Skip to main content

Pro surfer Kai Lenny puts the water-resistant iPhone 7 to the test in the ocean

Find out what happens when surfer Kai Lenny takes the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus for a ride with him on the waves in the Pacific Ocean to test Apple's water-resistance claims.

Kai Lenny has been dubbed the world’s ultimate waterman, so it seems fitting for ​the 23-year-old from Paia, Maui, to be one of the first to test the water-resistance of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Lenny—an all-around watersports and Red Bull-sponsored athlete who competes in big wave surfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) windsurfing, kitesurfing and more—took Apple’s new devices into the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean.


With the help of warranty company SquareTrade, Lenny attached the phones and a Go Pro to his short board in the water. He started with the non-water-resistant designs, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which lasted under four minutes and a bit more than five minutes, respectively.

SI Recommends

Water fitness: Extreme wave rider, SUP champ Kai Lenny shares his workout routine

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus fared much better surfing the waves. Living up to Apple’s water-resistant claims, both phones survived 30 minutes in the salt water on Lenny’s surfboard. The iPhone 7 sustained only slight audio muffling, while the iPhone 7 Plus experienced audio issues, but still worked, after 30 minutes. Watch the video below to see all of the devices on their rides:

While Lenny’s experiment proved successful, it’s probably best to keep your new iPhone out of the ocean: Apple doesn’t cover water damage under warranty and names surfing as one of the top water activities to avoid with the device.