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.

All I want For Christmas #5: Vans SK8 Mid SF

Did you hear? Washington D.C. actually got snow this past weekend. That means skating outside – no go. Riding a bike outside: frigid and painful. Those sneaky Saturday sessions milking the oncoming winter swell? yeah, best of luck with that. I hope you have a 6/5/4 to keep your bones marginally temperate. But, since I really focus on my bike and skating this time of year (we have about 2 more weeks before slopes really get cranking) it’s a good opportunity to touch base on the finer things in life.

Now, I’ve never been a big believer in a pair of shoes that you “chill” in. I’ve seen guys roll up to spots with two pairs of sneakers, change one out to skate and then change back into their other pair and split. Random. But, I do understand cold, wet, hurting feet. That I fully get … it’s the East Coast curse. So much to my surprise Santa came a little early in 2009.

Vans dropped a pair of the SK8 Mid SF in all the fleece lined fancy pants-ness off on my doorstep at the beginning of the week. Hello crummy weather, hellllooooo warm shoes.Strike what I said earlier about shoes to chlll in because these shoes met the need. Now, let me paint you a quick picture. 20 mile bike ride in 39 degree weather followed by 30 minutes skating around the only dry spot I could find. Once I got home my paws were nearly numb. The curse of liking thin shoes I guess. So a resolution was needed.

Rather than slip into my old man slippers and shuffle around mumbling about dang tre flipping kids, I shifted gears and jumped int the SK8 Mids. I forgot how loose the shoe was and after wearing Vans Eras for about a year the joys of a mid top. Warm, supportive but plush. Not the kind of fleece plush where it’s super cushy and then packs down but just enough to hammer down some insulation. Would I skate in them? Too late, already did. But, it was more commuting to the metro to go meet a friend for beers type skating. That’s the strength of the Vans surf line up which is the home of the skate fleece. It’s warm, it’s functional and to be honest the colorways are wicked smart.

So, from our official/unofficial gift guide for Holiday 2009 I can highly recommend the Vans SK8 Mid SF as something to thing about if you know somebody in that skate/surf/snowboard realm. I can be honest and say i wouldn’t run out and buy these for myself right away but damn if I haven’t worn them with a big old smile every single day they’ve landed on my doorstep.

Catch the Big Wave on Your iPhone: Vans launches the Triple Crown of Surfing app

Comin’ at cha live from Haleiwa, Ha-wai-ee, brah is the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Starting with the Reef Hawaiian Pro in early November, hometown hero, Joel Centeio captured the win, besting CJ Hobgood. The second jewel in the crown is the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing with super pros like John John Florence, Pat, Tanner and Dane Gudauskas.

Wait a sec… I don’t have a plane ticket to Hawaii, and I’m stuck in my mother-frickin’ cubicle. Well don’t fret Haole. Vans is bringin’ it to ya live with the iPhone Vans Triple Crown of Surfing application. For $0.99, you can catch the action live with lots of tasty tidbits (see below).

  • LIVE CONTEST WEBCAST (WiFi) – Each Vans Triple Crown of Surfing event streamed live in low, medium and high bandwidth.
  • LIVE RESULTS – Dynamic heat scores after each wave is surfed.
  • VIDEOS (WiFi) – Daily event highlights, highest scoring rides, rider interviews.
  • PHOTOS – Live ASP photo feed with new images refreshed throughout the day.
  • NEWS – Daily news updates on competition, competitors, conditions, outstanding performances/best rides, and anything else that is noteworthy for the day.
  • FORECASTS -Daily surf report “powered by Surfline” with current surf conditions and swell forecast.
  • PUSH ALERTS – Let’s you know when live event webcast is available

Make sure you have your WiFi enabled so you can catch it all live. One hopes that they’ll also include some nice tasty shots of the… ahem… scenery. I’ve downloaded the app and will be playing with it through the next few weeks. Look for a full report comin’ at a shortly. Check all the action at the Triple Crown site.

The schedule for the Triple Crown is:

  1. Haleiwa – Reef Hawaiian Pro, Nov. 12-23 – Toast
  2. Sunset Beach – O’Neill World Cup of Surfing,
  3. Nov. 24-Dec.6 – In Progress
  4. Banzai Pipeline – Billabong Pipe Masters, Dec. 8-20