Rip Curl Rifles Tide Watch Review

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As much as I try to run away from everything while surfing, being a dad and an instructor means I need to control my time on the water. As annoying as this can be, bed time or lessons always kick the living from a nice swell and 25 knots of wind. Since I’ve destroyed my 8-year-old G-Shock I’ve gone to source a replacement. Here’s what I found.

I have went through a rather expensive Nixon range but series of bad reviews have really put me off. And yeah, I get that you’ll rather leave a crap review after a bad experience and won’t bother with a writeup if you’re well chuffed with your purchase. But then again if majority of opinions are rather crap then there’s has to be something wrong. Unless Nixon is willing to prove me wrong, I’m not very keen on spending north of £150.

I’ve looked a Casio range but all their watches that could work, especially the ones with tides info were a bit too bulky. I tend to wear a suit from time to time and hiding one of them under a shirt would be a bit of a struggle. Plus, I’ve had one for years so it was a time for a change.

After doing a little bit of research I thought to give Rip Curl a go. I know that they are using Casio as their manufacturer but who cares. Their watches certainly look the part and they do what it says on the tin. I thought about diving in and getting the Search GPS series but as a first taste of the company, spending over £200 seems like a too much of a leap of faith.

The Rip Curl Rifles Tide Watch

I decided to give Rip Curl Rifles Tide Watch a go and… so far so good. There are no smart features on it, so don’t expect fireworks. But it works just the way it should – you get the time (yeah, seriously and as a main feature! How weird, eh?) and either a tide graph or detailed tide info. And yes, in theory you can try to memorise when the low and high tide is. And yes, you look online at the conditions every couple of hours anyway. But it’s good to have this info at a glance.

Especially when I’m teaching kitesurfing in Scotland, most of our beaches are very tide dependant. And I don’t do the resort-style “2 hours and you’re done” bollocks. We stay in the water until my students are happy with the results. Being able to check where we’re at with the tide at a glance helps a lot.

There are 500 pre-programmed locations, however you can add your own beach too. My one at Pease Bay thankfully was included from the get go. There are two ways that tides can be displayed – you either get a graph or an information on the height and the time when the next low or high is going to be.

Rip Curl Rifles Tide Watch Review Surfer Watch Surfing Kitesurfing

Of course you also get the standard alarm, stop watch, countdown timer, and light – which, apart from the last one I can’t see myself ever using. When was the last time you’ve used a countdown on your watch anyway? But because the watch doesn’t sport any fireworks it means that there’s no overnight charging involved. Rifles works on a standard battery that needs to be replaced every few years, just like any other watch on the market. The only thing is that you need to send it back to Rip Curl just to make sure it will be water tight after the replacement. The cost is something about £20 so no drama here. If, that is, it will survive few years in my hands.

On that note – there are no pins in the strap connecting it to the watch and it’s made of one piece of polyurethane. This means there’s noting that can brake off causing you to loose the watch. It’s also very resistant to wear and tear and has no issues with getting wet and subjected to sudden temperature changes. Anyone who tried any form of surfing in the north of Scotland knows what I’m on about. Summer and 5/4/3’s guys. You don’t get this nice, breathable comfort you’d get with a leather strap but as it stands no one came up with an ideal solution here. Leather straps and water don’t go well together.

All in all for the price (i.e. under £100) it’s a really decent time piece for surfers. I’d love to give the GPS version a go and it would be even better if it could measure the height of jumps in kitesurfing (c’mon Rip Curl!). But for a watch that doesn’t need charging, that looks and feels rock solid and gives you all the information you need at a glance – it’s definitely worth recommending.

PS. Thanks to the guys at Freeze Pro Shop in Edinburgh for a great deal!