Surfers are grateful to surfline founder, Sean Collins

For those drawn to the water, there’s no better spot for a lunch break, a solitary walk or some time admiring the view—than watching waves break.

But if it’s a surfer drawn to the water, chances are he or she has first logged onto surfline.com, either from a home computer or from an app on a mobile phone. It’s where wind speed, swell height, timed length of swell, off-shore storms, and various other data are compiled into one easy-to-check location. And if you’re a paid subscriber, you can even watch a live-feed video from the beach you’d like to surf, first.

Dave Carroll, surfer “Before surfline, people just had to be near the water and check. Collins really changed that for us…”

While more traditional surfers may grumble that surfline has changed the culture of surfing, that’s exactly why others love it. Being able to know in advance which days will have good surfing on a favorite beach means people can plan ahead, take time off of work, and drive out to the beach.

Ashlin Wilhelm, surfer, “I wouldn’t be able to be out here otherwise…”

Surfline first existed as a fax service. But with the rise of technology, more and more surfers turned to the website version, then apps to get surfing information.

The death of Surfline founder Sean Collins touches even those who would appear to be casual surfers.  The memorial paddle-out in his memory will take place in Southern California on Sunday, some 420 miles from this spot in Northern California.

“I have some friends who want to go to the paddleout, for sure…”

Near Half Moon Bay, Kerry Davis, IDG News Service.