Beginner Surf Gear

What is the Best Surf Watch?

A great surf watch is one of the most important surfing accessories. Surf watches make your life a lot more organized and stop you from losing track of time in the water. However, today’s surf watches offer so much more than just keeping time. 

You can use your surf watch to stay ahead of the tidal movements, monitor your surf sessions, and even take a phone call while in the water. 

Follow this guide for everything you need to know about surf watches in 2022, including a roundup of the best products available right now. 

best surf watches

What is a Surf Watch?

A surf watch is any kind of watch that you can wear while surfing. This could be a simple water resistant watch, or a more advanced watch that tracks the tide and provides a mini surf report on your wrist. 

Watches that are specifically designed for surfing include features like tide, sun, and moon data for different surf locations, as well as various fitness features.

Features of a Surf Watch

There are many different surf watches available with all kinds of features. Some watches just cover the essentials, while others are like a full computer on your wrist. Here are some of the different features you can find on a surf watch.

Basic Watch Functions

Any decent surf watch has to fulfill the basic duties of a watch – which is to tell the time. At the least, surf watches should tell the time and date. Watches also generally have a timer and alarm built into them. 

Water Resistance

Without being water resistant, a surf watch is just a watch. Surfing doesn’t require great depths, so there’s no need for a scuba diving level of water resistance. However, the deeper the watch can go, the safer it will be.

Most good surf watches have 100-meter water resistance, which is plenty of depth for surfing. Anything less than 30 meters of water resistance is not ideal.

surfing cut back

Surf Functions

Some surf watches are taken to the next level with a range of surf-specific functions. This includes things like tracking the swell, wind, and tide. Great surf watches can include features like a wave counter, a sunrise and sunset timer, and precise tidal data for different beach locations. 

Fitness Functions

Your watch can also monitor your surf sessions (or any other exercise session), keep track of your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more. If you’re serious about the sport and fitness side of surfing, then these watches are very helpful.

9 Best Surf Watches

Here are 9 of the best surf watches available right now. These watches include high-tech options to basic water-resistant timepieces.

Apple Watch Series 7

  • Includes a sensor to measure blood oxygen
  • Provides heart rate rhythm notifications
  • Track a wide range of workouts
  • Complete connectivity

An Apple Watch is the ultimate when it comes to wearable tech. Its powerful technology and advanced design make it the ideal surf watch.

These watches have complete connectivity, which means you can get calls and texts, use Siri, listen to music, and more, all from the watch. You also get complete fitness tracking through the watch, which lets you monitor each surf session. This can be a big motivator to push you harder with each surf session.

While you surf, your Apple Watch can monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen. You can even track your sleep. This can be a big bonus for anyone who wants to take the health and fitness side of surfing more seriously.

Like any great surf watch, the Apple Watch 7 Series is swim-proof, crack-resistant, and duster resistant. The watch has a huge screen which makes everything a lot easier to see and control – especially when you’re in the water.

If you’re looking for a high-tech surf watch that does a lot more than just tell the time, then this Apple Watch will become your new favorite gadget.

Apple watch series 7 gps

Nixon High Tide Surf Watch

  • Precise tide, sun, and moon data for 550 locations
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters
  • High-resolution MLCD
  • Maximum durability

The Nixon High Tide is undoubtedly one of the best surf watches due to its comfort, durability, and water resistance. This is a practical watch for any surfer, with water-resistance of up to 100 meters and a 23mm rubber band. The watch is built to withstand heavy use in the water while remaining totally comfortable to wear.

Although this surf watch has a very bold and simple design, the functions of the watch are far from simple. It comes with 550 pre-programmed locations with precise tide, sun, and moon data to make planning your surf sessions a lot easier.

The watch looks great with its front-lit, high-resolution MLCD. It’s also made from recycled ocean plastics, helping you do your part to save the planet. The watch is available in a range of colors to match any surfer’s style

Nixon high tide surf watch

Rip Curl Search Smart Watch

  • Tracks the swell, wind, and tide
  • Includes GPS tracking
  • View live stats and record your wave count
  • Complete location accuracy

Rip Curl has designed one of the most advanced surf watches to help you make the most of every session. This watch lets surfers view live stats with each surf, including their wave count, top speeds, distance traveled, and session time. The watch records all of your activities, which you can connect and share with your friends. 

The watch also offers accurate swell, wind, and tide information. Access real-time surf conditions with GPS tracking that offers improved location accuracy. The watch displays detailed tide charts and surf conditions powered by Surfline.

Being a surf watch, this model has 100-meter water resistance. It’s also completely durable in its strong rubber housing. The watch is smaller and more lightweight than many other surf watches, but it still offers every feature you would want with a clear and easy display. 

Ripcurl search smart watch

Suunto Core Outdoor Sports Watch

  • Includes a storm alarm, altimeter, barometer, and compass
  • Includes predicted times for sunrise and sunset
  • Tracks sports and daily activity
  • 30-meter water-resistant

The Suunto Core is an advanced watch for any kind of outdoor sport. You can use it to track your sports, daily activity, and sleep. The watch comes equipped with a range of intelligent features like a storm alarm, a barometer, an altimeter, and a compass to keep you up to date with the conditions around you. 

