Helens, howevere we realise that was a mistake so we're going to change it to Scamander in the coming weeks.

http://www.swellnet.com/reports/australia/tasmania/st-helens

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 at 5:35pm

Magic Seaweed MK 2.
I used to enjoy this site for its personal touch, unfortunately that has been lost. Living in Cabarita I would wake up in the morning and check both the Coolangatta and Ballina surf reports, after doing this for a while I got to know the individual reporters and their styles ( ie surf size, surface conditions etc) and could decipher the actual surf conditions and which spot to surf. You guys have now turned this site into a generic run of the mill surf site. From now on I will just be using the well known(some maybe not so) forecasting sites. But I digress, increased traffic equates to increased revenue and so the world goes on. You lost my vote but I'm sure you have gained thousands of clueless sheep. Well done.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 at 6:37pm

Dudette, actually we're a lot different from MSW. But, I'll point out those differences in another article in the near future.

As for you checking the Cooly and Ballina reports - they're still there (the Cooly reporter has now been renamed Gold Coast, but it's the same person taking the same images and writing the same reports etc).

So from your perspective, nothing has really changed except we've upgraded our forecasting capabilities in an exponential way.

andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt commented Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 at 6:56pm

Congratulations on the 3rd generation website Swellnet.
Super stoked with the WAMs and cams