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Best Surf Watches in 2024

Surfing is more than just a sport; it’s an exhilarating way of life that requires precision, timing, and optimal conditions. A reliable surf watch is indispensable for surfers, providing essential information like tide times, wave forecasts, and moon phases. These features ensure you catch the best waves and stay safe in the water. The rise of smart surf watches has further enhanced the surfing experience by integrating GPS, fitness tracking, and environmental sensors.

 

In this guide, we’ll explore the best surf watches of 2024, reviewing key features to look for such as water resistance, durability, battery life, and smart functionalities. We’ll also compare top brands like Garmin, Apple, Nixon, and Casio, helping you find the perfect watch tailored to your surfing needs. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, this guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview to help you choose the best surf watch for your adventures on the waves.

Key Features to Look for in Surf Watches

Selecting the best surf watch involves considering several critical features that enhance your surfing experience. Here's a detailed look at what to prioritize:

🌊 Water Resistance Rating

Water resistance is non-negotiable for surf watches. The rating tells you how well the watch can withstand water and pressure.

RatingSuitable For
50M/5ATMCasual swimming 🌴
100M/10ATMSurfing, snorkeling 🌊
200M/20ATMProfessional marine activities 🐠

🌊 Tide Tracking and Surf Forecasting

Knowing tide times and surf conditions is crucial for catching the perfect wave. Surf watches with tide tracking and surf forecasting help you plan your sessions more effectively. Some models even provide moon phase data, which can influence tides and surfing conditions.

🛠️ Durability and Build Quality

Your surf watch should be built to last. Look for materials like stainless steel, high-grade plastic, or rubber. Brands such as Casio G-Shock and Nixon High Tide are renowned for their rugged, durable designs that withstand salty water and physical impacts.

🔋 Battery Life

Long-lasting battery life is essential, especially for extended surf sessions. Many top models offer solar-powered options, like the Garmin Instinct Solar Surf, ensuring you never run out of juice in the middle of the waves.

📱 Smart Features

Modern surf watches come with smart features, integrating seamlessly with apps and other smart devices. From fitness tracking to notifications, these features make your surf watch a multifunctional tool for daily life as well as surfing.

🌍 GPS and Environmental Sensors

GPS and environmental sensors enhance your surfing experience by tracking your location, wave count, and even providing weather updates. These features are vital for surfers who frequent multiple spots and want to improve their performance.

👀 Ease of Use and Readability

Surfing often means bright sun and fast movements. Thus, your watch must have a clear, easily readable display. Look for high-contrast screens and intuitive interfaces that allow you to access critical information quickly.

Top Surf Watch Brands

When it comes to surf watches, not all brands are created equal. Here’s a quick overview of the leading brands that surfers trust for both performance and reliability:

🌍 Top Brands at a Glance

BrandReputation 🌟Key Features 🛠️
Garmin⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐GPS, smart features, solar power
Apple⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐App integration, water-resistant
Nixon⭐⭐⭐⭐Tide tracking, rugged build
Casio⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Durability, affordability, tide graphs
Rip Curl⭐⭐⭐⭐Surf-specific features, real-time wave data
Timex⭐⭐⭐⭐Tide tracking, digital sensors, durability

Brand Profiles

  • Garmin: Known for its advanced GPS and environmental sensors, Garmin’s surf watches are perfect for tech-savvy surfers. The Garmin Instinct Solar Surf is a standout model.
  • Apple: The Apple Watch Series, especially the Apple Watch Ultra, offers seamless app integration and excellent water resistance, making it a versatile choice for surfers.
  • Nixon: With models like the Nixon Base Tide Pro, Nixon combines style and functionality. The brand is celebrated for its pre-programmed tide information and durable designs.
  • Casio: Iconic for its G-Shock series, Casio offers robust watches that are both reliable and affordable. The Casio G-Shock G-LIDE is a popular choice among surfers.
  • Rip Curl: Specializing in surf-specific features, Rip Curl’s Search GPS 2 excels in tide tracking and real-time wave data.
  • Timex: Known for its durability and affordability, Timex offers watches like the Timex Allied Tide Temp Compass, featuring tide tracking and digital sensors.

By choosing from these top brands, surfers can be assured of quality, durability, and the essential features needed to enhance their surfing experience.

Best Surf Watches of 2024

QUICK LIST OF PRODUCTS

BEST OVERALL

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Surf-Edition, GPS Outdoor Watch, Solar Charging Capabilities, Surfing Features, Tracback Routing, Bells Beach 45 MM

★★★★★
Solar-powered watch with comprehensive tide data and fitness tracking; perfect for extended surf sessions.

