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Monday, December 22, 2014         

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Isle-made SurferBuddies app bears benefits beyond the reef

By Erika Engle

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A new Hawaii-created application for mobile devices connects surfing buddies via the ether so they can meet up IRL (in real life) and get deals and discounts on surf accessories, coffee and more.

Available in the Mac App Store online, SurferBuddies combines surf reporting, beach safety information, location-based social media, microblogging, messaging and the aforementioned.

"The idea was to consolidate all the vast aspects of the Internet onto one platform and ... have one tool, all interconnected and usable," said Ignacio Fleishour, president and chief executive officer of Surfer Buddies LLC. Honolulu-based Ikayzo Inc. created the app, incorporating all the moving parts Fleishour envisioned.

The app also will work to a limited degree on the iPad and iTouch, but a camera is required for optimal functionality. "It's really only for iPhone right now, but we're planning an Android version in three months or sooner," he said.

A surfer, a local workaday person out cruising on a weekend, or a Hawaii visitor could use the app to check out a beach or surf spot to find out whether it is safe, whether lifeguards are on duty, whether parking, showers and restroom facilities are available and, perhaps more important, whether there are places to eat or to buy surf accessories or other stuff nearby. SurferBuddies uses GPS technology to "filter the information you're getting to allow specific advertisers to give deals to users. ... The key is relevance and quickness of information."

Only Oahu surf sites are included at the moment, but additional locations, including international spots, are planned.

A future update will allow users to access secret surf spots by earning points, Fleishour said. Points are earned by visiting SurferBuddies' retail partners, including Aloha Board Shop in Puck's Alley and Papa Luck's coffee shop on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus, and more are being signed up.

Still under construction is the plan to dedicate a portion of the proceeds to educate youth about the business end of the surf industry. "I want to see more of the money that's made in surfing stay in Hawaii and (be) given back to the local kids and the Hawaiians — it was their sport," Fleishour said.

The app's 99-cent introductory price will jump to $2.99 at the end of February, with the exception of one day during the 35th annual Buffalo's Big Board Surfing Classic Feb. 19-20 and 26-27 in Makaha, of which the company is a sponsor. The free-app day might coincide with the last day of the meet, Fleishour said.

FM 100 morning show expands

Nineteen-year afternoon-drive guy David "Davey D" Daniels is leaving his KCCN-FM 100.3 time slot — to join the morning show on Monday. The show will be renamed "KCCN FM100's Morning Drive with Davey D, Augie & Lina Girl."

The KCCN morning show was perennially rated in the top five among adults 25 to 54 years old but has fluctuated since its last No. 3 ranking in the winter of 2009, to No. 12 in the summer of 2009, to its most recent leveling off at No. 5 in the last two Arbitron ratings surveys.

Daniels will continue as program director for FM100, KINE-FM 105.1 and KKNE-AM 940, and he can be seen as well as heard in "Overdrive Live" on Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channel OC16.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by e-mail at erika@staradvertiser.com.

 






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