Product Review: Motionize Kayak Performance Tracker Tuesday, 02 August 2016
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. 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. 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…
Why do Rivers Curve? Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Looking at curvy rivers on topographic maps or Google Earth has always been really interesting to me and for the longest time I’ve wondered how that snake like shape came to be. You would think that since a straight line is technically the shortest and easiest route to the ocean that nature would like straight lines. Nope. After stumbling upon the video below about why rivers curve, I discovered that all it takes is a little bit of disturbance and a lot of time. Take for example a tree falls over and into the water. The current is diverted slightly allowing the riverbank to slowly erode on the opposite side. The slight change in current direction then bounces off that bank and gets diverted back over to the other side causing more erosion and eventually a curve in the river. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight and that is where time is the key factor. Check out this time lapse of a river Peru to how much the river chances even over that short number of years. Here is a final fun-fact for your next boring office party. It doesn’t matter how wide or big the river is, if it is flowing over soft ground, the length of an s-bend curve will be roughly six times the width of a river. So that means while a narrow river will look wigglier when comparing to a large wide river the ratio of length/width of the wiggles will always be the same no matter which river it is. Hydrodynamics are amazing.
Look who is (Almost) Kayaking Now: President Julia Louis Dreyfus Monday, 21 March 2016
HBO released a new trailer for the fifth season of their amazing comedy show, Veep. I'm a big fan of that show and I've always thought that Julia Louis Dreyfus is one of the funniest women in Hollywood. She plays the role of a dumb President very well. Watch the trailer below but keep an eye out for when she holds a press conference to congratulate the US kayaking team for bringing honour to America with their gold medal win only to be corrected by her aid (played by the amazing Tony Hale) that it was just a bronze. What's that paddle she is holding? It's a Shuna sea kayak paddle manufactured by Werner Paddles.
Kelly Blades and I are super excited to let you know that the latest episode of the Kayak Mainline podcast is live and waiting for your beautiful ears to listen along. For those who follow along on the Mainline Facebook page will remember about 2 weeks ago we recorded as well. Sadly when I went to go edit I discovered that a technical gremlin for into the works causing the recording to come out sounding terrible. The sound quality was amazingly bad. So we scrapped the whole thing. Luckily the latest episode turned out pretty good. This was a podcast of discovery including: a new piece of technology gear for communicating in the outdoors, why whales blow bubbles (it’s not why you think), a fantastic new Mosquito Repellent that smells as good as it looks. Finally, we get excited to discover that swearing in front of children no longer a crime in Michigan. That’s FREEDOM baby! I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did putting it together. There are several different ways to get our sweet voices directly into your ears: You can stream it live in your browser here: You can directly download the mp3 (Right click and select, "Save target as..." or "Save link as...". Subscribe via iTunes Subscribe via Stitcher iTunes user? Subscribe and get each new episode downloaded directly to your iPhone/iPod as soon as it’s uploaded. Not an iTunes user? We distribute Kayak Mainline also via Stitcher. They offer a free fantastic podcast app for both iPhones and Android making it easy listen while on the go (or sitting traffic).
Playing in the Waves with the Marine Police Saturday, 05 December 2015
My buddy Erik and I were out for a short paddle in Toronto this morning and had a funny experience. The plan was to go out the Toronto Harbour via the Western Gap then out and around Ontario Place (8.6km). Paddling just south of Ontario Place one of the marine police boats went by us on a regular patrol. After it went by we did a bit of surfing from catching the waves from the boats wake. Just then the boat did a 180 and came back our way. The cop sticks his head out of the boats cab, "hey, you guys want us to make some waves?" So we spent the next 15 minutes playing around while the police boat drove around us. Pretty sure they loved it as much as we did.