Wouldn’t it be great if every time we wanted to go to the beach all the stars aligned? Every wave rolls in at just the perfect height, offering surfers a smooth, fun ride. The water glistens so clear, beckoning you to take a refreshing dip. The sunshine beams down just right leaving perfectly bronzed skin. Unfortunately, mother nature doesn’t take requests. Luckily though, we have smart phones to help us out. Here are five apps that you’ll want to download on your phone before heading to the beach to keep you safe and help you prepare for what the day has in store.
1. iSunBurn. While a sexy, bronzed glow always looks great, coming back from a day spent on the sand redder than a stop sign is far from sexy or comfortable. iSunBurn wants to spare you the pain. Check this app before choosing what SPF to use or what layers to pack for the beach to ensure you don’t overdress or under lather. iSunBurn provides you with the current UV index for your location, exposure category, and description. For all you fair skinned beach bums out there, this is a must have! ($.99 and only available for iPhone, iPad, iPod)
2. Beach Safety. Did you know that rip currents are hugely to blame for drownings and other dangerous water instances every year? If you’re planning a trip to the beach, be sure you have Beach Safety downloaded on your phone before hitting the waves. This app gives you the 411 on riptides and currents, including what they are, how to identify one, where you can most commonly find them and how to stay safe while swimming in an area with these challenges. Beach Safety even provides info on jellyfish and sharks that will help you avoid an unpleasant encounter. Let’s hope you don’t actually have to use any of the protocols, but then again, it’s better to be safe then sorry. (Free and only available for iPhone, iPad, iPod)
3. Waterkeeper Swim Guide. Use this app to check if the beach you have your eye on has passed the latest water quality testing. It will give you a green icon if it’s a go or a red icon if the water in the area is dangerous. With information from over 7,000 beaches, there is no doubt you’ll be able to find info on the beach you’re looking for or one close to it. Aside from finding a beach with clean, safe water, this app also provides directions, local amenities, history of the beach’s water and even photos of each beach. Always rest assured that there is nothing murky lingering in the waters you wade in. (Free)
4. Magic Seaweed. This easy to navigate app provides surfers with an overview of all the important deets required for a successful day of surfing. Bookmark your favorite surfing spots and then scroll through the seven day forecast for each. Reports on the wave height, swell, direction and up-to-date wind data will direct you to your most optimal surfing spot that day. You can even save your favorite conditions, too. (Free)
5. goFlow. Connect with your friends and even some celebs on this simple social sharing app. It’s fun, fast and super convenient for all you outdoor action seekers out there. goFlow is now available for surfing, snow sports, paddle boarding, cycling, diving, boating, golfing, skateboarding and even kitesurfing. Create a profile to share your location, the conditions, photos and stories privately or with the world via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. goFlow is an easy way to share your top-rated spots, find new ones, and get trusted updates on conditions. (Free)