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Friday, March 19, 2010
Updated: June 15, 10:35 AM ET
Surfboard iPhone Application

Two weeks back, Jake wrote a pretty funny post about a new application for your handheld device that is supposed to teach you how to surf.

We're not sure who created this little blip of digital wonder for, but it doesn't seem very practical. In fact, with the diagram that teaches a newbie to get to his or her knees instead of popping right up is borderline bad advice. I'm not a huge app guy. I mostly stick to Surflline and Craigslist. But I recently discovered one from a true icon of surfing -- the legendary surfer, writer, environmentalist, gentleman, film maker, and 1977 world champ, Shaun Tomson.

The new Surfboard Application

"When I am out in the line up I often see people struggling on unsuitable equipment, boards that might be great for an expert surfer but are woefully inadequate for a beginning or intermediate surfer -- teeny submarine-like boards that might be perfect for the best surfer in the world but are totally unsuitable for anyone that is not highly skilled and experienced," says Tomson, "When a person starts out on the surfing journey, the trip can be made infinitely easier if one starts out with the right equipment. This little application is designed to do just that -- help understand and select which board and equipment will be the most suitable right now to maximize the fun factor and make learning and improving as painless as possible."

From my dealings with him, I've always thought he's the kind of guy who inspires you to surf better and be a better person (a rare trait.) Maybe this proves it. When I see people struggling on unsuitable equipment, I just think "That's right. Keep paddling that chip. More wave waves for me." (Then I flail down the face on my own chip.)

One of the few who inspire you to surf better and be a better person -- Shaun Tomson

Not Shaun Tompson. He created a $1.99 app to help inexperienced surfers that is based on his 45 years of surfing experience. Where the surf industry likes to use professional athletes on high performance gear to sell boards, apparel, and accessories, he gives honest evaluations on what to ride for your level, how the boards work, and translates some of surfing's more confusing terms. Learn to surf DVDs and books are great, but who has them in their pocket at all times? Tompson understands that this information is most useful when delivered through an application. Here is the full list of features.

And even if you're a learned surfer who has experimented with different equitment for decades, there might still be something to learn here. After all -- its Shaun Tomson.