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Brennan’s Wave surfing conditions can be found online

Brennan’s Wave surfing in Montana
Posted at 10:11 AM, May 18, 2023

MISSOULA — The phrase 'surfing the web' is a little outdated but it works in this case. Atlas McKinley has combined his love for surfing with his love for coding to help the Missoula surfing community.

Brennan’s Wave downtown Missoula is only good to surf for a few months a year, when the water is running just right. So, those wishing to check river conditions needed to go on many different websites. That all changed when Atlas created Magic Moss.

“You had to go to the USGS site to look at every stream gauge to look at the water levels and then if you wanted to see the forecast you had to go to like an even harder site to use which NOAA puts out and they have forecast data but you’d have to squint to see the graph.”

Magic Moss gives hourly river and weather condition updates for Brennan’s Wave. The name comes from a surfing community inside joke.

“There’s a big surf forecasting company called Magic Seaweed that was around the last few years. Surfline bought it so now Magic Seaweed’s not around but I thought Magic Moss was fitting for a river," he explains.

Brennan’s Wave surfing in Montana
Brennan’s Wave - surfing in Montana

McInley learned to code at the University of Montana. Coding gave him the idea to try web design.

He told MTN, “Everyone needs something they wanna build starting off. I was like: 'well you know I hate these websites that I use all the time... to see what the river conditions are like... maybe that’ll be something I’ll build and it’ll be something that I know at least dozens of people down here at the wave... would use."

McInley may only see some of these people when the waves are good but he loves the community of surfers in Missoula and knows they would all benefit by having a single location for all the data.

“You get to know everybody. You know you see them for two or three months... If you come down here like me you’ll see them everyday for two or three months and then you might not see them 'til next year but you'll start right back up again and they’re surf buddies," he shared.

McInley wants to keep adding content to the website. He foresees a spot where the community can post photos and have a say in what goes on with the wave in the future.

Click here to visit the website.


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