paddling trainer

hi folks …anyone own one of these or have used one? just curious thanx

No direct experience but…
Being cheap (spent too much money on boats and paddles already this year) and having read that it was possible to convert a NordicTrack ski machine to a paddling erg and, just happening to have an old NordicTrack waiting to be cannabalised, I did this conversion over the Holiday break and for only about $100 US in parts.

I looked at the KayPro Speedstroke ($2,000 US approx) design and there’s also a German paddling erg ($5,000 US approx) and here’s what I concluded from my research and experience that is hopefully of value to your question…

The two machines above are a lot longer than the PaddleONE design and consequently the angle of pull is less acute and changes less during the stroke than what appears to be the PaddleONE shorter geometry. Not sure how significant this is but I emulated the longer design on the NordicTrac conversion and it works well.

Secondly, and probably more important to some, the more expensive machines use fans rather than a cast iron flywheel for resistance. Their technical documentation suggest this generates the steeper exponential resistance that is typical of a real hull as it approaches hull speed. The flywheel that PaddleONE and my NordicTrack conversion uses is much more linear, consequently although I can dial in a resistance level that is appropriate to a constant effort, when I sprint for intervals the stroke rate goes up much faster than would be the case on the water. Maybe the PaddleONE addresses this but I didn’t see anything that promoted this feature.

I was able to use the electronics from the NordicTrack to give a time readout and “speed” and “distance” monitoring that I know is not accurate but is a reference for the relative comparison of different workouts. I don’t see any electronics on the PaddleONE.

PaddleONE definitely has the price advantage and it may well be a really effective trainer. Shorter is good if you have limited space. Hopefully an owner can give some insight.


hey Stephen,

could ya show us pics of the “Nordic Paddle Machine”

I’d love to build one- I am sure there are enough NordicTrack machines for sale out there…

Yes, Please

I still have the photos sent to me by one very generous and helpful P-Netter (I’m sorry; don’t remember who it was!), and a nordic Track that’s been in the lawn shed for the past three years…

Would be psyched to do a conversion as well, as I can’t pop for the Speedstroke (that all my friends seem to have…aargh). The Concept II rower is a great fitness alternative, but doesn’t mimic the paddle stroke at all.

If you’d be open to sharing what you did, it would be appreciated.


I have a Speedstroke
And, while it was $2k, it is well worth it if you want to maintain

paddling fitness. It really simulates a racing K1. The speedometer can be adjusted to simulate your boat and ability. I used to paddle year round on the water 4-6 days a week. Now, I’m using the Speedstroke for probably 4 months a year. It does simulate the resistance curve of a k1, in that resistance goes up exponentially as top end is approached. The seating and footrest is very k1 like,

and is pretty comfortable. It is also pretty good for stroke development, as well as being a killer workout (if you want put the effort in).

I was worried…
…that you’d ask for pics.

Here’s a few shots that should give you the general idea. I added some comments to help, I hope. No where near as pretty as a Speedstroke or PaddleONE. However it is a cheap erg until you save a lot of pennies.


Thank You

Many thanks for posting the pics. I can get a decent idea of the mods you made and hopefully figure out the details as I work with it. Going to drag the NordicTrak out of the shed today…

As Greg (and many others on this board have noted), the Speedstroke is a pretty amazing machine. There’s is also another paddling simulator out there, the Dansprint, that the Bracsa crew endorses. I’m not sure if it’s imported into this country though, and think it may cost more than the Speedstroke.

While the topic is open, Concept II used to (I think) offer a kayak adapter for their rower, in addition to the canoe stroke adapter. Has anyone ever tried this?

*Greg, buddy, thanks for rubbing it in. (Smile.)


I received my paddleone-k a week ago and was pleasantly surprised at the overall build quality and smoothness of the machine. I’ve never seen a Speedstroke so I can’t compare the two units - my purchase decision was solely based on cost. So far, I like it a lot with one exception: the ‘paddle’ is fairly heavy steel. I was getting shoulder/deltoid soreness even when not paddling hard, which I felt was due to just lifting the bar. I picked up a 60" wood lawn tool handle at home depot, attached some eye bolts, and swapped it out. Problem solved. I just finished 45 min and no shoulder/deltoid pain whatsoever. The compact size of the unit is handy, and i like the quietness of operation. The stroke is smooth, and i feel it provides a realistic ‘wing stroke’ motion. There is an adjustable resistance belt for those that need more tension - that may be useful down the line for harder intervals. I bought mine through John at – great customer service, great support of the midwest paddling scene, and a 2 week trial period sealed the deal. So far, no regrets - i like it, i use it, and am anxious to see how well the erg training carries over to real paddling once the water thaws!

used both the paddleone
and the concept2 that was configured for canoe paddleing. If space is not too much of an issue I would prefer the concept 2. Reason was the split time computer/gauges and resistance at speed.

newer Concept 2
The newer Concept 2 paddling machines are a lot smaller than the older models.

“Paddle” length
Glad that you like the SpeedONE. Looks like a nicely executed and cleanly constructed design.

I agree that the weight of the steel “paddle” sounds problematic and a lighter wooden shaft should work fine. What made you choose the 60" length?

If the “paddle” is too short then the lower arm is doing more work and the upper arm is not pushing as much. Think of levers and how the lower hand is acting as the pivot point. I had a 52" “paddle” originally because it saved space but quickly realized it didn’t mimic a realistic paddle stroke for the upper arm.

Just measured the length of my new “paddle” at 70" for the length for the line to go through holes at the end, about 10" longer than the length you describe.

I would be interested in what length “paddle” other erg users find to be a good match relative to their on water paddles. For reference I use a 210 cm ONNO mid-endurance wing with a high angle. Sorry for the mixed units. (I don’t intend to open the entire optimal paddle length discussion again, just to get an idea of erg “paddle” vs on water paddle length.)



paddleone shaft length
I chose the 60" length for two reasons: it’s the longest one they had at home depot and it’s also approximately the same length as the shaft that came with the paddleone. It feels fine so far. My wing is always adjusted to 211cm. I’ll give the 60" wood shaft some decent hours and then make adjustments from there.

kayak erg from old nordic track
Full manual on how to convert a used nordic track ski machine to a fully functional kayak erg

The erg works great and is just as fluid and water like as any commercial unit.