With the sports we all do the one thing to keep an eye on is the weather… will it be windy? will the sun shine? what’s the surf like? well you know what I’m talking about.
The latest weather site to get Airhead’s attention is BigSalty.co.uk. This site has some great features like where is “going off” near you… in their words “Big Salty is a hybrid weather service that aims to identify which locations will provide the best conditions for a given forecast”… I can hear you all saying… at last just what I have been waiting for…
Here is the low down on the the Big Salty story
Big Salty is a new weather service dedicated to watersports enthusiasts in the UK and Ireland. It has been created with the aim of trying to get you on the water as much as possible and at the right location. The reason for this is simple. The team behind Big Salty are heavily immersed in the watersports scene and are keen windsurfers and surfers. Reading forecasts and weather conditions right is something that is key to heading to the beach at the right time and Big Salty is designed to make this as easy as possible.
The Big Salty weather service offers the following advantages. It is a veritable one stop shop for weather information with 7 day forecast data (with charts), current wind and swell data and tide data under one roof plus it incorporates the unique Big Salty Rating System. Usability is also a key focus of the site, with clearly laid out forecast pages and categorized location forecasts for nearly 300 locations around our coastline. The Big Salty Watchlist concept provides you an opportunity to have the forecast of your favourite locations summarized on nearly every page – key to quick at-a-glance forecasting.
Getting down to the nitty gritty, the Big Salty forecast engine is powered by the GFS 0.5 degree numerical model and NWW3 wave forecast model developed by the weather heads at NOAA with an outlook that is refreshed 4 times per day, every day.
Big Salty doesn’t stop there, it takes this forecast predictions and adds some extra intelligence through its rating system so that it now has a numerical forecast system combined with artificial intelligence. As the forecast database develops and more local information is added to the system, the forecasts will incorporate more and more local adjustments to the forecasts with the result of an intelligent service becoming more accurate by the day.
So the future of weather forecasting for our beloved sports looks bright. And since the team at Big Salty are as stoked to get on the water as you and I, we can be sure they are on trying their best to make their rating systems and forecasts as effective as possible. Not only are they dedicated to expanding their existing suites of data, there are developments in the pipeline such as alert systems that will make it even harder for you to miss a good forecast.
We spoke to James, one of the partners at Big Salty Weather about the service and where the core focus is.
James is a recreational surfer and a top competitor in the UK’s pro windsurfing wave tour finishing 4th in last year’s 2008 Tiree wave Classic. This would suggest the service has a mix of focus between wind and wave information, which is evident from looking at the site. He assured us that wind, surf and kite are all of high importance when it comes to the development plan. After all the Big Salty Team spends their spare time surfing when the wind is light, paddleboarding when the waves are small and windsurfing and kitesurfing when the wind is up – so to them it all matters.
As well as this, Big Salty aims to be a brand focused on the roots:
‘We currently have a team on exposure contract which includes Jamie Hancock and Andy King and also to a certain extent myself (except I’m not on actually on contract).
Jamie and Andy are good friends and absolute rippers – it really is a privilege to have them on the team. They are pushing the limits in windsurfing and are radical and stylish on the water. That’s something that’s pretty big to us, when watching them windsurf we hope it fires you up to think – yeah, I want to do that too!
Dedicating your life to any watersport can be difficult but the importance is about keeping it a priority no matter how you earn your living. That’s exactly what these guys do and why they fit so well in to the Big Salty team. It’s all about keeping that motivation high’.
Additionally, Big Salty sponsors RS.X competitor Connor Bainbridge and Pro windsurfing coach Jem Hall as part of a separate arrangement. The plan is to expand the team cross sport when the capacity is available to include surfing and kitesurfing.
The Airhead says to see where the next storm is brewing, check out www.bigsalty.co.uk and be sure to add it to your favourites and if you like what the Airhead brings you bookmark www.Air-head.com you know you need them both to make your day complete.