Surfline and Trace are launching a new product in early July called the Surfline Scout Report.
The report will be featured on all Surfline report pages and is a collection of key data points created by Surfline Scouts.
Surfline Scouts are a handpicked group of surfers who use the Trace tracker, which mounts onto a surfboard. The Scouts provide their session data back to Surfline via the Trace tracker to be publicly shared.
Data to be collected and shared with Surfline users includes waves per hour, average length of ride, paddle distance, real-time water temperature and more.
Scouts meet standards for frequency of surfing and ability at the most frequently viewed breaks on Surfline.
The goal is let surfers know exactly what it’s like in the water in near real time.
Trace was founded by surfers, scientists, mathematicians, and pioneers of GPS technology, and perfected with partners Jordy Smith, Timmy Reyes, Channel Islands Surfboards and Nixon’s new GPS watches.
We asked Surfline GM Ross Garrett and Trace CEO David Lokshin some questions about the new initiative.
How long has this product been in development?
Trace CEO David Lokshin: We originally started discussing the idea in October of 2015 and collectively decided to pursue the concept in November.
As Trace has grown, and we’ve seen how people use Trace and which aspects they really gravitate to, the scope of the partnership was refined. Our engineering and marketing teams have been collaborating for months to bring this product to fruition.
How will this help surfers? Why is the information being provided important?
Surfline GM Ross Garrett: Surfline's mission is to make surfers' lives better. We're excited to launch Scouts because we feel it progresses surf reporting as we know it. Within minutes of a session, Scouts will upload critical data recorded by Trace sensors such as wave count, length of rides, speed and water temperature - all with great accuracy. That translates into sharing swell duration, shape, and power with our viewers.
One example is water temperature. Even though it’s only one of the many data points to be collected, putting a large number of more accurate thermometers in the water at the most popular waves provides a great service in helping surfers pick the right wetsuit.
How many surfers will be supplying information via the Trace tracker?
David Lokshin: That's not data we'll share right now, but safe to say it's more than enough to make Scouts statistically relevant to surfers around the world by having reports updated daily on Surfline's most viewed locations.
There are thousands of surfers already using Trace, and we just announced Surfline Scout to our most qualified users last week when we opened the application window.
What regions of the country - or world - will offer the Scout reports? Do you expect to expand the geographic reach in the future?
Ross Garrett: We'll start with our most popular locations, and yes, will certainly expand the program when and where we see the most demand.
Will the person who is providing the data from the water be named?
Ross Garrett: Yes, the person providing their data will have their Trace profile image and name included in the Scout Report.
David Lokshin: All of our Scouts are well aware that their name and image will be shared, and have provided their consent. We've had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback about this with surfers saying things like “it's an honor to be on Surfline" and “excited to be a part of helping surfers.”
Will this be a free service to readers or is it for members?
Ross Garrett: The Surfline Scout Report will be absolutely free to everyone once it’s live in early July. To become a Scout, surfers apply and must be accepted. They all need to have a Trace device, which they can purchase at a special rate through a private Scout shop.
We're maintaining a high bar for our Scouts to make sure they are the most qualified surfers at the right waves, ensuring quality data in the Scout Reports.