We had the opportunity to test the Rip Curl Search GPS 2, a watch for surfers. It has legitimate ground-breaking technology, that analyses your session live, to show all manner of interesting stats: the number of waves you’ve caught, the distance of your longest wave, how far you’ve paddled and top speeds can all be seen whilst surfing, and later logged to your phone and shared with mates. It also shows location, tide levels and real time local surf conditions for wind and swell size. In short, it shows a lot. And if you like data, and what guy doesn’t, then you’ll love this watch.
It’s an update on the original Search GPS that came out 4 and a half years ago, with improvements on literally everything. It’s a more favourable size (25% smaller, to easily fit within your wetsuit), there’s more sports beyond surfing to track (such as swimming, running and snowboarding) and it’s even come down in price to a respectable $399.
According to Shane Helm, Rip Curl’s Watches Product Chairman, it’s also extremely popular with more than 44,178 users that are growing quickly. “We’ve had nearly 1.4 million surfs, 15 million waves have been ridden using the GPS watch, we have paddled to the moon and back 12.43 times, paddled around the planet 150 times, and surfed around the planet 36 times.”
What we thought
The watch is great motivation for anyone who’s data driven, and every surf I’m trying to improve on one metric or the other. Some days it’s increasing my wave count, often averaging 10-15 waves a session (25 waves has been the max). Other times it’s trying to beat my maximum wave speed or furthest distance (a respectable top speed of 22km/hr and 129m in length at Crescent Head so far).
It syncs with the Rip Curl Search app very simply after each surf, and the session interface will give you all the details you’d ever need about your surf.
The watch isn’t bulky, and it’s comfortable enough to have on the wrist all day and night, it doesn’t have to be used exclusively for surfing. As a multi- sport tracker the run and swim options are fine for basic info, unfortunately I forgot to bring it with me when snowboarding recently but would love to get live speed updates.
All up, an affordable top piece of kit to help you share, understand, remember and improve, your skills. Highly recommended.
Watch a few of the below vids, get amped, purchase here, then go surf!