Wasserman Media Group Acquires Wetsand.com


Back in 2004 Wasserman Media Group acquired 411 Video Skate Magazine. In 2006 it acquired Sportnet, and in April 2008 the company announced it had partnered with VAS Entertainment. In yet more acquisition news from Wasserman, the company has purchased Wetsand.com from founder Chuck Menzel for an undisclosed sum. Menzel retains ownership of the brand's commerce and the storefront. "It's the creative side of it that we really wanted to maintain, and I'm still creatively in control of the site, as far as keeping it on track with content and credibility," he says.
What's interesting about the partnership is the launch of a new version of the company's surf forecasting Web site, Wetsand.com. The latest version of the site features a completely new interface called Swellwatch 3D that allows users to do things never before possible.
The most badass new feature? High-resolution swell models overlaid on a completely interactive, 3D-capable Google map of the planet. With info from more than 7,000 tide locations world-wide, 4,000 pre-programmed surf spots, easy-to-use buoy readings, wind information, and spectral charts, the site is a must see for any serious surfer.
A couple of other interesting components of the site are the "Your Lineup" and "Session Log" tabs. The Lineup feature allows users to network with their closest surfing buddies and keep them updated with their own forecasts. Based on information from their session log—an interactive diary that records all the details of the users best surf sessions—users can learn to predict exactly how conditions will be, and let their bros know about it.
"You can contact your buddies and tell them you're surfing this afternoon, or tell them to check out the models," explains Menzel, who developed the site. "You're always communicating with one or two guys, and this becomes your community, where you can keep up with your bros.
"Say you have a great session at seven a.m. at C-Street. It saves your records, and a year from now you can click on that session and it'll bring up every single display—the wind, the swell, the spectral, et cetera. It remembers exactly what it was like at seven a.m. that day."
The kicker is that the site is going to remain free. No upgrades or subscriptions are necessary. "Before I sold to Sportnet I was going to have to charge users, and that was my biggest fear," Menzel continues. "We've always been free. We're going to have to start showing advertising now, but no one cares because we deliver so much."
Menzel says that Swellwatch by Wetsand will offer users both the new Swellwatch 3D site and the classic version.