Client – Rip Curl

Markets – Global

Timing – April 24th 2014 launch of 6 month beta, final version is live now

Agencies/Vendors – VML Sydney, VML Kansas City, GPY&R

Tech Word Cloud – cloud technology, lead nurturing, mobile innovation, app, location tracking

Rip Curl created a digital ecosystem just for surfers with a GPS watch, linked to a mobile and desktop app and able to track what surfers do in the water in real-time.


Rip Curl has always sought to create innovative products to help surfers in their search for the perfect wave. Surfers can spend most of their time in the water waiting for the perfect wave to arrive and it is usually gone all too fast. Rip Curl wanted to change this, tracking and capturing those moments, making experiences shareable within the entire surfing community.


To create the ultimate digital surfing community, they created the Rip Curl Search Project. They built a mobile and desktop app that syncs with the GPS search watch, translating the raw data of surfers’ time spent in the water, speed, and distance traveled into distinct periods of paddling, waiting and surfing. This data created color- mapped tide and weather conditions that could be automatically shared with the global surfing community via cloud-based servers. For the first time in Rip Curl’s 40 year history, they were able to track measure and monitor what customers are doing in the water, creating the ultimate CRM program.


The Rip Curl GPS Search app employed the world’s first high-rate GPS watch and inertial data logger to map exactly what surfers were doing during their time in the ocean and were able to effectively create an entire digital ecosystem just for surfers.


To create and this groundbreaking idea, Rip Curl turned to VML Sydney. They worked with GPY&R on the concept and VML Kansas City on the application integration and design. Because of the technology used in this campaign, Rip Curl now knows where the best waves are in the entire world, in near-real-time and can build on surf-travel business by suggesting experiences and locations perfect for every skill level.


The response to Rip Curl’s GPS search campaign has been largely positive, and has driven sales across their entire product range. The project broke even in the third week of sales. They have seen approximately 20x return on ROI, with a total of 1,211,211 waves tracked and 72,460 hours of total usage. There are 31,030 active users, with 61% logging in to the website or app once a week. 81% of user log in once per month, and 57% of users are sharing their best surf of each week.