goFlow: Big Wave Rider Ian Walsh Joins Former Israeli Women’s Surf Champ To Launch Global Surfing App

By Shiri Wasserman, NoCamels March 31, 2014 Comments

Way before the phenomenon of storm chasers invaded our TV channels, there were those who spent lives chasing another of nature’s most powerful manifestations: The perfect wave.

So it’s almost surprising that no one had come up with the idea of an app to tell surfers where to find the best waves at any given time.

Well it’s happened now, with the goFlow app, launched by former pro-surfer and Israeli women’s surf champion, Roni Eshel.

Big Wave surfer Ian Walsh

Big Wave surfer Ian Walsh

goFlow, which has partnered with Big Wave surfer Ian Walsh, uses crowdsourcing, combined with the most expert weather forecasting and an array of smart tools, to tell surfers the world over where to get the ultimate thrill.

“There’s nothing out there like it,” said pro-surfer Ian Walsh. “I’m always on my phone checking buoys and forecast charts, and I’m always on my phone seeing what my friends are doing, so basically this does all of that in one place. You can see if your friends are scoring, check photos from wherever they are in the world, and also look at forecasts and reports.”

All-inclusive surf app

When sharing a photo on goFlow, the app allows users to add the wave height, crowds, surf conditions, and overall rating: Awesome, Fun, or Don’t Bother. Surfers can mark their favorite spots and receive notification when the conditions are good, as well as when nearby spots have a good swell, and when friends are surfing.

Upon completing a report, users can submit their post either to their goFlow followers, the public (showing up on the application’s newsfeed) or their Facebook page. goFlow also automatically notifies users who happen to be in an area with great waves, so they can drop whatever they’re doing and dive in!

Eshel, who is based in LA, but travels the world in search of good surf, tells NoCamels her main goal for the app was to allow surfers was to maximize the amount of time spent in the water surfing great waves, and cut down on time spent searching for them.

goFlow founder and COE Roni Eshel

goFlow founder and CEO Roni Eshel

Additional features on this all-inclusive surf platform offers a GPS system for driving directions to the beach, a tagger to pinpoint favorite spots and a surf log helping members keep track of previous waves they’ve caught and locations they’ve gone.

Since this platform partnered with the forecast provider “StormSurf” over a year ago, the app provides data if there’s no crowdsourced information and every spot on the map offers a generic forecast for wave height, tides, direction, wind, and weather conditions, updated every few hours.

Taking crowdsourcing to the extreme

roni6“I created this application from my own need as a surfer,” Eshel tells NoCamels. “I was always looking for the best surfing conditions in real-time. Now with the power of crowdsourcing, surfers can find out the best surfing conditions anywhere at any time from other people they trust – surfers.”

Along with a developer, a UX designer and a marketing PR manager, Eshel launched goFlow on the iOS App Store a year ago. goFlow has just completed its beta stage and already has 20,000 downloads.

“Most of the activity comes from communities in South California, the US east coast, Hawaii, Brazil, France, and Spain,” Eshel tells NoCamels, “But it’s available around the world.”

goFlow is now working to incorporate new features, including private messaging groups, surf alarms, and a more accurate forecast system. In the longer term, Eshel is hoping to apply her app to other extreme sports, like moutaineering.

“Until now, we’ve been funded by small seed money from friends and family,” says Eshel, “but we’ll be closing a financing round soon.”

Photo: mikebaird

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