Time and tide wait for no man. Tides are caused by the slight gravitational pull of the moon. Everyone knows that (except maybe Bill O'Reilly.) Tidal swing isn't as great at the equator, hence most tropical locales aren't as affected by high and low tides. It's when you get into those higher latitudes, further up in the Northern Hemisphere and further down in the Southern, that the tide really affects your breaks. Places like Maine or Ireland you'll see a reef go from firing to flat in an hour. In Argentina or Vancouver the tide might recede from a thumping beachbreak and leave you with two-foot dumpy closeouts.
WHAT IT IS:
The Lodown is the ultimate in tide watches. Nixon has been around the block. They've been making quality timepieces and accessories for the action sports and contemporary art scenes for about fifteen years. The stuff looks good and most importantly, it's built to last. The global team runs the gamut from Nathan Fletcher and Keith Malloy to snowboarder Todd Richards and rapper Yassin Bey.
"The Lodown features tide info for over 200 beaches worldwide until 2020 and is the go-to everyday watch for our surf team," says Nixon's Megan Brunner, "It's a favorite of John John Florence and Bruce Irons."
Actually, in winning the Vans Triple Crown, Florence also won the Nixon WTA and received a one-of-a-kind Nixon timepiece worth $10,000. But he wears the Lowdown in the water.
WHY IT RULES:
Knowing the tide is imperative to scoring waves. It's even important in equatorial regions. Think of Playa Grande in Costa Rica. That place looks like a bathtub until the tide comes in and transforms it into pumping peaks. You can even get the tide for the next few days out to best plan your sessions. And for the comp dogs out there, it has a countdown timer and wave counter. To get into specifics, the Lodown case is 100 meter reinforced polycarbonate with raised bezel with treated acrylic crystal and a direct tide pusher. (That's actually the tech named for the navigation tool on the interface. I had to check that myself.)
The tide is displayed in a very visual manner. The easy to read graph shows you where you are in relation to the tide and just how high or low the next tide will be, which is especially important on the reefs of Southern California.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Aquaholics Surf Shop in Kennebunk Maine and Pacific Boarder in Vancouver carry Nixon sport gear. Or shop the whole Nixon catalogue online at Nixonnow.com, where they're currently offering $5 Next Day Air shipping.