We first attended a surf class in Porto da Cruz led by surf coaches, which was an important step in our research phase. This allowed us to experience surfing first-hand, which some of us hadn't done before. Putting ourselves in the mind-frame of our potential users allowed us to go into secondary research with a new-found perspective.
We conducted secondary research, through reading magazines and websites related to surfing. We focused our research on surf culture as a whole, on the different training methods currently utilized by surf athletes, and on how surfing competitions are judged and measured. We also took note of some environmental issues that threaten coastal areas, which in turn affect surfing.
We brainstormed on different ideas related to surfing performance, health and fitness, and environment. Based on the feedback during class, we decided to focus on our ideas related to performance. We came up with SurfMotion, a system geared towards professional athletes and surf coaches that uses motion sensing and GPS technology to gather data on the surfers' performance during their surf sessions.
Throughout our design process we wanted to make sure that our project was innovative and useful, but also feasible and realistic to produce in the near future. We especially wanted to tackle performance data that is actually relevant for the sport, and design a solution that can help surfers around the world. We took inspiration from different surfing videos which displayed the different moves that athletes did on competitions and wonder how they could have trained for those in a better way.
To validate our concept, we presented and got feedback from a surfing coach in Madeira. He was very positive about the concept and excited about the potential to utilize this on his on surf lessons. He also gave us important suggestions for improvements that would make this product truly relevant for the surfing community.