08 August 2008

Tide Watches, Part III

This is hopefully the final chapter in my tide watch saga.

In Part II, I wrote about the Rip Curl Waikiki Oceantide, which comes with a plastic band designed to permanently discolor after mere weeks of normal wear. I was able to get my money back by disputing the charge with Visa after the seller, Big Blue Sun, refused to issue a refund. When I shipped the watch back to them at my expense, they refused to accept delivery and the watch was returned to me. But who wants a dirty-looking tide watch? Especially now that I have the much better-featured Freestyle.

While I'm still generally happy with the Freestyle 3.0G, I noticed soon after I got it that the low tides for Santa Cruz were running around 2 hours late. For example, here's June 28th:
Tide 3.0G
LO 3:02A 0.4FT
HI 7:32A 3.6FT
LO 2:08P 2.2FT
HI 6:38P 6.3FT

Surfline Steamer Lane
01:02 am 0.40 ft LOW
07:47 am 3.05 ft HIGH
11:47 am 2.35 ft LOW
06:36 pm 5.82 ft HIGH
I wouldn't expect them to be dead on, but 2+ hours is too much error. I had to prove my case to Freestyle's tech support guy using NOAA data, but finally he agreed it's likely a programming error with that particular location. He suggested I use Pismo Beach instead, but Ocean Beach is close enough especially as I also surf San Mateo County beaches (although rarely OB which is better with a buddy). The problem's been flagged to Freestyle's development team, so hopefully the next release of the watch will have accurate Santa Cruz tides. With all the surfers in this area, I'm surprised I was the first to point this out. But I seem to have a talent for finding software bugs, or maybe I somehow attract them. Like I attract mosquitoes.


  1. I just got my watch and can't get the offset just right and am having trouble :(

  2. My low tides are a hour off and I can't seem to get it fixed.