By Stuart Cornuelle
I downloaded the Skullcandy iPhone app specifically to write this review. Skullcandy makes headphones, so I imagined the app would be headphone related. It is not.
The app’s logo includes a skull, which I don’t care for, because it reminds me of Invader Zim. It also reminds me of MMA and Affliction t-shirts, which remind me of poverty and anger. But the app itself is very usable. The interface is clean with horizontal option bars. One of them said Surf, so I clicked that.
I could look anywhere and get full wave and weather reports. I could look at Africa, Europe, the Indian Ocean, North America, and so on. Down to the surf spot, from famous breaks to ones Skullcandy made up maybe. I selected the Pacific Islands region, and checked the forecast for Samoa. There were “No Items to Display,” and I wondered if the earthquake was involved with that.
I looked at Fiji and learned that Cloudreak was 3-4 feet with winds out of the WNW at 12 knots. It was 82 degrees with scattered clouds, and the water was 78. It’s very nice to know that the water is 78 degrees somewhere. In San Diego, according to the Skullcandy app, the water was ten degrees colder. It said the waves were 5-6 feet at Grandview, which is where I had surfed just before, and it had indeed been about that size.
The app’s surf reporting is powered by Surfline, and is essentially the same as the earlier Oakley Surf Report app that was also powered by Surfline. The Surfline mobile reporting is great (when it’s accurate, which is sometimes) and easy to use; much easier to use than the actual Surfline.com. The Skullcandy version has a neat mapping feature that the Oakley version did not have.
This morning, I woke up at 6. The iPhone is my alarm clock. I held it in my hand, head still on the pillow, and checked all the waves between Seaside and Beacons. From my bed. I will repeat the process tomorrow, and every morning thereafter until the iPhone breaks.
The Skullcandy app does some other things that I’m not interested in, involving free music and finding skateparks and buying Skullcandy products. I have Pandora and am scared to skateboard for fear of hurting myself, so I will only use the surf reports.
The app is free, but an iPhone costs $199. Including the required data plan, the least you can spend on iPhone service is around $75 per month, or two and a half surfboards per year, so you have to pick your toys carefully.