fitting a cadence sensor to a paddle

4 years 3 months ago #24884 by kevin brunette
Does anyone have experience of fitting a cadence sensor on a paddle? I have a GARMIN FR910XT that can receive cadence input, but this seems to be limited to placing the transmitter on the crank on a bike. Would an accelerometer provide the necessary signal if placed on the base of a blade? Does it need to be a GARMIN product?
Another method to measure cadence could be to link the device with a foot pod placed under a footpad. Has anyone considered this?

FENN Bluefin, XT, Swordfish S
Author and publisher at South Easter Communications of books in the SURFSKI series, aimed at recreational to advanced paddlers. Look at the Facebook page Surfski know-how and visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/southeastercommunications

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4 years 3 months ago #24885 by merijnwijnen
Of course the simplest and most expensive way is to buy the VAAKA sensor.

I found it way to expensive, so 2 years ago I made one myself (for my 310XT) using a magnet-based cadence sensor. I fitted a small carbon tube to the sensor trough which a round super magnet slides. I took the housing apart and desoldered the reed switch from the PCB and put it near the tube. With a bit of tuning I got it to work very well, it measures cadence at single blade level. No programming or serious electronics work required.

It is mounted to the paddle with a bit of bungee cord.

When there is interest I can make some pictures from the result and look up the components I used. It did not use a garmin one, as the form factor was not convenient.

I have no experience with the accelerometer-based cadence sensors, they might be even easier to use. If someone has one, just tape it to a paddle and give it a try.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV
The following user(s) said Thank You: Uffilation

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4 years 3 months ago #24887 by Simon Haywood
Kevin, I have used the Vaaka sensor with a 910XT for about two years now - I've had a couple of issues - all sorted. The product is very good and the after sales service is second to none - Infact, it would be the best ever after sales support on anything I've bought in my life (a big thanks to Brendon O'Neil - Vaaka). The product works extremely well in my opinion and is simple to setup - well worth the money.

Previous craft: Affinity, Endorfinn, Multisport, Epic V8, V10sport, V10, V12, Fenn Swordfish, Spirit PRS Elite; Stellar S18S, SR, SE, SEL, S2E, S2EL

Current Skis:
Huki S1-R
Stellar S18S - Excel
Stellar SR - Ultra


Skis on order: None!

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4 years 3 months ago #24915 by Rod Thomas
Hi Simon, If the product works extremely well and is simple to setup, why did you need after sales support at all? What were the issues?

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4 years 3 months ago - 4 years 3 months ago #24916 by Simon Haywood
Thanks Rod, The issues I had are not relevant to the model/revision that is currently on offer - which is what I am using now, so there is no need to elaborate. I started using the Vaaka a couple of years ago when Vaaka was starting up - call me an early adapter - It turns out my first unit of several (which is totally different to what is on offer now) was in fact a beta test unit...if you like. For my part, like several others provided back some real time use feed back which has resulted in what is on offer now.
I am in no way connected to Vaaka - just a very satisfied customer!

A bouquet to Vaaka - It's nice to recognise good companies...

Previous craft: Affinity, Endorfinn, Multisport, Epic V8, V10sport, V10, V12, Fenn Swordfish, Spirit PRS Elite; Stellar S18S, SR, SE, SEL, S2E, S2EL

Current Skis:
Huki S1-R
Stellar S18S - Excel
Stellar SR - Ultra


Skis on order: None!

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4 years 2 months ago #24933 by Stew
Firstly, I'm a Vaaka dealer in Australia, so take that into account when I sing the brand's praises. I first came across Vaaka when I purchased a unit for personal use. I was so impressed I added them to the range of products I sell through Think Kayak Australia. As Simon has mentioned, Brendan's service is second to none. I would also say that for a product like the Vaaka, that $199 delivered to your door in Australia is pretty good value all things considered. It's a rock solid little unit, providing great reliability, backed by a full warranty. The adoption of this simple technology has blown me away. From top Olympic level paddlers right through to recreational paddlers, the response has been terrific. I'm delighted to act as a representative for the brand in Australia and to have linked up with these innovative Kiwis.

