Looking to Improve your Kayak Stroke? Motionize is your Virtual Live Coach

Friday, 14 November 2014
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The kayak forward stroke. We make use of it 99% of the time out on the water but it’s also the one stroke that most people do poorly. Sure we can get from A to B with little difficulty but as soon as you need power or efficiency most paddlers don’t know how to fix it without coaching and serious practice.

Motionize is a new product to help make your kayak forward stroke better by using of technology as a virtual coach.

It works with the help of a lightweight, waterproof sensor that attaches to your kayak paddle shaft and transmits information about your stroke by Bluetooth to an iPhone app which in-turn displays that key information to you live.

Motionize App

Making use of the built in 9-Axis motion sensor, the system is able to track a large number of items including stroke length, distance per stroke, pace, speed, distance, paddle max depth, blade entry/exit points, and blade angles. It will also generate a 3D graphic of your stroke so you can see what it looks like from the side or top. This would be helpful to check things like symmetry of the left and the right side.

The second part of the Motionize system is the waterproof housing and iPhone stand which straps quickly strap to your kayaks front deck so you can see your stats live while out paddling.

The Motionize app itself looks very interesting as it incorporates a lot of features you would get from a typical GPS including distance traveled with map overlay as well as animated replay of your stroke. It has a very interesting emergency response feature that will detect where you are and automatically call for help if it detects you are upside down in the water.

So who would want to make use of a system like this? I think it would obviously appeal to somebody who is looking to get more performance from their stroke. Budding racers would be all over this. But I think it would also appeal to any paddler who is looking to be better on the water. Forward stroke is one of those things that you can quickly slip back into bad habits if you are not always thinking about proper technique until it gets burned into your muscle memory.

Due to its extreme portability I think that this could also be an interesting tool for kayak instructors or coaches working with students. During a lesson you could easily slap it on a student’s boat while on the water and evaluate it with them afterwards. It could go hand in hand with video coaching. Of course I would like to test it out and see how it would work in real life but I think there is real potential there.

At its initial release in mid-2015 the system will only be available for iPhones but the developers wrote me back saying an Android version of the app should be available shortly after. No word on final costs as obviously the system is still in development but they have a registration form on their website to get on the list for early-bird pricing.

More info: motionize-inc.com

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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