Using the knowledge that comes from realtime buoy readings and wind reports, nine-time World Champion Kelly Slater gets slotted somewhere in the 805 on a day when most of us thought it was flat.
Branden Aroyan

Imagine you are on your way to a new and mysterious coastline. You checked the weather maps the night before and it looked like there could be some surf happening, but it was hard to tell where or when it might show up. Now you’re in the car and driving down winding roads far from the umbilical cord of computer surf forecasting that’s been feeding you for the past 10 years-the anxiety is starting to take hold.

Lucky for you, there is a new addition to your technological quiver specifically designed to help you harvest the stoke. Just fire up your trusty iPhone, hit the Bombora application icon, and blamo! You have real-time buoy data custom-catered to your exact GPS location, complete with near shore wind reports, trends, and forecasts literally in the palm of your hand. That’s right sport fans, like it or not, this golden and empowering age of surfing the Web before surfing the waves just got a whole lot easier.

Taking information from a variety of free sources like NOAA, the National Buoy Data Center, and the National Weather Service, Santa Barbara-based Bombora paints as complete and accurate a picture of ocean conditions as is possible without standing on the sand yourself. And while somewhat similar applications already exist in the iPhone universe, when Bombora hits the streets for mass consumption sometime next month, it will be in a league of its own. Besides basic buoy info, it gives users ever important swell direction information, tide readings, trend graphs ( i.e. is the surf building or dropping?), and allows you to tailor your experience to whatever break or beach you call home.

“Basically, we are taking a lot of info for the people who live and die by their Surfline reports, putting it together, and making it way easier to access,” explains Hunter Hillegas, who, along with Kerry DeVilbiss, is the mastermind behind Bombora. [Hillegas also consults with this newspaper’s Web site,] But even better than the Internet-based programs where you often have to click the mouse 10 times before you get to the goods, Bombora delivers the news within just two or three finger pecks to the most portable of computers: your phone.

Hillegas and DeVilbiss, the latter the lone surfer of the brain trust, have been developing Bombora since last fall and, with any luck, hope to have it available in Apple’s iPhone application store by March for a one-time only fee of $10.


For more info, see


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.