First off, unless you’ve been frequenting Stab and getting served ads, or reading Beach Grit articles about it, or even following JJF, (or Nathan) you might not know what a WHOOP Strap is, and why I’d be reviewing it – in short, a WHOOP Strap monitors your sleep, recovery, and daily effort around the clock to deliver actionable insights on how you can optimize your performance.

Why are we talking about the WHOOP Strap, and reviewing it? It’s not a surfing device, or surfing hardware, etc it’s a fitness tracker. The majority of us, well all of us, don’t need a WHOOP strap to go out and enjoy surfing. The reason I’m writing this review is I’m into recovery – active, passive and post injury – and am always trying to find things that might help lengthen my surfing time and keep me surfing at a decent level. I even penned a Recovery Buyers Guide that needs a solid update with new items I’m using.

A quick history on WHOOP, in 2012, Will Ahmed, a Harvard University student athlete, founded WHOOP to help athletes gain greater visibility into their own fitness and rest. Along with two fellow students at Harvard, John Capodilupo and Aurelian Nicolae, Ahmed incubated a prototype at Harvard Innovation Labs. The company raised $200 million from venture capital fund SoftBank in August 2021, at a valuation of $3.6 billion. (via Wikipedia). The name “WHOOP” is a phrase Ahmed used before big games in college.

In short, WHOOP aims to be your Personal Digital Fitness and Health Coach. We reviewed the 3.0 WHOOP Strap (they release the 4.0 strap last month) over the last 12 months. Does it actually get the job done? It does, but it’s expensive and addictive.

Whoop Strap Review


You get a long of information that can help you better recover, sleep and perform.


Adjustable, secure-fit strap that is waterproof. You rarely notice it.

Battery Life

Up to 5 days of battery life before needing a recharge. That's very awesome.


In short, it’s great at telling you things that positively or negatively impact your life/sleep and recover.

September 2020, three days out of neck surgery my WHOOP Strap arrived. I ordered it after surviving an onslaught of ads across screens, podcasts and raving reviews. I figured it might be helpful with my recovery from surgery and get me doing more, more often. I used the strap for 12 months straight before deciding not to renew my subscription.

The WHOOP strap sucks in a tonne of data while you wear it and then spits out three key metrics — strain, recovery and sleep — that is meant to help create a picture of what’s working, isn’t and where you can improve. The large amount of data it throws at you might be overload for some, but most of the data is easily actionable if you listen to the app. The WHOOP Strap will throw out things like ‘using your phone before bed results in a decrease in Deep Sleep’, or ‘avoiding added sugar increases your slow wave sleep’, for example.  Most of these actionable insights are built from filling out the Journal every morning when you wake. This Journal is a list of things you can say yes/no (or even list amounts) to, things like Booze, Coffee, Weed, Masturbation, Chiro, Yoga etc. 

It takes about two weeks of data before you really get solid actionable insights from the app, so make sure to keep on top of Journal and tracking your activities (and sleep) for those first two weeks as it’ll make a huge difference to the output you get from the strap.

The strap itself is lightweight, dries quickly and is made from some fabric I can’t remember. And you can get a variety of options in the strap, colours, different fabrics etc and even various accessories to wear on your bicep, or to keep it in place while surfing. Most people, myself included, wear it on our wrists. Tight, but not too tight and positioned just above your wrist bone. When surfing wear a long sleeve option to keep it intact, or get the hydrosleeve that JJF helped designed. 

While it doesn’t count your waves when surfing, it does get your HR, Calorie Burn, etc and it’s quite interesting to see how much you burn when surfing vs other activities. Oddly satisfying knowing going surfing is one of the best ways to keep fit – as long as you don’t sit out the back and yap…



You really don’t notice the WHOOP strap unless it’s been wet all day. The strap is lightweight, adjustable and with the variety of bands available, comfort is a key factor. The strap is easily adjustable and the clasp can lift up to effectively loosen the strap for quick removal. The entire system is designed so you never have to remove it but when surfing you have to be, I found, wearing something over the strap otherwise you’ll lose it sooner or later.

The strap is clean and doesn’t jump out, most people thought I was wearing a watch. A neat little design win is the battery recharging system, the battery sits atop the strap and keeps tracking while it charges the strap, and you only have to charge it once a week or thereabouts.

For comfort comparisons, I noticed the Oura Ring and Apple Watch a lot more then I did the WHOOP Strap.

9 out of 10 here.


The metrics that the WHOOP Strap provides is crazy. I didn’t know you could get access to this much information – HRV, Respiratory Rate, HR, RHR, Calories, Sleep Duration and more. Then add activities and you get a strain number and what your HR was during and after along with info around what things impact your overall health and performance. It’s overload, but in a good way.

Sleep was the most interesting to me (and the intensity that surfing is on your body), the WHOOP strap tells you about the number of disturbances through the night, how long you were asleep vs how long you were in bed (this hit me hard) and how long it takes you to fall asleep.

Given we all need to focus on our sleep patterns better, this is the big win in my eyes. It taught me a lot about better preparing myself coming into bed/sleep each night. I now start winding down at 830pm, no phones and start stretching. Maybe a hot turmeric drink and then a hot shower just before I land in bed.

If you’re a data nerd, then you’ll love all the information that the WHOOP strap spits back at you.

