A couple of weeks ago I found a FedEx package at my front door and opening it up I was excited to find a Motionize paddling tracker inside.

It you haven’t seen it before, Motionize is a system of two sensors (one attached to your paddle and the other on the deck of your kayak) that when used in combination with your smartphone can provide instant feedback to help dramatically improve your forward stroke.

Motionize tracker

The Motionize system measures a wide variety of specific items including, strokes per minute, stroke length, distance traveled per stroke, total number of strokes, all instantly displayed on your smartphone via the Motionize app.

Initial setup is pretty quick and easy. After attaching the paddle sensor you need to wirelessly connect both it and the kayak sensor (this is built into the housing) to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The Motionize app itself is easy to configure as it walks you through a series of questions to get an idea of the size of your kayak and length of paddle. It also takes into account if you paddle with a wing, euro or Greenland paddle which I thought was really interesting.

I will be honest with you, before using it, I was super skeptical as I wasn’t sure how accurate the data it collected was or even if it would useful. But it didn’t take to long for me to realize just how accurate the sensors were and after about 10 minutes I looked at the data and the first thing I saw was that I was pulling harder on one side and compensating by increasing my stroke length slightly longer on the other. It was subtle enough that I had no idea after all these years.

Motionize tracker and paddle sensor.

Now you might be asking yourself, "but that deck housing seems super big and clunky." It is. It’s big and heavy but in the time since I received this review copy the people at Motionize released the completely redesigned unit called the Edge which replaces the big housing with a small deck sensor and a universal smartphone holder that fits most waterproof cases and bags. Just looking at it, I think it’s a much improved system over the older version that I tested. If you are thinking of purchasing, you should consider that option.

If you are a kayak instructor I think this could also be an interesting tool. While the sensors are designed to stick with double sided tape, you could temporarily attach it to student’s kayaks with electrical tape which would provide them with instant feedback on their forward stroke performance.

What I liked:

  • Super easy to set-up
  • Paddling tips and analysis is clear and to the point
  • The sensors are hyper accurate for data analysis

What I didn't like:

  • Got to say that I was nervous of keeping my smartphone in a waterproof bag but still exposed on my deck to the elements or possible loss (it’s expensive!). The included tether helped keep that at bay.
  • The unit I had was big and clunky though it shouldn’t be a problem for the newly released smaller version.
  • Depending on the age of your smartphone, battery life could be an issue due to the fact that the screen is always on and Bluetooth activated.

Price:

The MSRP the smaller Motionize Edge is $249 and can be purchased on their website at motionizeme.com.

Conclusion:

While there are several other kayak training/recorders out on the market, Motionize is one of the only ones able to develop a product that’s also very accessible for recreational paddlers. Most of the other ones I’ve seen are either super complex to operate or are specifically designed for one type of kayak (surf skies for example) making them limited to anything outside of the competitive world.

If you are looking to squeeze out a bit more performance you should check out the Motionize for sure.

Motionize tracker

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Motionize system from the manufacturer in consideration for review publication.

Published in Gear Reviews

Competitive Canoe Fight. Photo Credit: China Daily

Things got heated at the Chinese City Games this past Sunday when a fight broke out between two canoeing teams.

From China Daily:

A Guangzhou quartet intentionally rammed its boat to a Nanchang team which had once paddled in Guangzhou''s lane during the 2,000-meter race. The Nanchang foursome fought back with paddles, cutting the face of Guangzhou kayaker Liao Zhensheng.

Liao''s face was covered with blood when he was rushed to the hospital.

Thanks to Wend Magazine for the tip off.

Published in General News

Jackson Kayak LogoPaddlers in Jackson Kayak’s Star series of whitewater kayaks claimed 13 of the 18 available World Championship slots in the US National Freestyle Kayak Team Trials that concluded here today.
 
The All-Star swept the podium and the teams in both the junior and senior men’s competitions. Only reigning champs and members of the US National Team are eligible to compete at the International Canoe Federation World Championships in Plattling, Germany next June. Jackson Kayak founder and president Eric Jackson said the Star may well be one of the most successful boat designs in history. Designed specifically for freestyle kayaking, the Star was among the first boats Jackson released when he founded the company in 2004. With each of two scheduled design updates, the Star has become more dominant in competition results. Since 2004, the boat has been on the US and World Championship podium stage more than all other boats by other manufacturers combined. Founded in 2004, Jackson Kayak is the leading manufacturer of whitewater kayaks and also makes family-friendly boats for the recreation touring and river fishing markets. The following is a list of the new US National Freestyle Kayak Team. Paddlers in boats OTHER than Jackson Kayak are indicated with an asterick.

Published in Press Releases

National Canoe Day Group Photo. Photo Credit; National Canoe Day

If you haven’t already, mark June 26th on your calendar. Why? It will be your reminder to get out on the water and participate in some of the many activities of National Canoe Day.

Organized by the Canadian Canoe Museum, National Canoe Day has been running for a couple of years now. The goal is to, "engage new paddlers and reach across generational and cultural divides to introduce the canoe to those who haven't had the opportunity to experience this great national heritage."

So far this year there are over 33 registered National Canoe Day events so check out their website for something fun taking place in your neighbourhood.

This old man would destroy you in a race.
Former Senator, Bob Mitchler from Illinois has been canoeing his whole life. This year he entered the Mid-American Canoe Race for the 22nd time (after taking a break for five years) and finished in a highly respectable 22nd place. The thing is, Bob Mitchler is 90 years old. Yes, 90…years old.

Published in Paddling Raft-Up

British help develop Afghan rowing team

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 13:33
Lending an oar: Afghan rowers training in kayaks
Lending an oar: Afghan rowers training in kayaks
Here is a great story from the world of competitive paddling:

Eton College, the home of the 2006 World Rowing Championships have donated several boats to a fledgling Afghanistan training club.

Currently the Afghan rowing team can't actually row in Afghanistan because they don't have any boats. Instead they are forced to train alongside Pakistani rowers, in Pakistani boats, on a lake outside of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

The donation all came together when Britain's ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles persuaded Eton College to donate two coxed fours and two coxless fours to Afghanistan's Water Sports Federation.

Eton's headmaster Tony Little said: "We are delighted to be able to help. It would be wonderful if the Afghan team could come to Eton to compete in the Olympics in 2012. "The boats we are sending them are five to ten years old but in a good condition. They are perfect for training."

More info: worldrowing.com
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk
Published in Industry Stuff
Fernie, B.C., resident Dr. Paul Attalla departs for Northern Africa on Wednesday, October 31, 2007, to prepare for what is sure to be the most arduous and epic adventure of his life: a solo rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean.
Published in Press Releases
KokatatKokatat athletes Ruth Gordon and Dan Burke are crowned World Champions at the 2007 Freestyle Kayaking Championships, held on the Ottawa River in Canada first week of May. The competition was held at "Bus Eater" wave, which is the biggest wave the World Championships has ever been held on.
Published in Press Releases

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