Fenix 6 - Surf Activites

Hey All, 

Many of you may have seen we added the surf activity type to the Fenix 6 and Marq series.  If you are an avid surfer, and can do so in your area safely, please give it a try?  Be sure you've updated to the latest public beta 9.97 or above, and then go catch some waves.  Once finished, we'd be curious to know your thoughts back here on this thread?  We'll monitor the thread for feedback.

Thank you for your continued feedback on our public betas.  We appreciate you and your desire to live on the edge with beta updates. Slight smile

  • Tried it for a couple of sessions. Absolutely cannot tell the difference between paddling and surfing. It should not be hard to add a calibrate feature to rule out directional movements in a certain compass window that is going out to sea. Would also prefer it to track a continuous GPS location much like the snowboarding profile and filter out runs later. Velocity readings also seem way off in real time but might be limited by the accelerometer. Please fix this as it is a profile that would add a lot of value and used by people all over the globe.

  • Did you see this?


    Wondering how it compares to the F6 surf App.

    @garminpeople if you read this: It's not normal that I haven't seen an ad for the garmin surf, you need a new web agency...

  • I've been surfing with the Surf widget on a Fenix 6x Pro for the past 2 weeks (6 sessions). There are so many problems with this widget I almost don't know where to begin.

    Problems with the widget as currently constructed:

    -Completely inaccurate wave count, at least 2-5x higher than the actual count. E.g. in a 2-hour session recently it registered 60 waves, but the actual number was closer to 20-25. The user should have the ability to set a minimum threshold for the duration of a wave so that the widget will weed out imposter waves.

    -Max distance displayed on the main screen is not consistent with the distances recorded during the session. E.g., for the above session, the max distance displayed is 56 feet, but when the list of individual waves is examined, there were multiple waves of over 200 feet. 

    -No max speed is displayed on the main screen of past surf sessions (it only shows "-.- mph"). However in the list of individual waves, the max speed of each wave is listed. Most of these speeds are completely inaccurate, as they range from 1-5 mph. The problem here is that the surfing times of each wave are nonsensical, as many of the times recorded are over 30 seconds per wave, and as high as over 1 minute per wave. In reality, good waves at the break I've been surfing are probably around 8-10 seconds, and decent waves closer to 5 seconds. (This is the period from the time you are actually standing on the board, not when you start paddling to catch a wave.)

    -The widget display while you are actually surfing is designed terribly. First of all, there is no option (as far as I'm aware) to display the running number of waves caught during a session. The only way to find this out is to stop and save the session and then look at all the data. This is a ridiculous oversight in the design of this widget!

    -Does not account for number of paddle strokes and distance traveled while paddling, in order to get a more accurate count of calories burned during a session.

    Recommendations to improve the widget:

    -Obviously get all of the technical data straightened out.

    -Incorporate the ability for the watch to record the number of paddle strokes and distance traveled while paddling. The paddling motion is very distinctive, so it should be sufficiently recognizable by the watch so that it can make these calculations.

    -Redesign the display face. On the positive side, there currently is the option to have as many as 8 data fields available (on my Fenix 6x Pro). For me, the most important info I want to see on the display face is as follows:

    1.Time of day

    2. Running session time

    3. Running number of waves caught 

    4. Distance of last wave caught

    5. Speed of last wave caught

    6. Heart rate (this is one of the few positives of the current display, i.e. the ability to display your heart rate during a session.)

    The last two fields can be for info such as max distance, max speed, paddle count, distance paddled, calories burned, etc.

    -Add tide information into the widget. Yes I know that there is a separate Tide widget available, but it would be nice to have this info right inside the surf widget itself. The most important info here would be the current tide height, and the time of the next high or low tide and its height.

    In closing: This is my first Garmin device, and I purchased the Fenix 6x Pro specifically to use with the surf widget. Overall I am extremely disappointed in the surf widget in its current state, as it does not seem ready for use even as a beta yet. However I will say that if Garmin can get these problems straightened out, I wouldn't want to surf without it.

    PS. I'm available as a beta tester if you are interested in my feedback, Garmin.

  • Very good summary. Just not to confuse the others you're talking about the new integrated Garmin Surf App, not the widget. I've seen the new instinct Surf has tides too. Would definitely be a plus. Let's hope they read you... I think there is an email address to send your recommendation to the technical team.  

  • Another vote for your summary , really good.  I used it for the first time last week and it recorded a number of the times I was just paddling out/across to a better break and it was recorded as a wave.  I get that coming up with a standard way of figuring out when a wave has been caught is difficult given the vast range of wave characterists at different locations so it would be good to have some user parameters that we could tune to our own local break.

  • Has anyone at Garmin thought to consult with this dev. His app works great.

    Check out this app from the Garmin Connect IQ Store


    SurfTracker v2

  • same opinion, just copy paste the date field logic and record the metrics into the garmin surf metrics. 

    I would be a good start.

  • tried the Garmin surf activity today for first time, it's rubbish. totally agree with previous comments - it picks up virtually all movement as waves so massive overcount. It says I caught waves going out to sea. 

    Using the 3rd party Surfing app https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/edc1147f-466f-4a37-9d3d-0487c4fa6c3c is spot on and gives live info on number of waves, distance, speed etc. Only trouble is the sync with Connect, the data doesn't transfer. The developer says that's a Garmin problem. 

    Garmin, please sort out both your own app and the integration with 3rd party. 

  • I'm a previous Fenix 5s user that used to use the surf data field with different apps (Surftraker v2) and the other 3rd app of surfing. I just updated to a Fenix 6s pro solely for the surf app. 

    I also need to clarify that I'm surfing in the North of England, so the watch is not directly submerged in the water while paddling, but it is under a 5mm wetsuit + gloves. From my experience so far (only 2 times)

    - The wave count was pretty accurate. Maybe there were +- 2 waves out of 20, so not bad.

    -The design of the app is awful and I would agree with previous comments. Definitely, data provided by the 3rd party datafield/app is more useful. I would love to see things like: number of waves (like the 3rd party datafield: Total, number to the left and number to the right), time waiting since last wave, number of strokes/distance paddled, overall time of the session, surfing time and tides. Other fields that could be be good but not as important as the previously mentioned would be information of last wave (Distance, speed and time).

    I have tried to use the 3rd party data field (Surftraker v2) for the sake of having some useful data but it does not work as smooth and accurate as it works under different app (like using swimming, sup, cycling ...) not sure if that is due to the rate the surfing app gather gps data, but in those 2 sessions I got only 2-3 waves counted... Disappointed

    p.s.: apologies for my English, but its not my first language.


    After several more surfs, the app is not as accurate as I thought...with a small swell, the app counted 15 waves and I had 3...

  • Is anyone looking into this? There are some comments marked as "Answers" which are not even answers, just more feedback. Is the Garmin development team still wanting feedback?/ Are they going to take on board any of the one give? I see very constructive and useful feedback in here but with no replies/answers and no implementation in the watch...