I’ve tried just about every surf-reporting/forecasting app in iTunes, and I have to say the updated Magic Seaweed app (version 3 was released a month or so ago), has become my go-to app.
If you tried version two of the app, you might have been underwhelmed. This is a massive upgrade with big improvements. For starters, it’s much faster than version two, and so far very stable.
When you “favorite” a spot and click on it, you’ve got an impressive rundown of everything from current conditions, swell size and period, wind, charts, tides and more right there. Now, many apps have this, but the interface gives you the important info up front, and from there, accessing deeper information is quite easy.
The long range forecast gives a snapshot of the upcoming seven days (ten days for the pro version upgrade, which is $3), complete with MSW’s star rating, swell size and period, wind, and weather, and you can click on individual days for a detailed look at the surf throughout that day.
Where things start to get very interesting with this app is the “wave height settings” function. It allows you to tweak the surf heights of the individual spots so they more closely match how the break handles swell, or your own size scale. A break might have a submarine canyon that funnels swell in, or perhaps they’re more sheltered than the swell size of the report indicates. Now you can customize that surf size (as opposed to the actual swell information) for a more accurate individual forecast. The MSW folks have indicated this feature will be coming to their website as well.
Another big plus is easy access to buoy information. For those that like to see what the actual buoy readings are, you can access nearby buoys from the “home” tab. While it only gives you the height and period, and doesn’t drill down into some of the other buoy info, it shows the hourly readings in numbers so that you can clearly see when a swell has well and truly arrived. I’ve tried some other buoy apps that show the buoy info as a graph, and it’s nowhere as clear as seeing the actual numbers by the hour, similar to how it appears when looking at the individual web pages of a buoy. Getting it listed like this is surprisingly hard to find on other apps.
Perhaps best of all, it’s a free app. There is a “pro” version you can upgrade to for $3 a year, which ups the forecast to 10 days, gives forecast probabilities, multi-swell data, and wind gust info along with a few other things. It’s a modest upgrade, but it’s also not costly. If nothing else, you could get the upgrade just to support some people that have obviously put a ton of time and thought into making a solid surf-forecasting app.—Casey Koteen
- 7 day forecast.
- Forecast gives you surf/wave height (not just the swell).
- You can configure the surf height forecast for every spot.
- Stormrider Guide integration (online only).
- Live spot-by-spot conditions.
- Swell, wind, period and pressure charts.
- 7 Day tide curves.
- Live wave buoy data.
- Live wind station data.
- Live surf reports from our network of trusted reporters.
- MSW editorial features.
- Photo of the day.
- Favourite spots.
- Surf specific photo gallery.
- Surf spot/beach local business directory.
- Roaming mode.
MSW Mobile Pro Users (in-app subscription)
- 10 day forecast.
- 10 day tide curves.
- Forecast probability.
- Wind gusts.
- Wind chill.