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Coastal Watch Plus, Why Pay For Whats Free?

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When you think back ten years and consider that the Internet was in it's infancy its amazing to see how far technology has come. Back then if you'd have told me that a few years down the track I would be able to get a live video feed of over 120 surf spots around Australia I would have told you to stop smoking the herb.

The free service that Coastal Watch has provided for the past ten years is amazing, they have evolved into the only website to visit if you want to check what the surfs doing, find out the forecast and see whats going on in the world of surfing. So why would you pay for something that has been free for the last decade?


The Internet and Web 2.0 provides a socially networked environment where our preferences are a valued commodity, companies are willing to pay big bucks to know what your into. The introduction of Coastal Watch Plus lets you create an environment that delivers your preferences upon login, the current conditions at your local surf spot are the main focus of your personalized environment.

Above the Coastal Watch Plus navigation menu is a Widget containing current tide, swell and wind conditions, the further functionality of this Widget is very cool, when you hit the small arrow to the right of the Widget all of your favorite surf spots drop down and you have just saved yourself $40 in fuel.

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On the camera page the live video feed is presented in a larger flash box with easy navigation to hourly replays, live still images and current weather warnings. Under the video feed more information is displayed utilising easy to interpret graphs and icons. A surf report updated by a human gives you a star rating of conditions and a brief report along with a three day forecast, wind history, tides and moon for the coming week. I previously visited four different websites for this information!

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The Surf Diary is very cool, its easy to update and it offers to create an alert if your star rating is high. When you update your Surf Diary it updates the Surf session feed, so use with caution as everyone checking the feed will know where and when you scored. They have allocated space for users to upload video and photos so you can prove to your friends that it truly was as good as you claim it was.

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The alerts are handy if like me you are stuck inside most of the day you wont miss out if the wind swings offshore and the surf starts to pump at your local spot. It appears that a classifieds section is going to be implemented in the future so I can see unloading your old boards will be easier than dealing with ebay.

Coastal Watch Plus is offering a free 15 day trial following that subscriptions start from $1.35 per week. As an added bonus, new members will receive $110 worth of surfing gear, including a subscription to Surfing World magazine when they sign up. So for the price of a chocolate frog I will be signing up to stay tuned in with the ocean, less travel time equals more surf time and you will be doing your bit for the environment by not driving around burning fossil fuel looking for the perfect peak.


Kurt Henson


Kurt Henson in Byron Bay

Kurt is a man of many talents! One of them is contributing to Surf Sister. Kurt has a degree in Internet Communications with Curtin University. Kurt loves to surf and has done so for most of his life.

If you would like to contact Kurt Henson,


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