A New Look Coastalwatch

3 Dec 2013 2 Share

Welcome to the new Coastalwatch and thank you for using the site, after all it is your regular visits that help us to continue running this great free resource for Australia.

To celebrate our 15th birthday we’ve launched an entirely new website, starting from the ground up. We have added a load of new features that are available right now and a whole bunch of new ones that will come out over the following months.

We continue on our company mission to provide the largest surf cam and surf reporting service in Australia via our websites, mobile apps and partners – free for the public.

In the interest of transparency, we have provided for the first time an insight to how our community based business runs. You’ll find this at the end of this article, for those who are interested; it provides insights as to why we now offer a subscription service through Coastalwatch Plus.

The new site feature highlights are listed here and we go into more detail below.

New Website Feature Highlights:

  • Coastalwatch and Coastalwatch Plus are now integrated into one site.
  • The site is 100% adaptive – meaning you can use CW on any device anytime and it will intuitively adapt to your screen size.
  • Redesigned Surf Forecast page with improved graphs and tables
  • 7-Day offshore swell graphs for all locations.
  • Entirely new navigation allowing easy access to all our archives of content.
  • New Photo Galleries in large format.
  • New Video Platform
  • Special features layout for in-depth features.
  • You can now become a registered user of Coastalwatch and enjoy at no charge:
  • Making your own Surf Diary
  • Receiving daily Surf Report Emails for your area
  • Uploading Photo & Videos
  • Viewing your friends’ profiles and surf sessions.
  • Coming Soon* - Australian Surf Spot Guide.

The Future of Coastalwatch Business

In the interest of transparency, we have provided for the first time an insight to how our community-focussed business runs and our plans to keep it running viably into the future.

Coastalwatch now provides vital information about the coast to over 10 million visits a month across our apps, websites and partners, plus we receive over 3 million video play request each month. That’s a massive amount of data, upkeep and running cost that we need to cover.

Coastalwatch does not receive funding from the government and can only carry on its 365 days a year free service to the community thanks to a mix of private funding, advertisers and from our Coastalwatch Plus members.

All Coastalwatch income, except a 5% contribution to community organisations and charities, goes directly back into running the website and the Coastalwatch service.

Like many online publishers and service providers, Coastalwatch is not immune to the challenges of creating and maintaining a viable business into the future. Two years ago we launched Coastalwatch Plus subscriptions to help fund the business and, as you can see in the graphs below outlining our income, we still have a long way to go to build a viable revenue model for the future.

Becoming a member of Coastalwatch Plus is your choice and you are welcome to continue using Coastalwatch free of charge. But for those of you who are keen to contribute, please simply join Coastalwatch Plus and help us continue into the future. In return we provide members with the best features and unlimited access to our services along with benefits from our partners, which we assure you will far outweigh the $1.25/week membership fee.

Coastalwatch Income

Coastalwatch Expenses

Coastalwatch Redesign In Detail


Our goal for the new homepage is to enable you simple navigation to your favourite cams, reports and forecasts, while making it easy to discover all of the rich content we have created and archived over the last 15 years and continue to create daily. Coastalwatch provides the largest historic reference of surfing content and surf data available online in Australia.

New features include:

  • Your nearby cams / Favourites (Plus)
  • Mega drop down menus
  • New menu items – Easier to access Videos, Photos, Travel & issues of Surfing World magazine
  • Featured Photo Gallery – A premium position to show off the works of the best surf photographers in the country.
  • Instagram feed – publish your coastal images to our homepage
  • Infinite scrolling – looking for more content – then just keep on scrolling!

Surf Cams & Reports

Coastalwatch continues to provide the largest network of surf cams and surf reports in Australia, and we continue to add new locations regularly. Our Surf Report layout has been redesigned to make it easier to scan and digest.

New Features :

  • Nearby / Favourite Cams – quick links allow quick access to other cams in your area.
  • Local Live wind – visual chart graphing local wind up to 72 hours into the past.
  • Australian Surf Report Archive database.
  • New layout of the important surf report information.
  • 7-day local weather forecast

 Surf Forecasts

Surf Forecasts have been totally overhauled to allow our forecast team and their decades of experience to be at the forefront of what we publish. Although computer models are great, none can replicate and provide the subjective experience and expertise that comes with decades of human experience. Our  team summarises the forecast in your region clearly and simply with a variety of new features. And for those of you who like to dig deeper, we also provide the raw tools you need.

New Features:

  • 5-day surf forecast chart – updated daily by our forecast team
  • Special forecaster notes for those tricky days.
  • Hourly wind forecasts for all our beach locations.
  • 7-day Offshore Swell & wind forecasts for all beach locations
  • In-depth regional swell analysis by our forecast team
  • Wave Tracker – The only interactive swell tracking tool available, integrating multiple swell models, nearshore surf models and our trademark alert systems.


We stream millions of videos a month and are Australian surfers favourite place to get their surf video fix. With its own section it’s now easier to access all of the great videos from home and around the world. We have also partnered with Garage Entertainment to offer free and exclusive monthly Feature Films which combine with all our other clips from the best surf filmers in the country to ensure you always have the best videos at your finger tips to stoke you out.


  • Standout Sessions, the best sessions from around the country and the globe – all exclusive to CW.
  • Feature Film of the month from Garage Entertainment.
  • Best Of The Web showcasing all the best free clips appearing online daily from around the globe.
  • Wave Of The Week – send us your clip and get featured on CW
  • ASP Highlights


In association with Surfing World Magazine, Coastalwatch delivers in depth stories and multimedia features that matter.


  • Special Features – Using the best of the best contributors in the world, this new multimedia section allows us to bring together videos, photos, words and animations into one page and deliver you a story telling experience like never before.
  • Surfing World magazine publishes regular special features as well as every issue of the mag for members.
  • Swell Recaps – Our team of contributors around the country combine with our forecasters to give you an in-depth retrospective on large and prominent swells to hit the coastline.

Upload Photos & Upload Videos

Now anyone can upload videos and photos to Coastalwatch. Have a sick photo or video from your local? Upload it and tag it to your break for everyone to check out.

Surf Diary
Available mid-December 

We have opened up the Surf Diary for everyone. Previously exclusive to Plus Members only, now anyone can use this powerful tool to record your surfs and archive your sessions across the years against surf conditions that day.


  • Record your surf sessions at any of our beaches against real time conditions
  • Rate your surf sessions and automatically create forecast alerts.
  • Attach photos or videos
  • View your surfs on a map or list format.
  • View your friends surf session diaries – see who surfs the most!
  • Plus more to come!

Thanks and enjoy the site.

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