Hoon’s Take: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing iPhone App Review

Thanks to TCB for writing that review of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing iPhone app from his unique perspective. I finally got the chance to properly review the app when two conditions were in place: 1) The Billabong Pipeline Masters was in session and 2) I had a wifi signal. The significant delay was my wonderful work IT department, who decided to specifically block my iPhone’s IP address as a nice holiday present for Hoon. Monday’s plan: download virus on work email. After downloading many free apps and a few paid ones, I’ve come to regard a few as the gold standards because they offer a reliable, useful experience with minimal crashing and accurate information. Two such apps (both free) are: The North Face Snow Report app and the surf report app by Swell Info. (search for these two and you won’t be disappointed).

Without a wifi signal, the application simply acts as a basic news, results, photos microsite. So far, not seeing anything that deserves my $0.99.

When you add the wifi signal, you’re able to see the live webcast feed in addition to push notifications (aka alerts), plus a bunch of content that we listed earlier. The live webcast function worked beautifully. I got to watch Fred Patacchia, Flynn Novak, John John (oops I mean John J, we’re growing up here) Florence, MISTER WORLD CHAMP Mick Fanning, and others.

On the negatives, I found the navigation of the Results, Photos and Videos to be difficult to say the least. It doesn’t automatically send me to the latest content, instead defaults at “Final.” Are we at the Finals? I don’t think so, but I can’t easily keep track of it as I’m sitting on the couch or in the cubicle, which is why I have this app.

Overall, for $0.99, I expect a lot. With a consistent wifi signal, it’s really fun to watch the live webcast if you’re at the Mall, at the Office, or on a wifi-enabled plane. But I’d like to see Vans put a little extra effort into this app. Will there be more Vans-sponsored events with webcasts or utilize the “Surf Report” function for more than just Pipeline? As a first iPhone app for Vans, it’s ok. It just needs some tweaking (2.0 version?) which will bring it into 2009.

And where are those bikini shots?
PS – I suck at Photoshop with a crying baby in my arms. No wait, I just suck at Photoshop.

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