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NET NEVER SO TUBULAR THANKS TO SURFER WITH WEATHER EYE; MAN'S ON-LINE VIGIL PROVIDES WAVE RIDERS WITH LATEST CONDITION REPORTS.

Byline: Douglas Clark Daily News Staff Writer

Todd Cool surfs the Internet to help Southern California surfers catch the good waves.

Cool, 34, a Simi Valley software engineer and occasional surfer, has developed a Web site on the Internet called Wave-Cast through which surfers subscribing to the service can get updates on forecasts for wave conditions from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

The service also uses e-mail to alert subscribers of large swells developing throughout Southern California.

Cool, who works full-time for CK Technologies in Newbury Park, said the service has proved popular for those who don't have time to search through the Internet for the 30 data sources he downloads and distills.

``We take it all in and then present it so it makes sense,'' he said of the storm data he analyzes.

But Wave-Cast (www.cool-net.com/wavecast) is also winning subscribers because its forecasts have been accurate, he says.

In fact, before creating Wave-Cast four months ago, Cool was providing swell predictions in a free Web site he has operated for about two years. Net surfers took notice.

``After hitting two swells in a row, someone called and said, `I'd pay for that information,' '' he said.

Cool said he now has about 300 subscribers. Subscription rates are $5.95 for one month with discounts for additional months. Those who are curious are invited to visit the site for free for a few days before subscribing, he said.

Cool said he updates Wave-Cast twice a day. Using sources like the National Weather Service, he said it takes him about an hour in the morning, and about two hours in the evening. Eventually, as he refines his operation, he said his two sessions will be about 30 minutes each.

Also, his time will naturally be reduced as he takes on more spotters, who e-mail him information from various locales in Southern California.

But in the end, it's the weather that determines how much must be done. When things are quiet, the data-driven Web site ``baby sits itself,'' he said. Stormy weather brings more work.

``Typically, days go by and nothing has to be done. It depends on what swells are coming in,'' he said.

When Cool moved to Southern California 12 years ago, after earning a computer studies degree from Ohio State, his dream was to learn to surf.

``That was one of the first things I wanted to learn,'' he said.

Though he did plenty of surfing in his early years here, since becoming a husband and a homeowner Cool finds less time to hit the beach. Even so, he said his wife, Ana, a mechanical engineer, has encouraged his work on the Web site.

For now, Cool is pleased surfers are enjoying Wave-Cast. But one day he hopes to have more time of his own for sun and fun.

``My goal is to eventually go back to consulting. And I would like to be able to surf at least three times a week,'' he said.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 21, 1997
Words:498
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