What is best erg for kayak training?

I am considering a Concept 2 rowing machine, with the Vermont Waterways kayak adapter, as well as the Kayakpro Speedstroke. I’m leaning toward the Concept 2, but I cannot get a response from Vermont Waterways on the kayak adapter. If you have any experience with either of these machines, please share your thoughts with me. I’m also considering using the Concept 2 rower for cross training, until I can locate the kayak adapter. I’m also interested if you have had good results with other trainers. Thanks much.


Kayak Ergo

– Last Updated: Nov-15-10 11:09 PM EST –

If you want a kayak erg, I don't think you are going to get anything better (at least in the states) than a SpeedStroke. It is the closest to the real thing, but on land.

The concept2/adapters are a waste of time and money as well as any of the cheap ergs. The SpeedStroke seems expensive, but you should see it as a boat you can actually paddle on land :D

Hope this help,

PS: I have owned two versions of the SpeedStroke since 2003 (classic & gym) -money very well invested.

ditto Kayakpro speedstroke
Paddle One makes a less expensive erg but the Kayakpro Speedstroke is the best kayak erg around. I have had mine for a little more than a year and am very happy with it. I have pounded the crap out of it yet it is still like new. My time in the Blackburn was a half hour faster this year than the year before. Good Luck.

Thanks for your recommendations
Thanks for your recommendations for the Kayakpro Speedstroke. My only reluctance is cost and the value of cross training with the Concept rower simply for a change of pace. I can kayak year round on the Tennessee River, and will soon be wearing my semi-dry suit.

However, you’ve got me leaning hard toward the Speedstroke.




– Last Updated: Nov-16-10 1:39 PM EST –

I got my first SpeedStroke while living down in South Florida with access from my home to the ICW and just one mile paddle to an inlet. At that point, I used to use the erg to do 5k's/30 minutes morning workouts that a tight schedule did not allow me to get wet...

Now, I live in ATL and do paddle year round, but as you know, there are some weeks when temp goes below the 30's. It isn't worth it to get so freaking cold; thus, I do use it way way more up here.

Just take into account, an erg is an erg, so if you don't get a good one -one that feels the closet to the real deal, you won't use it.


PS: The classic (old model) feels pretty much the same like the new gym (new model) -you are just paying for computer connections and such....

Speedstroke Gym
I have owned Speedstroke Gym for about 2 years now. I have not used any other ERGs so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I feel it does a great job of simulating a kayak stroke. Like others, I mainly use it in the winter or for short workouts during the summer months. I also think it’s rather expensive.

My only issue has been the lackluster after-purchase support from the manufacturer. The unit arrived at my house in a damaged box with a few parts missing. When I asked for replacement parts, the company suggested I buy them at my local hardware store.

I have one of the earlier models of the Speedstroke Gym and the newer model has some upgrades such as a new computer, adjustable seat, etc. When I asked if my older model could be retrofitted with these features they said no and would not provide any other explanation. For such a premium priced device you would think they would provide better after market support.

Concept 2
My wife and I bought a Concept 2 earlier this summer. We did not buy it specifically for kayaking, but rather for a good cardiac workout. We already have an elliptical and wanted another piece of equipment to help with cardio, and general fitness.

The Concept 2 is a great piece of equipment. It is well maintained and the support from the manufacturer is top notch. When we were looking at different rowing machines, one of the things we wanted was a machine that would easily fold up for quick storage. I couldn’t find anything on line to show me how the Concept 2 folded up, until I finally found a short video on the Amazon website. It looked like a video produced by Concept, as the person who was doing the demonstrating in the video was also in a couple of videos that were on the Concept website. I called the manufacturer about something else, and in passing happened to mention about my difficulties finding this information and that I found it on the Amazon website. She thanked me very much and said they appreciate this kind of feedback. The very next day the video I had seen on Amazon was on the Concept website. I was amazed at that kind of response. Not only that, they were extremely helpful dealing with a number of calls I had with various questions about their product and rowing machines in general.

