These days, we live in a connected world. There"s nothing new to that, right? If you"re looking for the best places to surf in Portugal and around the world, you can just log on to any search engine and make a quick search. You will quickly find out not only what are the best places to surf in Portugal, but also their exact conditions, skill levels, prevailing winds, etc. But what if you could simply share it all with your best friends?
Let your board tell the story
The idea came from Disrupt, a Sydney-based startup. Everybody goes jogging in the morning or afternoon and everybody shares their mileage on Facebook, right? So why not do it with a surfboard?
So Disrupt has just launched the SmartSurf, a surfboard you can design through the company"s platform and that will include a microchip with all the data about the board"s design and owner info, just in case someone decides your surfboard can be "borrowed". Of course, the real charm is the microchip that can log each wave you rode, anywhere in the world.
The Disrupt platform is quite interesting in that it can use a customer"s biometrics to aid him in designing the best surfboard for his physical characteristics and this microchip can be only a first step in future advances. Per example, it is expected that sometime in the future the surfboard can track the surfer in real time, so that in the event of an accident, help can be had faster.
An app to show you the best places to surf in Portugal
Now, while Disrupt"s product is called the SmartSurf, this shouldn"t be confused with the SmartSurf app developed earlier by Portuguese researchers at the Fraunhoffer intitute, Portugal. This app is fully committed to record the metrics of a surfer in any of the best places to surf in Portugal, and includes not only the number of waves surfed, but also average and maximum speeds, duration and distance. The app can go as far as recording the manoeuvres, the turning angles and even the height of a jump.
All you really need is a smartphone, as the apps use the onboard sensors to record all the metrics. Quite obviously, the smartphone must be protected by a water-proof pocket, which shouldn"t really be a problem. The only downside to this is that we are not yet certain when such an app will be available on the market. Those responsible do claim it will offer a much cheaper option than the alternatives out there, namely smartwatches.
But what does this mean for the surfer? Well, all collected metrics are certainly capable of creating a corpus of information that will help instructors and surfers more objectively evaluate their performance and improve upon it. Because at the end of the day, you may not know exactly what you did with a specific wave. As this data gets collected and compared, different solutions for a similar wave can be found and evaluated in terms of offering the surfer a better perspective of what his options are. For schools, this may prove to be an invaluable tool.
Be it as it may, the next time you want to tell your friends about the best places to surf in Portugal, maybe all you will need is to show him your smartphone.