The big screen of the watch displays dual times, a date display, alarms, and predicted times for sunrise and sunset. You’ll have all the information you need to perfectly plan your surf trips – or any other outdoor sports. 

This watch is made from ultra-durable materials and offers water resistance up to 30 meters. If you’re after a surf watch that you can wear while surfing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and more, then this is an excellent choice. 

suunto core surf watch

Nixon Base Tide Pro Men’s Surf Watch

  • Pre-programmed tide information for 550 beaches
  • Shows sunrise and sunset data
  • Includes a wave counter
  • 100-meter water resistance

The Base Tide Pro is another high-quality surf watch from Nixon. This watch displays pre-programmed tide information for 550 beaches around the world. It also offers accurate sunrise and sunset data, making it a very handy gadget for planning your surf trips. 

The watch is made from a fiber-reinforced polycarbonate case with 100-meter water resistance. There’s no need to worry about the watch getting damaged while you wear it in the ocean. 

You also get the date, a chronograph timer, three alarms, a backlight, and Nixon’s patented locking looper. When creating this watch, Nixon stripped away any unnecessary functions that weren’t helpful, leaving you with a powerful, durable, and straightforward surf watch. The watch is also made from recycled ocean plastic and is available in a range of colors. 

Nixon base tide pro surf watch

Rip Curl Men’s Quartz Sport Watch

  • Able to set averaging tide for thousands of tide locations and future tide functions
  • Includes a heat countdown timer
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters
  • Lightweight and durable

The Rip Curl Men’s Quartz Sport Watch has a similar look to the Apple Watch with its LCD screen display, but with more of a focus on surfing. The watch includes versatile graph and detailed tide displays. It has the ability to understand averaging tide for thousands of tide locations and future tide functions. 

The watch has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal lens housed in a solid stainless steel bezel. Then there’s the durable and lightweight ergonomically rounded polycarbonate case. You won’t need to worry about comfort or durability when wearing this watch. It’s also water-resistant to 100 meters.

Rip curl mens quartz

Nixon Heat Men’s Ultra-Thin Watch

  • A durable low-profile sports watch
  • Custom digital LCD module
  • Hardened mineral crystal and stainless steel case
  • 100 meters water resistance

When it comes to surf watches, Nixon is always one of the best brands to consider. This watch is designed for athletes, with its ultra-thin low-profile design. The watch is incredibly lightweight while remaining seriously durable. You can comfortably use it in the ocean without any worry.

Surf watches with big screens are always helpful. This watch has a large LCD display that shows you the time, date, and includes custom timer settings. There’s a fun “Final Countdown” timer that has a 60 second “SEND IT!” notification to push you while training.

This watch may not track the tide or sunrise, but it’s durable, it’s comfortable, and looks great. If you just want a surf watch that can tell the time, this is a top choice. 

Nixon heat sport

Freestyle USA Shark Clip Watch

  • Brightly colored sports watch
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters
  • 33mm shock-resistant plastic case
  • Includes a 24 city world time function

If you’re looking for a bright and bold watch to make a statement – this is it. It’s a colorful retro watch with simple, but powerful functionalities. Don’t expect to monitor the tides or your heart rate with this surf watch. It can tell the time, date, set alarms, and run a timer. That’s about all in terms of functionality

This doesn’t mean it’s not an awesome surf watch though. The watch is incredibly durable, made with a 33mm shock-resistant plastic case and a mineral dial window. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters and has a nylon band with buckle closure. It’s a simple and fun surf watch for anyone that just needs to keep an eye on the time while in the water.

Freestyle USA shark clip watch

Casio Men’s G-SHOCK Quartz Watch

  • Solar-powered watch
  • Water-resistant to 200 meters
  • Shock resistance
  • World time across 29 time zones

This Casio watch is a classic. It’s not designed for high-fashion or high-tech functionality, but it would be hard to find a more durable and practical watch for surfing. 

This watch has impressive 200-meter water resistance. The watch’s functions include timekeeping (of course), shock resistance, city code display, 5 daily alarms, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, battery indicator, and an auto-calendar. Everything you need from a watch.

It’s also completely solar-powered, with a battery that will last approximately 10 months without exposure to light. Besides scuba diving, this watch is suitable for all kinds of serious water sports. It’s strong, comfortable, and does everything you need a watch to do. 

Casio g shock


A surf watch is one of the most valuable accessories any surfer will own. These watches perform the essential function of keeping time, while also being able to enhance your sessions in many different ways. 

Whether it’s a simple watch for timekeeping or something more advanced, you simply can’t go without a surf watch in today’s world. 


What is a tide watch?

These are watches that tell the time, as well as the movements of the water. Tide watches include tidal information for locations all around the world. 

Can you use an Apple watch in saltwater?

An Apple watch can be worn in the ocean and is suitable for shallow-water activities. Many surfers use Apple Watches to keep time in the water. 

What watches do pro surfers wear?

Many pro surfers wear Apple watches, or special surf watches like watches from Rip Curl, Nixon, and Suunto. 

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