One other thing about Concept, is that they have two great websites, one in the U.S. and one in Britain. Not sure about the British website, as I don’t use it very much, but the U.S. website has an online logbook that helps you to keep track of your sessions.

In conclusion, it is a great machine with great support from the manufacturer. One other thing, for me at least, the cheapest way to buy it was directly from the factory.

Good luck with your search!

2nd the Concept 2 for general fitness
I cannot comment on the Speedstroke. I have never used one, but then again I was not looking for a kayak specific machine.

I have been using a Concept 2 Ergometer for 20 years and I have logged nearly 16 million meters. At one time or another I have owned all Concept 2 models with the exception of their latest and greatest the model E. The model D fits my needs just fine.

To echo Quickbeam, Concept 2’s customer service is consistently outstanding. They do not forget about you after the sale.

Leaning toward the Speedstroke
Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Concept 2 rowing machine. It looks like both the Concept 2 rower and the Speedstroke have their pluses. I’m leaning toward the Speedstroke, because I know I need to fine tune my forward stroke, and the kayak erg with a mirror out front will give me a chance to see where my stroke breaks down as I increase stroke rate. For example, I’ve discovered recently that I’m pushing harder and also pulling harder with my right arm (not surprising since I’m right handed). Therefore I need a more symmetric stroke effort. I believe my forward stroke will always need improvement, and a kayak erg should facilitate this.

years of good workouts with both
Concept 2 and speedstroke are both excellent but my old speedstroke had a flimsy paddle shaft. And the sensor soon fell of the wheel in front. Had to cut a hole to put it back on. Wiring on speedstroke is flimsy. Concept 2 had the digital screen die like and old microwave. Some exercise machines are never used. If you do get one, try mounting a fan in front and watch sports or irratitable politics to annoy you. You need adrenalin or else it is a coat rack.

have you tried running? You are not in shape unless you run. I burn 1,000 cal per hour on eliptical. You need to do some good stretching but you should also bike and hike. You only go around once. You should do some ww kayak and ww rafting with family and friends.

The big wing paddle can be hard on specific joints. CROSS TRAIN and be happier. Speedstrokes are huge and require a wide area. I really enjoy the gym in winter. Kayaking can be like a pitcher throwing fast balls. An old pitcher with burnt out arms told me that his arm had 10,000 fast balls and then he was done.

How sad some only canoe or kayak. I have done the 90 miler in both. And I like 5 and 10 k runs.

You got it

– Last Updated: Nov-18-10 10:38 AM EST –

General fitness does not fully correlate to sport specific performance. That's why -runners, run; rowers, row, and paddler, paddle.

A kayak Erg (Dansprint or Speedstroke) will allow you to work not only on your muscle specific level of fitness but also on your technique -that is something you cannot do running, rowing, and/or doing weights...


PS: when martial arts was my main sport, I used to row for general fitness. 10 years ago, when I got more and more into kayaking, quickly realized that rowing/erging was not cutting it for me... rowing is all about pulling while kayaking is all about rotating...

Concept II
Call Concept II and ask for Mark McAndrew. He builds the kayak adapter on the side, but works for Concept II. He’s a great guy and will be able to help you out. Concept IIs and the adapter are built in the Northeast, while Kayakpro is an import. No comparison between the two companies - I’d go Concept II in a heartbeat.

Can’t get response on kayak adapter
I’ve called and emailed Vermont Waterways (Mark McAndrews company that ‘used’ to make a kayak adapter for the Concept 2 rower) and get no response. I emailed Concept 2 asking about the kayak adapter a few days ago and have received no response.

I suspect the kayak adapter is no longer available for the Concept 2 rower.

A friend tells me he likes this setup more than the Speedstroke, but I may not have that option.

Concept 2
You might want to try giving them a call. Here is the link to the contact page that is listed on their web page.


Kayak adapter discontinued for years
I talked to Mark McAndrew today. He stopped making the kayak adapter a few years ago because it did not interface properly with Concept 2 computer, due to stroke rate limits I believe. Anyway, here’s a photo of what the adapter looks like: