Anyone tried Fenix 7 while surfing?

Thinking about buying a Fenix 7 for multiple activities... especially surfing, but I cannot find any information about someone using for surfing.


  • Former Member
    0 Former Member over 1 year ago

    I would wait for feedback from Garmin. It is rated for 100m depth but the hydrostatic pressure at 100m is about 160PSI. With surfing however you need to account for our buddy Newton and his 2nd law F=MA. Not sure if you would approach 160PSI falling off a board and getting caught in a few rollers.

  • I am pretty sure the watch can handle that... 160PSI is really a lot!

    I am concerned about the GPS refresh it 1s the minimum? That would be critical for the wave count I guess (where a lot of accuracy and points are needed).

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member over 1 year ago in reply to joagmv

    I know the heart rate frequency can be set to 1 second. Whether or not that also switches the GPS over to 1 second I am unsure of.

  • I know the heart rate frequency can be set to 1 second.

    Not quite correct. There are two settings for recording data - 1s or Smart. This setting only refers to the data that is kept and saved to the activity file. Clearly heart rate must be measured at greater than 1s intervals otherwise the maximum detectable heart rate would be 60 bpm. 

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member over 1 year ago in reply to philipshambrook

    1.) OHR measures your HR through PPG

    2.) The word you were looking for is "less than 1s intervals"

    I could measure my HR through PPG every 15 seconds if I wanted and it would still be able to pick up the blood volume changes in my wrist tissue through light transmissivity. If you are going to call someone out, know your ***.

  • HI,

    For the past 3 - 4 years I've used a Fenix 6s Sapphire Pro and more recently a Fenix 7s Sapphire Solar for surfing here in the UK (South West) and here are my thoughts...

    Hardware -

    Absolutely no issues or concerns.  I accept the conditions over here aren't quite the big waves of Maverick's or Nazare and more often I wear it under a wetsuit but I have never had any issues with the watch or concerns about the strap.

    Activity tracking -

    Garmin surf activity is average/poor.  The positives are that it captures all of the raw data (eg heart rate, GPS track etc) well, is fully integrated to the Garmin Connect ecosystem so all the data points are captured in the dashboard etc, the look/feel is in line with the other Garmin apps; the negatives are that the algorithm to work out how many waves your caught, the length/duration of each wave caught etc is really poor (I'd say +/- 50% accuracy).

    Third party data field Surf Tracker2 is really good.  The positives are that it does a great job of capturing all data accurately (inc wave count etc); the negative is that initial set up is more involved (but well worth it to get counts etc right), as a third party data field it isn't as well integrated into the Connect dashboard (a very minor issue in my opinion)

    Widgets -

    Garmin Surfline is average and should be much better given (in theory) you've got the 2 best placed companies working together.  The positive is that you have the same underlying surf spots with data optimised for the local conditions that you have in the Surfline/MSW website/Android app/Apple app.  The downside is not all of it is displayed and the interface is clunky.

    Third party widget Surf Balls provides all the relevant data for your chosen location (BIG caveat - I got so frustrated with the lack of a half decent widget that I wrote this one).  The positives are that it gives you all the information about wind, wave, UV index, tides in various graphical formats; the negative is that it is based on a global weather model and so not optimised for individual surf locations.

    In summary, the combination of Garmin hardware with third party apps written by surfers for surfers gives me everything I need to improve my surf experience.

    Hope that helps.

  • THANK YOU very much to take the time to share your experience in such a great detail!

    This is was I was afraid of... somehow it looks (as far as I have seen in the reviews) that the Apple watch surf tracker (app Down Patrol) is way better than the Garmin one... but who wants to buy a watch that must be recharged every day?

    I think I will go ahead and purchase the Fenix 7 with the hope that one day, garmin will invest money in improving the native software. In the meanwhile I will be using the setup you have just shared Slight smile

    That really helped!

  • A couple of other thoughts....

    Size matters and so I would really recommend finding somewhere you can actually try the different sizes (7s, 7, 7x) on.  This will be more important if you wear a full wetsuit as you'll need to decide whether to wear it underneath (and get heart rate...but will need to go on the slightly smaller side) or on top of it (and accept you won't get heart rate).  

    Have a look at the various apps I mentioned on (you can do that even if you haven't got a Garmin watch) - just put 'surf' in the search bar.  You'll find more information about them and most importantly see the ratings/reviews.  Just one thing to be aware of when you do this is that you'll get all apps regardless of which watches they work on - for example there is another really good alternative to the Garmin Surf activity called 'Surfing' which works well on my Fenix 6s but for some reason the developer hasn't updated it to work on the Fenix 7 (yet).


  • I have surfed with the Fenix 5 for 4 years without any problems.  The surf apps to record waves weren't very accurate, but the watch itself survived hundreds of wipeouts without any problems.  To accurately measure the length of my rides, I had to download the data to GPSTrackEditor and manually mark my waves.

    I have used the Fenix 7 since April in the surf and the watch has worked great.  For the gps mode, I use All+Multiband and the accuracy of the surf apps have improved immensely for both counting the number waves and recording length of ride. 

    I use the Garmin Surf App with Surf Tracker V2 as a data screen.  With this method, Surf Tracker will give wave data (length of ride/max speed) during my surf session and the Garmin Surf App will record all the wave data for review after the surf session has ended.  The Garmin Surf App also has an accurate gps track of all the waves that were ridden.

    My complaints for the Garmin Surf App is that it does not give any data during the session.  If Surf Tracker can provide live surf data, why can't Garmin?  Also, the Garmin Surf App does NOT allow lap times in the DATA screens.  The reason lap times would be useful for a surfer is to record time between sets of waves so that the surfer could predict when the next set of waves will arrive.

    If I only use the Surf Tracker V2 app, I can record the lap times, but then I miss out on the gps tracks of my waves and Surfline Sessions.

  • Hi

    I've been trying to use a 7s .

    First one , returned , lower right button malfunctioning. Followed procedure from garmin to rinse - Could not get it back 100%.

    On my second watch now. Lower left button isn't working at all. On the same procedure trying to get it back - looking like another return.

    Other than that , watch isn t perfect but as long as you hold your watch out the water when it loses signal , you're good. It does force me to monitor signal quite a lot , specially after a wave and you go under. Pain if like me you are wearing gloves.

    Had a 735xt and didn't have to worry about anything . Just left it on the wrist and that was it . 

    Wondering if anyone 's having a similar experience ?