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Dawn Patrol is the Ultimate Surfing Companion

I’ll admit, I’m not a surfer. Let alone ever used an app designed for surfers. In fact, I broke my leg surfing and hold a…

I’ll admit, I’m not a surfer. Let alone ever used an app designed for surfers. In fact, I broke my leg surfing and hold a grudge against that specific part of the ocean to this day… but that is neither here nor there! It certainly doesn’t turn me off from espousing the incredible surfing app, Dawn Patrol. This apps makes me want to grab a surfboard, head to California, and predial an ambulance just to try it out.

This app, intricately designed for both iPhone and Apple Watch, has everything a surfer could ever need and it does so with polish that rivals Apple’s own. Surfers can track their surf sessions, check the tide forecast, and share your accomplishments. But that also woefully undersells this app’s features. Many of these high-level features are surprisingly verbose.

Maybe let’s look at tracking surf sessions. These sessions can start and stop directly from the Apple Watch app, which is crucial as it is unlikely your phone will be coming along for the ride. From the start interface, you also have a visualization of the waves throughout the day. When you revisit your session, you can see exactly how many waves you have ridden, how far you’ve traveled, and the size of the waves.

This app is also directly integrated with Apple Health and contributes to your Apple Watch rings just as Apple’s first-party workout app that is significantly lacking in surf-specific functionality. The workout overview lets you know how much of your exercise ring was filled, how long the workout was, your max heart rate, as well as your average heart rate. On your iPhone, this is visualized with a satellite photo of the coastline with a line overlaid to show your tracks. If you dig deeper into an individual wave, you can see how long you rode the wave, the distance traveled, and a graph showing your speed over time.

What I love just as much though, is the striking appearance. Large swaths of the app is backed by a wonderful deep-ocean blue that is also used on the Home Screen widgets. The use of graphs helps you understand your stats and see particularly impressive days. The developers behind Dawn Patrol have done an absolutely admirable on this app, flushing out every solitary detail and making the app look just as well-implemented as the features themselves. They’ve taken what Apple has opened up to developers and turned it to what surfers need. Forecasts on the Home Screen, complications on the face of Apple Watch, and direct integration into Apple Health. At least from a non-surfer’s point of view, there’s very little missing from this exceptional app.

But enough about other people's apps.


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