I spent some time looking through a website for the first time the other day called SurfingAtlas.com. The site does not overly impress me, but it was worth taking a look at. Maybe I just need to spend more time figuring it out. In any case, I put together a summary of what I like and what I don’t like about the site to get you started, but take a look at it yourself to see what you think, then leave us some comments.
I like the video and photo galleries that accompany surf spots in their directory. I always hate when I am reading about a surf spot and there is no video or photo’s to go along with the description. SurfingAtlas has embedded YouTube videos throughout the site of just about every destination you can find.
I also like their Air, Sea, Swell, and Wind section under each spot, showing you the temperatures and behaviors of these elements during the different seasons of the year. It also shows you what type of wetsuit if any that you should need to surf that area each month of the year. I also like the symbols that give you all you need to know about a surf spot, and they do it really efficiently.
They tell you when the best tide is, what type of wave it is, what direction it goes, what swell size and direction is best, and what wind is best. The satellite images of each surf spot are pretty cool as well, but you can find those just as easily elsewhere. Lastly, I like that they are concerned about the earth, and are associated with organizations that help to protect our planet.
If it weren’t for all the things that I don’t like about this site, I would probably visit it more often. For example, the recommended board for each surf spot. These are obviously paid advertisements and are completely useless to someone who really wants to know what board they should use for a certain surf spot. For Rincon Point it told me to use a 9’6” McTavish longboard.
Anyone who knows Rincon knows it is a wave for rippers on shortboards and paddling out on a longboard will most likely get you into trouble. For Pipeline it recommended a 6’0” Aloha squash tail. That one is self-explanatory; I’d like to see someone out at Pipe on that board. I feel like I should also mention that the same 6′0″ board was recommended for Mavericks! The site is hard to navigate as well. They have tons of surf spots covering the earth, but good luck finding the one you are looking for by clicking on their little map thing, cause it is a pain.
SurfingAtlas has a forum for all topics of surf discussion, but you have to be a paid subscriber to use it, and therefore there is not a lot of discussion actually going on in the forum. There are all kinds of different membership options, but none of them really seem worth what you are paying for.
Yeah you get to be entered into the websites giveaways and contests, you get some free wax and maybe a few other things, you get to add surf spots and images to the site…but c’mon, do you really want to pay up to $150 a year for that?
I think that SurfingAtlas.com has a good concept going, but that it still needs a lot of work to turn into a solid competitor in the world of surfing websites. I will add, that if their iPhone App works as well as they say it will when it comes out, then that might be something worthy of getting your hands on.