Vaaka have just added a new Bluetooth sensor to the range which has just landed here, adding to the ANT+ sensors, which is great with lots of new watches using this different technology.

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4 years 2 months ago #24961 by kevin brunette
Thanks for the info. A paddling friend is going to loan me a VAAKA cadence sensor, temporarily shielding me from our adverse exchange rate. The unit apparently functions well with a GARMIN FR910XT in the 'ride' mode. Now need to devise some cadence drills.

FENN Bluefin, XT, Swordfish S
Author and publisher at South Easter Communications of books in the SURFSKI series, aimed at recreational to advanced paddlers. Look at the Facebook page Surfski know-how and visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/southeastercommunications

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4 years 2 months ago - 4 years 2 months ago #24993 by SkiTutukaka
Kevin, go to the vaakacadence.com homepage
> archive
> training articles[/url].

There are a couple of simple guides for suggested training regimes utilising the vaaka cadence sensor. Looks good! it's on my wishlist, now what's laying around here I can sell??

cheers
John

Yeah, Nah ........... maybe.

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3 years 10 months ago #25891 by jfudo
So I've been looking into gps speed and stroke monitoring. I haven't seen anywhere positive or negative if the Garmin Cadence sensor for bikes works on kayak paddles. I would like to know the answer.

Here is what I propose: get a garmin edge 25 and mount it to my foot straps so I can see it while paddling. For an extra $30 I could try the cadence sensor that goes with it, experiment and see if I can get it to work reliably. This seems like quite a nice setup for only $200 total. If it works.

If it doesn't work, then I suppose I upgrade to a Vaaka unit. Since nobody else had done it, I'm thinking I gamble with the $30. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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3 years 10 months ago #25892 by rlh608
Where do you intend to mount the cadence sensor? On your elbow? The sensor and the magnet have to pass close to each other (1cm).

Might want to look at
www.nelocoach.com/
or
www.boatcoachapp.com/

Current ski: Stellar SR Advantage

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3 years 10 months ago #25893 by JML
Kevin, you can download information on drills from their website and they have just put out an ebook on using the sensor and getting the most out of the differing training regimes with it.
Also I have some questions on your latest offerings. Do you have an email address that you can be contacted on? You can send it yo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - I can also forward you a copy of the ebook.

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3 years 10 months ago #25894 by Ranga
Motionize is what you are looking for. Just getting launched, gives you everything including stroke length on both sides.

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3 years 10 months ago #25899 by jfudo
Thanks for the help. RLH - the newer cadence sensors from Garmin don't use a magnet for its sensor, it is accelerometer based. That is why I was wondering if the circular motion of a paddle would read as a revolution of some sort.

I looked at the nelocoach and boatcoach apps. I wanted try to avoid using my phone for several reason, but the biggest issue is that I have an iphone which neither of these apps appear to be available for.

The motionize looks pretty neat, but the mount looks pretty specific to standard kayaks and doesn't look like it would work well on a surfski. Not to mention the $500 price tag.

The Garmin Edge was appealing because it looks easy enough to fasten to my footstraps and has big enough readout to see, plus is waterproof. Matching that with the vaaka seems like a no brainer, I was just hoping I could cheat by using the garmin sensor for much less money.

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3 years 10 months ago #25900 by merijnwijnen
As written in the second post to this topic, I made a cheap sensor by modifying a magnet based cadence sensor for use with my 310 XT. Works flawlessly.
I can help with more info if desired.

Regards,

Merijn

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #26038 by gstamer


I'm currently evaluating a Motionize Paddle. The current model has a "dashboard" with built-in speaker (to hear optional coaching comments). This model appears designed for touring kayaks and is a bit bulky for surf-skis, although some people have fit the kayak sensor behind the footplate.

