Santa Cruz Wave Works

Santa Cruz Wave Works (Archived)

Environmental Stewardship & Social Justice


Surfing without knowledge of sub microclimates can be dangerous especially since conditions in the water can change dramatically in short periods of time. People have perished for lack of knowledge of changing surf. Most data is accumulated using offshore NOAA open source buoy data and staffed meteorologist to deliver predictive information to customers regarding surfing conditions. This information is only update a few times daily, and thus is not reflective of real time conditions. The technology to detect rapidly changing conditions enables a safer more enjoyable way of learning to surf. RIPS technology provides proprietary content to subscribers interested in sub-micro climate real-time surf conditions.


Goals and Design

Santa Cruz WaveWorks (SCWW) is an innovative low cost, high resolution system capable of reporting and distributing oceanic swell and associated data in real time.  Subscribers can sign up to receive reports and text notifications providing data characterizing wave and water signatures gathered by small sub-surface buoys in their area. Climate and wave data is acquired and aggregated into a simplified user interface, giving surfers a greater range of insight into local sub-micro climates and eliminating the need to monitor conditions from the beach or use time lapsed meteorology forecasts. These real time data visualization, condition reports, and text notifications can also be used to study local off shore microclimates with increased granularity to understand effects of localized water temperatures or pH on the near shore ecosystem, locate optimal sites for wave energy, or alert swimmers to areas of water quality concerns.