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Putting it all together

Last updated: Dec 22, 2022

Let’s pull together the various parts we’ve worked on and bring them together to showcase the full example.


Contains information about surfing conditions, including the surf height, water temperature, wind, and tide. Also provides an overall recommendation about whether to go surfing.


GET surfreport/{beachId}

Gets the surf conditions for a specific beach ID.


Path parameters

Path parameter Description
{beachId} The value for the beach you want to look up. Valid beachId values are available from our site at

Query string parameters

Query string parameter Required / optional Description Type
days Optional The number of days to include in the response. Default is 3. Integer
time Optional If you include the time, then only the current hour will be returned in the response. Integer. Unix format (ms since 1970) in UTC.

Sample request

curl -I -X GET ""
(In the above code, replace `APIKEY` with your actual API key.)

Sample response

The following is a sample response from the surfreport/{beachId} endpoint:

    "surfreport": [
            "beach": "Santa Cruz",
            "monday": {
                "1pm": {
                    "tide": 5,
                    "wind": 15,
                    "watertemp": 80,
                    "surfheight": 5,
                    "recommendation": "Go surfing!"
                "2pm": {
                    "tide": -1,
                    "wind": 1,
                    "watertemp": 50,
                    "surfheight": 3,
                    "recommendation": "Surfing conditions are okay, not great."
                "3pm": {
                    "tide": -1,
                    "wind": 10,
                    "watertemp": 65,
                    "surfheight": 1,
                    "recommendation": "Not a good day for surfing."

Response definitions

The following table describes each item in the response.

Response item Description Data type
beach The beach you selected based on the beach ID in the request. The beach name is the official name as described in the National Park Service Geodatabase. String
{day} The day of the week selected. A maximum of 3 days gets returned in the response. Object
{time} The time for the conditions. This item is included only if you include a time parameter in the request. String
{day}/{time}/tide The level of tide at the beach for a specific day and time. Tide is the distance inland that the water rises to, and can be a positive or negative number. When the tide is out, the number is negative. When the tide is in, the number is positive. The 0 point reflects the line when the tide is neither going in nor out but is in transition between the two states. Integer
{day}/{time}/wind The wind speed at the beach, measured in knots (nautical miles per hour). Wind affects the surf height and general wave conditions. Wind speeds of more than 15 knots make surf conditions undesirable because the wind creates white caps and choppy waters. Integer
{day}/{time}/watertemp The temperature of the water, returned in Fahrenheit or Celsius depending upon the units you specify. Water temperatures below 70 F usually require you to wear a wetsuit. With temperatures below 60, you will need at least a 3mm wetsuit and preferably booties to stay warm. Integer
{day}/{time}/surfheight The height of the waves, returned in either feet or centimeters depending on the units you specify. A surf height of 3 feet is the minimum size needed for surfing. If the surf height exceeds 10 feet, it is not safe to surf. Integer
{day}/{time}/recommendation An overall recommendation based on a combination of the various factors (wind, watertemp, surfheight). Three responses are possible: (1) "Go surfing!", (2) "Surfing conditions are okay, not great", and (3) "Not a good day for surfing." Each of the three factors is scored with a maximum of 33.33 points, depending on the ideal for each element. The three elements are combined to form a percentage. 0% to 59% yields response 3, 60% - 80% and below yields response 2, and 81% to 100% yields response 1. String

And that’s it. If you have a lot of endpoints to document, you’ll probably want to create templates that follow a common structure. Better yet, when you push your reference documentation into the OpenAPI specification, it makes publishing your content even easier. We’ll dive more into the OpenAPI specification in the next section, OpenAPI spec and generated reference docs.

Next steps

Now that you’ve completed the API reference tutorial, you’re ready to do some activities.

There are two activities in this section:

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