Wavescape delivers accurate surf forecasts to your cellphone

16 July 2009

Wavescape has re-launched its SMS surf forecasting service to include data drawn from its successful online Wavescape Ocean Watch (WOW) service. The SMS service provides regional open ocean and specific beach reports that includes swell, wind and tide information delivered to a cellphone.

Wavescape, South Africa’s leading online portal for surfing information since 1998, collaborated with BulkSMS.com to implement the SMS surf forecasting service. BulkSMS.com used its mobile messaging and technology expertise to develop a system to SMS-enable the WOW model.

“We are proud to be associated with the setting up of Wavescape’s SMS surf forecasting services. By making this data available for downloading to cellphones we have played a part in mobilising the Wavescape digital business model,” says Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, a global leader in SMS messaging services.

According to Steve Pike of Wavescape, “Our WOW system fetches Wave Watch 3 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, what is known as NOAA, and publishes it in different formats on the Wavescape website. This same data is used to deliver our SMS surf forecasting services within 160 characters.”

The SMS surf forecasting service is geared primarily towards the broader wave-riding community, including stand-up surfers, bodyboarders, kite-surfers, windsurfers as well as waveski and stand-up paddleboard riders. It also gives anglers, beachgoers, divers, surfskiers and the yachting community access to specific near-shore ocean conditions.

“This cellphone service includes ten regions and more than forty beach locations around South Africa. It is perfect if you want to know what the surf conditions will be like at your local beach and you are not near your computer to check out forecasts. It also works well when you are travelling and you want surf information for further up the coast,” says Pike.

The service is accessed by SMS’ing a keyword for a regional or specific surf area to a premium rated shortcode. The regional open ocean data costs R2 per SMS and includes the following regions: Namaqualand, West Coast, Cape Peninsula, Southern Cape, Eastern Cape (western and eastern areas), Wild Coast, South Coast, Durban and the North Coast.

The beach forecast data costs R3 per SMS. For example, S. Cape Point Breaks refers to any type of spot in the area to protect certain beach names. More popular surf breaks like New Pier in Durban and Muizenburg in Cape Town have their own SMS codes.

“The beach reports are a world-first service that is calibrated to give specific surf data for a spot. This is extremely useful when you want to know specific conditions rather than the more generic open ocean conditions for an entire region,” says Pike.

Both SMS surf forecasting reports are updated twice a day and provide an accurate, cheap and easy to use mobile service.

For direct enquiries contact Ross Frylinck on email: ross@wavescape.co.za