Motionize is coming out with a surfski specific model that has a much smaller sensor. Here's the reply that I received from the company:

For Surf-skis we would offer in about a month a dedicated version with a smaller unit to be mounted on the front upper deck (same size like the paddle sensor) without the speaker and the smartphone mounting dock (same app, same Paddle Sensor). For now, you can try and connect on the aft deck with the front of the Kayak Sensor facing aft (direction is important - white logo facing your back). Some Surfskiers are mounting the unit behind their footplate.


When I discussed this product on FB with Oscar Chalupsky, he was very positive about it, especially the wealth of data (stroke length, stroke count, distance traveled per stroke, cadence, speed, depth of paddle, heart rate (need a Bluetooth Smart strap -- I'm using a Viiiiva strap that works simultaneously with both Bluetooth Smart and ANT devices). The (optional) coaching data is better than I expected it to be (warns about too long a stroke, etc). There is an "overhead" view that shows the catch and exit. I'm still getting acquainted with the device.

Motionize uses your iPhone -- so folks used to dedicated waterproof devices like a Garmin Forerunner might require some adjustment -- at least I did. The early release version of the product comes with a case for an iPhone 6 but the company is saying they will ship a RAM mount soon that will work with different iPhone models using the waterproof case of your choice. Currently I'm using an iPhone 5s in a Lifeproof Nuud case combined with an AquaPac.

FWIW, apart from this device (which I just received) have a well-used Garmin 310XT and a Vaaka cadence sensor.

Greg Stamer
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3 years 9 months ago #26040 by Hugh
Has anyone tried the Digitrainer?
It claims to combine in one gadget all the metrics one could want: heart rate, GPS, accelerometers that are sensitive enough to capture not just cadence but the force application through the stroke and roll, pitch and yaw.
www.polaritas.com/digitrainer.html
paddles.braca-sport.com/accessories/digitrainer.html

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3 years 9 months ago #26041 by Hugh
Merijn,
I am interested in learning how you made your sensor.
Thanks,
Hugh

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3 years 9 months ago #26083 by gstamer
According to Garmin the Fenix 3 recently added a bunch of paddling-specific metrics.
Has anyone tried any of these new features and care to comment?

Having cadence and distance per stroke is a nice feature, it it works well.
The Fenix 3 also has support ( Connect IQ app) for the Motionize sensors.


From Garmin:
  • Added support for Row Indoor App. New features include stroke rate, stroke count, stroke rate alerts, and ‘every beat’ metronome option. Garmin Connect support coming soon!
  • Added support for Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) App. New features include stroke rate, stroke count, distance per stroke, upgrades to virtual partner, stroke rate alerts, and ‘every beat’ metronome option. Garmin Connect support coming soon!

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3 years 9 months ago #26085 by venicebum
I've used the Vaaka and it works well. I think you have to be in "run" mode for it to synch???
Re: the 920 XT....In run mode there's a stride, foot contact graph, I haven't looked super close if it actually correlates to stroke rate, stride rate/distance, cadence, foot contact time, etc.... anyone?

Cheers

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3 years 9 months ago #26090 by ShaneS
Hi

The Fenix 3 stroke cadence works well when you wear the watch on your wrist.

Trouble is, I like to fit the watch to my foot strap so I can see the speed/distance/time/HR. Also, when you wear the watch on your wrist I find the speed is a little eratic, especially when going into the current or slower, I suspect it picks up the relative speed of your arm moving (ski speed + arm speed some times, ski speed - rm speed at other times).

So - I bought a bike cadence sensor, the magnet free Garmin one meant to go on the crank arm. First attempt I fitted it to mid-point of the paddle thinking it would detect eccentric movement of the paddle, but no measurements.

Next I fitted it closer to the end, between my hand and the blade - bingo!! Worked a treat when paddling with good technique (paddle near to vertical at the catch) - not so great with a lazy stroke or low arms.

The best all round solution was to just fit the sensor to my wrist/arm. I wear a wrist remote control for my Virb camera, so the dance sensor is now fitted to the wrist strap.

Cheers
Shane

Fenn Swordfish S Carbon Hybrid - 2016
Fenn Elite S Carbon - 2016
Stellar SR Excel - 2015
Cobra Expedition - 2013
The following user(s) said Thank You: AR_convert

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