New kitesurfing related apps, gadgets and services come across our desk almost on a daily basis at the iMK cave, all promising to reinvent our lives as kitesurfers… and wash the dishes and walk the dog while we’re at it… cough…
But every now and then, we stumble on a real gem that we just can’t ignore, and have to share with you guys…
Wisuki Alerts Review
Wisuki Alerts launched in June 2012 as a new wind and waves forecasting service, and an extension of the Wisuki Community which launched in Spain one year earlier.
But before we tell you more, I just want to point out that we weren’t asked to review this service. In fact this article is entirely our idea, and we DO have an ulterior motive… You see, we like this service so much, that we intend using it for our new international weather pages, and we want you guys to test it out for us in the field first, and tell us what you think.
Now if you’re like us in any way, we know you’re set in your ways, and probably won’t easily switch service providers. We don’t expect you to, but please take a look at it anyway, and give us your honest opinion in the comments below.
This is what you can expect…
Besides offering wind and wave forecasts, Wisuki allows you to instantly find spots with your desired conditions 8 days in advance, and anywhere in the world. Navigation is quick and easy, just zoom and drag the spots map. This is particularly useful to quickly compare conditions between spots and find the perfect conditions for each rider, or to learn how the forecasts work for the spots in a particular area.
Click the images for a live view.
How It Works
The Wisuki wind and waves forecast service is based on what they call “Alerts”. An Alert is the maximum daily wind strength and wave height, and it enables them to summarize a whole day’s forecast into one single icon. This way they can display the wind and wave forecasts for all the spots in an area on the map, while the user can easily switch the forecast day with the time control buttons.
Integrated Tide Graphs
Another original and interesting feature is the tide graphs that are integrated into the wind and waves table’s data for almost all spots. With this you can see at a glance how the wind and waves forecast aligns with the high and low tide times without having to load a specific tide page on its own. That said, Wisuki also provides specific and detailed tide information for almost all its open sea spots, should you require this.
They also offer accurate analysis of historical wind strength, wind direction, wave heights, swell direction, air temperature, and rainfall data forecast from the Statistics section for any given spot. Each one of these datasets can be analyzed using charts and specific filters. For example, you can easily find out what the best months are for a specific wind or swell direction, or vice versa. A handy tool to have when planning your next kitesurfing vacation…
You can add your usual kite spots, integrated with all the above features, to your favourite’s spots list. This way, you can access all your favourite spots alerts with a single click. Switching from spots map view to spots list view, you’ll also be able to generate a detailed forecast comparison for your favourite spots.
The guys at Wisuki have been hugely accommodating and have done extensive development on the widget to suit our requirements. The results are a customizable widget that shows 8 days worth of wind, wave and weather information, along with some useful info about the spot such as water temperature, sunrise/sunset times and the local time, plus the option to include the tide graph (which we opted out of). I don’t know of any other widget that offers all this. You can see the widget in action here.
Demo Video: Introduction to Wind & Waves Alerts
Wisuki were even kind enough to put a fun demo video together for us, so that you can get a feel for the site without having to lift a finger… so grab a coffee, sit back… and enjoy the ride…
If you are reading this in an email or RSS feed, watch the video here.
What We Like
Besides the slick, user friendly design, other features that we like are the “Nearby” button, which geo-localizes your browser and then shows you spots near to you, and the Filters on the “Alerts Ticker”, which lets you enable or disable wind or wave alert levels to match your preferred conditions.
We’ve been told, more great features are on their way, such as wind or wave alerts notifications by email (currently in development and should release in 3 or 4 weeks), and mobile apps, so stay tuned!
Give it a test run, or better yet, compare it to your current wind forecasting service, and give us your feedback in the comments below.
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