David Morris (Nuclear Dave), Motionize Kayaking Tracker expert, is one of our most enthusiastic paddlers that come into the store. He is a keen racer at our Tuesday Night Races in Deep Cove and is always ready for a down winder!
The Motionize is essentially your own virtual paddling coach that utilizes real-time data from your stroke to give you tips to improve, as you paddle. there are two sensors, one is attached to your boat, the other to your paddle and they feed data back to your phone which then gives you feedback both audibly and visually! Pretty cool eh!? It even comes in a sup model as well! David has been kind enough to answer a few of our questions about the Motionize, and to give us a few tips on how to use it!
David, how long have you been paddling for?
I got my first Surfski (a Think Fit) 4 years ago and cautiously explored Indian Arm. After a year and a half and several Demo Days in Deep Cove I bought an Epic V8 Pro and started to work on technique. I had a couple of clinics with Bob and started to see some small improvements in the Tuesday Night Race results.
What motivated you to buy a paddling performance tracker?
The idea of being able to see what I am doing live on every paddle, with the stroke display and the statistics, it seemed like a good idea. The economics seemed reasonable if you get immediate feedback on every paddle.
So when did you buy the Motionize?
I got the Motionize in the fall after buying the V8 Pro and used it on every paddle.
What is your favorite feature on the Motionize?
Being able to monitor the stroke rate after a race. You get plots of speed, distance per stroke, stroke rate and heart rate as summary graphs. For flat water races I am always curious if my rate falls off during the race. For some races, the stroke rate is pretty consistent but the speed changes due to the tide or wind.
I was surprised to learn I had different stroke lengths on each side, with the right always a bit shorter. I think its getting better and that shows up on the summary now.
The screen showing stroke length is also one of the live screens you can display, and it shows the track of the paddle as you actively paddle. It shows the catch and exit points with respect to the boat and will tell you if you are reaching forward enough and exiting soon enough.
The summary screens can be sent to friends and rivals but even better, you can show them in the Raven Pub after the race which always starts lots of arguments and clinking of glasses. “Cheers” (and look them in the eye!)
Has using the Motionize improved your paddling performance?
Yes it has. I was able to see that my right stroke was consistently a bit shorter than my left, and have seen an improvement there. Monitoring the live paddle depth tells you if you are slouching and sitting back. Live speed and stroke rate gives you immediate feedback for sprints.
And finally, do you have any tips for anyone new to using the Motionize?
Selecting the parameters to display on the phone when you are actively paddling can help in understanding if you are doing it all correctly or if you are falling off on some aspect of technique.
This is what I have on my phone:
The paddle depth tells you a lot about your posture and reach. If it is quite shallow, it tells you if you are slouching, not reaching forward, not straightening your catch arm etc. You want the full blade in the water, and the higher the number shown and more consistent it is, means you are getting it right!
The stroke rate helps if you are doing sprints and interval training. Sometimes you might try for a one minute sprint and start counting in your head for 80 strokes, but if your rate doesn’t actually go up, then you’re not really doing a sprint.
The speed helps especially if there is a tide or wind, or you are drafting someone. If you want a training goal for an interval, this will tell you how you are doing.
Training against heart rate is a powerful tool. I need to get a monitor that works with the app.The Apple Watch doesn’t work but some Bluetooth ones do.
We’d like to thank David for taking the time to answer all of our questions! And if you do have any more questions for us about using the Motionize, come into the store for a chat, and nerd out about your paddling stats!
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