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Measuring the Swell: Surf Report Review

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/31/2011

A standard iPhone application that tells you how the surf is at specific beaches around the world, and how cool Oakley still thinks they are.

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    Everything You Need

    The iPhone has positioned itself similar to others in the smart phone community to be everything that you are going to need in a mobile device. Not only should you get all the communication abilities that are possible, but also news, weather, and financial information. More than this, you should be able to specialize your device with applications to fit your needs. This principle is applied perfectly with Surf Report when it comes to surfers and waves.

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    The application consists of three detailed options. The first is the Locations tab, which is divided into eleven areas of the world. These range from North America to the Indian Ocean to New Zealand. From here you can select those areas and get specific countries or zones, then select them and get even further specific. This goes on quite a while until you get to the exact beach you are looking for. Once you do select a beach you get information for that day as well as the upcoming forecast. The profiles are nicely put together with basic weather and the size of the average swell, which is accompanied by nice graphics. Along with this we are also given a GPS locator on the location in question in case we need to find it.

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    News and Settings

    Along with the location details, there is the Community tab. This includes surf news, photos, video, and information on the Oakley Surf team. Though the video section simply links to a website, the other sections are quite nice and easy to work with. The settings allow you to customize the options as they apply to GPS locating, which is a nice addition.

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    Nice Surf News

    The program really stands out with its main function, which is to find specific surf locations and tell you what the conditions are like. It does it effectively and gives you the information on weather and waves that you need. For any surfer this may be a must have application.

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    It is not without its major flaws, and they may be enough to distract it main users. Many times the forecast information is simply unavailable and the GPS location is slow and occasionally unreliable. The software also acts as major advertisement for Oakley, even giving their sponsored team an entire section. It is also difficult to get back to the program if a tab automatically sends you into Safari for internet viewing.

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    Good If You Need It

    Beyond these somewhat minor complaints this is still one of the better free applications that are available, but only if you are going to use it. Seven and a half stars out of ten.