How The NOMAD Rugged Strap Has Helped The Apple Watch Become The Ultimate Surf Watch.

The Apple Watch has become synonymous with fitness. In our opinion there’s not a better watch on the market at gathering metrics and data – it’s become an important tool for measuring progress and increasing performance. And with its water resistant design, depth meter, and on-board GPS. Here at Dawn Patrol we aim to use these tools to transform Apple Watch into the worlds best surf watch. 

Here’s everything you need to know about surfing with an Apple Watch.

A big question we frequently get asked is “can you bring an Apple Watch to the beach?” or “can you surf with an Apple Watch.” First off, Apple Watch is completely waterproof and tightly sealed so no water or sand can get in. Secondly, when combined with a proper strap, Apple Watches are really tough and perfect for the beach!

Our confidence in Apple Watches began in 2017 when we began surfing with the Apple Watch 2 and the creation of Dawn Patrol. But since then many big wave surfers have conquered HUGE waves using Dawn Patrol on the Apple Watch. Now secured by what we believe to be the best Apple Watch Strap for surfing, NOMAD straps. Matt Bromley paddled out to 50 foot Jaws while wearing his Apple Watch and a Nomad Rugged Strap. Both he and the Apple Watch survived in the ocean. And just to make sure the Apple Watch really held its own, Matt Bromley then flew over to California that same week to test it out at 40 foot Maverick’s!

“So far my Apple Watch has been super resilient to wipeouts and being pushed deep under the water, which is quite unique for such a high tech watch. I had two of my worst wipeouts at Jaws and at Mavericks on the days of the year.”

  • Matt Bromley

Our Surf-Specific Apple Watch Faces

Once you have installed the Dawn Patrol on your Apple Watch, you can then install the Official Dawn Patrol Watch Faces, these feature swell height, swell direction, period, tide, and water temperature. (See more about these here). Thanks to Apple Watch’s on-board GPS, you can automatically sync with your location to update the swell forecast for your nearest break. So, if you’re on a mission in search of the perfect spot, Dawn Patrol will get you the info you need right on your wrist.

Dawn Patrol allows you to track your surf sessions. Before you get into the water to surf, all you have to do is load up the app on your Apple Watch and hit ‘Start Surfing.’ (Or just ask Siri to ‘start surfing with Dawn Patrol’. And that’s it. Dawn Patrol will do the rest. Throughout your session Dawn Patrol will track:

How many waves you’ve caught

How fast you were going on each wave

Distance you’ve paddled

Time spent riding waves

How long your session was

You can also peek at your watch in the middle of your session to see how you’re doing. This is a great feature if you want to set goals for yourself in the water. When checking on how many waves you have caught you can also identify the current tidal position and movement. Handy when your spot only works an hour each side of low tide…

Once you’ve finished surfing and end your session, the fun begins. Dawn Patrol syncs with your iPhone and you can see how many waves you caught, total wave distance, total wave time, and how long your session was. You can also see how fast and how far you surfed on each wave, as well as the route of the wave from a satellite view. If you’re into challenging yourself and beating personal records, Dawn Patrol keeps a record of your longest wave and fastest speed. You can use this information to set personal goals and try to beat it. Big wave surfer Ridge Lenny uses this data to track his surf sessions.

Dawn Patrol became my go-to app and I was amped to see what kind of data I could get in big waves. My fastest speed so far was 40.6mph out at Nazare.

Ridge Lenny 2020
Ridge Lenny clocking 40.6 mph at Nazare, Portugal.

Measure Your Heart Rate and Calories Burned

Dawn Patrol also integrates with Apple’s Health and Activity apps to measure your heart rate and calories burned for each session. This is a convenient way of keeping all your data in one place, and not having to jump from app to app in search for the statistics you need. 

So why the NOMAD Rugged Strap?

In our experience, (honestly we’ve tried a LOT of straps)… The NOMAD rugged, active and sport straps make the Apple Watch the ultimate surf watch. Combining sleek designs with functionality and longevity these straps are built to withstand the elements. 

The NOMAD straps have been designed to suit everyday living as well as an outdoors lifestyle, from the office to the beach, these straps never look out of place. This combined with NOMAD’s ethos “Nomad is and always will be a company that prioritizes design and quality over everything else. One of the most important aspects to us when designing new products is that we use the highest quality, longest-lasting materials available. We design all of our concepts from the ground up, rather than white labeling existing products. From the Horween Leather we use for our cases and Apple Watch straps, to the rugged Kevlar® construction of our cables, we choose materials that stand out and outlast. It costs more to do so, but the cost isn’t as important as the value that doing so creates.” You can be sure your Apple Watch is in safe hands.

Browse the NOMAD Apple Watch Strap range here