Overall, 9.5 out of 10.


The WHOOP app is solid, and full of info you don’t understand the first week. I had no idea what HRV was or what respiratory rate was or meant. The WHOOP app tracks more than your activity. It calibrates your data over time and recommends what to do with it based on your physiology and goals.

There’s the home dashboard when you open the app up which gives you an overview of your strain and recovery, as well what activities you’ve clocked for the day. You want your strain high and your recovery green, although I don’t think I’ve seen Nathan Florence hit green ever. 

Left to right you go Overview > Strain > Recovery > Sleep. All giving you a more detailed break down for each area. Overall it’s easy to get around the app and see the information thats presented. Trying to understand it in a way that makes sense isn’t super easy to begin with, but gets easier over time (more info equals more insights). Personally I’d love more of the ‘when you do this, that happens’ as I found those things quite helpful.

7.5 out of 10 here.


This is the challenging part – it’s expensive and it’s expensive every year. Even if you prepay 18 months, it’s still coming in at $385 for the 12 months (432 for 18 months) and that’s USD.  So, this is where it’s challenging to recommend unless you’re really into your fitness. Otherwise my suggestion is that your better off with an Apple Watch, Garmin or Oura Ring – depending on what works best for you (Apple Watch for me).

Having said that, my friends who are proper fitness junkies swear by WHOOP and what it provides and think it’s great value. Which when you’re running Ultra Marathons every other month, I can understand. Or if you’re Nathan Florence who always tries to kill himself with training (seriously, have you seen his workouts?)

I’m satisfied with the 12 months I got out of my WHOOP Strap, and probably would have re-sub’d up if I had the cash but it’s a nice to have, not a must have, in my world right now.

6.5 out of 10 here.


As a surfer, or for surfers, the WHOOP Strap is a fun and interesting add-on to your fitness journey. You don’t need to it go surf, but having it really does open your mind to other things that impact your surfing. You’ll learn when to take rest days, when to push it in the water and what other activities are affecting your surfing ability. It’s quite fun seeing how much bigger a workout surfing is over any other activities for the same duration, nothing beats surfing for surfing fitness.

The overall range of information you get, along with reminders around things to do more of, or things to avoid, really makes it stand out against other options. I tried to use the Oura ring for a month or two and found it paled in comparison to the WHOOP strap. The Apple Watch is great, but it doesn’t goes as deep as the WHOOP strap, and I haven’t tried a Garmin watch.

The biggest drawback is the price and subscription model, running at $700 a year (monthly) or $500 (annually) in Aussie Dollars it’s an expensive toy. You might be better off with an Oura Ring ($400) or similar where you only need to pay a one-off price. And it can be data overload for some people, as the WHOOP spits out A LOT of information and it’ll take a while to get your head around it and what it means for you – even with WHOOP offering up advice and insights around it all.

If you’re a proper athlete – you run regularly, surf alot, etc and fitness is a key part of your everyday lifestyle – then the WHOOP strap will be a great addition to your fitness life. If you’re a little more passive in your approach to fitness, etc you might be better off with an Apple Watch or Oura Ring. Personally I lean towards the Apple Watch since the addition of surf tracking apps like Dawn Patrol or Surf Watch.

The other thing to note is that I’m reviewing the 3.0 WHOOP Strap, and they’ve just released version 4.0 last month and it’s a big upgrade:
*The WHOOP 4.0 is 33% smaller than the 3.0
*Has the ability to monitor blood oxygen levels (SpO2) with pulse oximetry.
*It now includes three alarm settings to silently and gently wake you
*4.0 has a lot more photodiodes on the sensor and five LEDs that use green, red, and infrared light for new metrics and increased data accuracy.
*More on the upgrade here.

Overall Rating

  • The in-depth metrics
  • Battery life is amazing
  • Creating groups & Chat Rooms
  • Cost is wildly high, and subscription based
  • Solid risk of losing it when surfing
  • The in-depth metrics
Fit & Comfort 90.
Metrics 95.
The App 75.
Value 65.
Buy Now


If you’ve gotten all amped up on tracking fitness, strain, sleep and all things that the WHOOP Strap tracks, then hit this ‘buy now‘ link. Like we said, the WHOOP Strap is really impressive but it is expensive. The only way, as far as I know, to buy a WHOOP Strap is to buy it directly from WHOOP via their website – buy now – from there it’ll get sent out to you within about ten days.

If the WHOOP Strap doesn’t get you going but you’re looking for fitness trackers, we suggest having a look at :
*Garmin Fēnix 6
*Apple Watch Series 7
*Oura Ring

If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including the most recent review of the Chilli Surfboards Faded 2.0 along with buyers guides of Springsuits and Boardcovers. We’ll have more Tech Product reviews coming soon.

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Whoop Strap Review


I’m definitely not the best tech reviewing going around, that much is obvious. But I love it, so I talk about it in a way that you hopefully get some insight/learning out that helps with your purchasing decisions. If you really want to dive into the deep world of tech reviews tho, few do it as well as the man below – Marques Brownlee.

But Marques doesn’t review fitness gadgets, he’s more phones, etc. So to get a more qualified review happening for you, I’ve included a few different options below that go a lot deeper into the WHOOP Strap then I have.

*Brandon Talbot
*Chase the Summit