Sunday, November 16, 2008


Like many paddlers I know, I often have a GPS on my deck to monitor my speed and distance. I use it both as a toy, and as a training tool assessing my technique and fitness with speed.

The past few months, my GPS was reporting some changes in my regular speed, or I should say lack of. Over the many years that I’ve paddled my sea kayak, I’d worked up to a comfortable average pace of 4mph on a regular 20 miler. But lately, it’s felt like I really have to struggle and work to get there.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this was aging, some technique issues with a double blade since the last 3 years I’d spent much more time with a single blade in my Kruger Dreamcatcher. Maybe it was paddling with my new Lumpy paddle; I’d ordered a narrower blade to fit my hand better.

Well today I had an “Ah Ha” moment.

This morning, Sara (above) and I met for an early morning paddle. We each needed to be off the water by noon, and wanted to get in about 12 miles. It was quite windy, 10-15 mph with lots of white caps and wind driven waves which made the paddle a lot of fun.

While paddling and with the strong headwinds I was watching the GPS to see the winds effect on our speed, it was reading between 3.0 and 3.3 mph. On the return I mentioned how much the winds were affecting our speed, and that I felt I was working really hard just to get 3 mph. Sara said she thought we were doing okay; her GPS was regularly reading 4, often 4.5, and at that moment it actually read 4.7 mph. Impossible I thought, yet she had the newer GPS. I liked her numbers. Not only was my GPS reading slower speeds, but we also seemed much slower to me.

THEN I noticed that the units had been reprogrammed and my GPS was reading knots, not mph; very good news. Sorry Bill, it’s wasn't the paddle, in fact the paddle is perfect.

1 comment:

Bill said...

: )