BEST FOR DURABILITY

Rip Curl Search GPS 2 Surf Watch

★★★★
Real-time wind and swell reports, wave tracking; ideal for optimizing surf sessions

BEST FOR EASE OF USE

Garmin Venu 2, GPS Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate Bezel with Black Case and Silicone Band , 27.9 mm

★★★★☆
Fitness tracking with waterproof capability; versatile for health-focused surfers.

BEST APPLE SMARTWATCH FOR SURFING

Apple Watch Ultra 2 [GPS + Cellular 49mm] Smartwatch with Rugged Titanium Case & Blue Alpine Loop Medium. Fitness Tracker, Precision GPS, Action Button, Extra-Long Battery Life, Carbon Neutral

★★★★★
Water-resistant with GPS and surf apps; excellent for tracking waves, tides, and personal performance

BEST BUDGET OPTION

Casio Classic F91W Series Quartz Watch | Water Resistant |1/100 Second Stopwatch | Daily Alarm | Hourly Time Signal |Auto Calendar |SS Caseback |12/24-Hour Format

★★★★
Affordable and robust; great for beginner surfers needing reliability and durability.

BEST AFFORDABLE TIDE

NIXON Rival A1310-100m Water Resistant Women's Digital Surf Watch (38mm Watch Face, 20mm-19mm Pu/Rubber/Silicone Band)- Made with #Tide Recycled Ocean Plastics

★★★★
Silicone band with pre-programmed tides; convenient for everyday surfers.

BEST VERSATILE

Casio G-Shock G-Lide Teal Resin Surf Watch GBX100-2

★★★★☆
Tide graphs and moon data; withstands rough surf conditions while providing essential information.

BEST FOR TIDE TRACKING 

NIXON Base Tide Pro A1307 Digital Watch for Men and Women - Water Resistant Surfing, Diving, Fishing Watch - Water Sport Watches for Men - 42mm Watch Face, 24mm PU Band

★★★★☆
Pre-programmed tide data, sunrise/sunset times; a stylish and functional choice for surfers.

BEST SURF-SPECIFIC FEATURES

CASIO G-Shock GW-7900B-1ER Men's Watch, Black

★★★★☆
Tide graph and multi-band radio control; rugged and precise for dedicated surfers.

BEST FOR FITNESS TRACKING

Timex Men's Intelligent Quartz® Tide Temp Compass 45mm Watch

★★★★
Tide tracking and digital sensors; keeps you prepared for various surf conditions

BEST OVERALL

Case Size: 45 x 45 x 14.20 mm
Band Width: 22 mm QuickFit™ compatible
Weight: 53 grams
Display Size: Custom, two-window design; 0.9″ x 0.9″ (23 x 23 mm)
Display Resolution: 176 x 176 pixels
Lens Material: Corning® Gorilla® Glass

1. Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Surf ★★★★

PROS +Solar Charging
+Surf-Specific Features
+Durable Design
   
CONS -Price
   
SIMILAR MODELS View At Amazon (010-02626-70)
View At Amazon (010-02563-14) 
View At Amazon (010-02564-10)      

Short review

The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar, Surf-Edition is a top contender for best surf watches in 2024, boasting impressive features tailored specifically for surfers. This rugged GPS outdoor watch is designed to endure harsh ocean conditions with its durable build of fiber-reinforced polymer case and Corning® Gorilla® Glass. The 45mm model, named "Bells Beach," offers solar charging capabilities, ensuring extended battery life. Ideal for surf enthusiasts, it includes specialized surfing features like tide data, surf activity tracking, and the Surfline Sessions™ feature for capturing and reviewing wave rides. TracBack routing provides navigational assistance, making it perfect for ocean adventurers. With a water rating of 100 meters, it’s built to withstand deep dives and high waves. Whether you're at Bells Beach or any other surf spot, the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar keeps you connected, informed, and ready to catch the perfect wave.

MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

✅ You Need Surf-Specific Features- The watch includes comprehensive surf tools like tide data to understand ocean conditions, surf activity tracking to log the number of waves surfed, speed, and distance, and Surfline Sessions™ which records your rides for later review.
You Need Advanced Health Monitoring - Features like advanced sleep and stress tracking, hydration monitoring, and health snapshots can offer valuable insights into your overall well-being and readiness for future activities

DON'T MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

❌ You Have Smaller Wrists - The 45mm case size is relatively large, which might feel bulky and uncomfortable on smaller wrists, potentially interfering with comfort during surfing.

