Using a GPS to clock speed

-- Last Updated: Jul-15-07 11:24 AM EST --

How many people are using a GPS to tell how fast they are paddling?

There are lots of comments on how one boat is faster than another model and I was just wondering if that's seat of the pants judgement or some other way of measuring speed. I for one have been totaling amazed at actual (gps) speeds versus what I "thought" or "felt" was happening when comparing boats.


Me too
The speedometer on my kestrel isn’t very accurate and the odometer quit working. The gas gage is worthless, some of the dashboard lights are out and the PFD warning light keeps blinking.

I need speed…
but I’m basically lazy and like to conserve energy. Always looking for the most efficient boat and paddle, and the most effective training routine and energy supply. Without a GPS I don’t know if I’m getting better or worse. In a race, it helps me pace myself and avoid hitting walls. In unfamiliar territory it helps to measure distance, wind, and currents, and avoid surprises. How did we ever live without them?

Me three
but you know how that darn thing lies !

I know my average has to be much faster than what it tells me.

One of these days when age catches up with me I am going to stop using it and just estimate my time

I guarantee you I’ll hold a 7MPH for six miles.



Hey GK
But is the check engine light on? Oh, and by the way, I just removed the PFD light on my yak. It was getting really irritating.

Yep, the check engine light was on
…but it was a “low water” reading. As soon as I paddled out of the shoals it went out.

you are not alone
Last summer I rented a cabin at the lake for two weeks and brought three of our canoes.

One lazy mid-week day with no company I had the same thought, grabbed my gps, and put all three boats through my personalized time trials.

The canoe I thought to be fastest following a straight line (Old Town Disco 164) turned out to be the slowest of the three;

The canoe that seems fast and is the most fun to paddle (CLC Sassfrass 16) only took 2nd; while,

The boat that I thought to be the slowest and least responsive (Bell Morningstar) was the fastest by a wide margin.

Go figure.

I repeated my speed runs over a few days but recorded the same results.

EricNyre turned me on to the benifits of using a GPS to train with. Finding out what works for you and working on it. When I first contacted him my personal max speed in my Merlin was 4.9 Period couldn’t get the boat over that even in a race or if you threatened me. I Started using the GPS and have gotten the Merlin up over 6mph in a race, and held it over 5.4 for most of the race(one small stop to help out a J-boat that turned too severely…))GPS are great and I want to Thank Eric again for the Advice.

Charlie Swengros