Outdoors

Smart paddle coaches kayakers

Smart paddle coaches kayakers
Motionize Paddle is an electronic kayaking coach
Motionize Paddle is an electronic kayaking coach
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The Motionize Paddle smartphone case mounts on the deck of the kayak
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The Motionize Paddle smartphone case mounts on the deck of the kayak
Motionize Paddle is an electronic kayaking coach
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Motionize Paddle is an electronic kayaking coach

Sea kayaking is like a lot of other activities, in that just because you enjoy doing it, doesn't mean you're doing it right. If you aren't out there with more experienced kayakers, though, how will you know what to change? Well, that's where Motionize Paddle comes in. It's a system that uses your smartphone to assess and improve your paddling.

Motionize actually consists of three parts – or four, depending on how you look at it: there are two waterproof 9-axis sensor modules that mount on your kayak and your paddle, a waterproof smartphone case that goes on the deck of your boat, and a dedicated iOS/Android app that runs on that phone.

Lithium-polymer batteries in the kayak-mounted and paddle-mounted sensors should provide run times of 90 and five hours per charge, respectively.

The Motionize Paddle smartphone case mounts on the deck of the kayak
The Motionize Paddle smartphone case mounts on the deck of the kayak

As you're out kayaking, the app communicates with the sensors via Bluetooth, noting the relative positions and movements of both the paddle and the boat. Using some good ol' "proprietary algorithms" to analyze that data, the software is reportedly thus able to ascertain your paddling form. Via both an onscreen display and audio prompts, your phone then provides real-time corrective feedback on factors such as stroke length, distance per stroke, speed/pace, and paddle depth.

Additionally, because the app is able to track your progress over time, it will continually help you to improve as you gain skills and experience.

The Motionize Paddle system is available now, priced at US$499. It can be seen in use, in the following video.

Source: Motionize

3 comments
minivini
This is pretty cool. As an avid paddler, this would be a lot of fun to play with, but I'm not sure it's a $500 gadget that is worth, well, $500!
sk8dad
The paddler in the picture has a stroke length of 1'48"... What does that mean? Is that the same as 5' stroke length? It's also unclear to me how it can detect the difference between the use of core muscles versus arm ones. At $500, it's much cheaper to just take some lessons where you're likely to learn other skills than just stroke technique.
FrankFitzgerald
Or you can buy a Hobie and throw away the paddle.