BEST APPLE SMARTWATCH FOR SURFING

Case Diameter: 49mm
Case Material: Titanium (rugged and corrosion-resistant)
Display Type: Always-On Retina LTPO OLED
Glass Type: Flat sapphire crystal display
Water Resistance: 100 meters (swim-proof) and EN13319 certified for recreational scuba diving up to 40 meters

2. Apple Watch Ultra 2 ★★★★★

PROS +Rugged Titanium Case
+Precision GPS
+Always-On Retina Display
   
CONS -Size and Weight
   
SIMILAR MODELS View At Amazon (Blue Ocean Band)
View At Amazon (‎Indigo Alpine Loop​) 
View At Amazon (Beige Trail Loop)      

 

Short review

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is an exceptional choice for surfers seeking a high-performance, durable smartwatch. Featuring a rugged titanium case and a Blue Alpine Loop, this GPS + Cellular timepiece ensures reliable performance in harsh marine environments. Its precision dual-frequency GPS provides accurate location tracking, while the customizable Action Button offers quick access to essential functions. Water-resistant up to 100 meters and EN13319 certified, it's built to handle intense water activities.

Benefit from extended battery life, lasting up to 36 hours, with options for low power settings. The extra-bright Always-On Retina display remains visible under direct sunlight, perfect for checking wave forecasts and tide times. This carbon-neutral watch also includes advanced safety features like Crash Detection and a powerful 86-decibel siren. Ideal for surfers, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 combines functionality with eco-conscious design, standing out as one of the best surf watches available in 2024.

MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

✅ You Need Accurate GPS - Employs both L1 and L5 frequencies for highly accurate location tracking. This is crucial for surfers who want precise data on their surfing routes, distance covered, and performance metrics.

✅ You Value Extended Battery Life - Offers up to 36 hours of normal use and up to 72 hours in low power mode. This is beneficial for long-duration activities such as full-day surf trips or multi-day excursions

DON'T MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

❌ You Only Need Basic Surf Functions - If your primary requirement is basic surf tracking and tide information, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 may offer more features than you need, making less complex and less expensive alternatives more appealing.

BEST FOR TIDE TRACKING

Movement: Custom digital module with tide info for 550 beaches.
Band: 24mm silicone, double locking looper.
Dial: Negative LCD tide graph.
Case: 42mm, recycled ocean plastics, 100m water resistance.
Water Rating: 100 Meter / 10 ATM.

3. Nixon Base Tide Pro ★★★★☆

PROS +Eco-Friendly Materials
+Comprehensive Tide Info
+Comfortable Fit
   
CONS -Non-Replaceable Battery
   
SIMILAR MODELS View At Amazon (Black)
View At Amazon (Green Positive) 
View At Amazon (Dark Slate)      

Short review

When looking for the best surf watches in 2024, the NIXON Base Tide Pro A1307 stands out as a top choice for both men and women. This high-performance surf watch combines function and durability, featuring a 42mm digital EL backlight screen and a robust 24mm PU band with a double locking looper for added security. Its waterproof timepiece is perfect for surfing, diving, and fishing, boasting a 100-meter/10 ATM water rating.

The NIXON Base Tide Pro is custom-built with pre-programmed tide information for 550 beaches worldwide, ensuring you stay informed on the tides, sunrise/sunset data, and wave conditions. It includes essential surf tracking features like multiple alarms, a countdown timer, wave counter, and a chronograph. Made with #tide recycled ocean plastics, it’s an eco-friendly surf watch that values our oceans. Whether you are a professional surfer or a water sports enthusiast, this tide watch keeps you connected and ready for adventure.

MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

✅ You Need Comprehensive Tide Info- For surfers who rely on accurate tidal information, this watch comes pre-programmed with tide data for 550 global beaches. This ensures you always have access to essential tidal information, making it easier to catch the best waves.
✅ You Value Practical Features - he Nixon Base Tide Pro offers a range of useful functions, including time, date, sunrise/sunset data, alarms, a countdown timer, wave counter, and chronograph. These features are particularly beneficial for surfers who need to keep track of various metrics.

DON'T MAKE A PURCHASE IF:

❌ You Need Advanced Smart Features - This watch lacks the smart capabilities found in more advanced surf watches, such as GPS tracking, fitness tracking, and smartphone notifications. If these features are important to you, you might want to consider other options.

BEST FOR DURABILITY

Case Material: ABS Hardened Plastic.
Case Size: 43mm.
Display: Digital display with a backlight for easy reading.
Additional Features:</