The optimal GPS for surf ski

More
5 years 5 months ago #27884 by SurfskiEstonia
Hi, guys!

I've been using a Garmin Vivoactive (1st gen) for 2 years, but don't have it anymore.

Would like to take a look at products outside the Garmin/Suunto/Polar GPS watches. When I think about the activities where I really use GPS capabilities, those are surf ski paddling (85%) and bicycling (15%). So I don't really need all those smart watch functions.

Do You have any suggestions/thoughts about an appropriate GPS watch/gadget to be mounted on a surf ski.

The keywords are:

1. Waterproof
2. Reasonable accuracy (want to see the speed while accelerating down the wave)
3. Sufficient screen visibility in the sun and dark
4. Comfortable carry and mounting on the ski

All suggestions are very welcome :) Thanks!!

Current: Carbonology Boost double, Jantex Gamma Mid
Previous: Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 5 months ago #27885 by WingSuit
Garmin 920 XT. its a big square watch, but you can see up to 4 fields at once: speed, distance, heart rate, etc. its easily buckles around the footstrap and is big enough to see. its new enough where the GPS only takes a couple seconds to find your location. and, the battery lasts for several paddles.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 5 months ago #27888 by grasshopper
For something specific to paddling check out Motionize. It uses 2 sensors, 1 on the paddle and 1 on the boat and gives a lot of feedback on your paddle stroke. It uses your mobile phone as the display/recording device.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 5 months ago #27892 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
I have a Garmin Forerunner 620 (older model) I bought off ebay with the heart rate monitor for $90. It works great and tells, time, distance, max speed and avg speed. It's all I need.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 5 months ago #27905 by Davelis
After my trusty 310xt I upgraded to 910 xt and I'm very pleased. I have try the motionize but you have to charge the sensors your phone and putting all to your ski takes time also not very accurate

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 5 months ago - 5 years 5 months ago #27906 by SurfskiEstonia
I did some more research and realised that there are no serious alternatives to the established brands' GPS watches.

Basically my main criterion is GPS accuracy, because all of the watches have good batteries, water resistance etc. Also the only place where I actually need the GPS accuracy is riding down the wave.

I am a bit disappointed by Garmin's GPS accuracy. When we were dragon-boating (paddling in a large 10-paddler boat), people with Polar and Suunto would get reasonable and close to each other top-speeds, and i would get ridiculously high results. That makes it kinda redundant to use it for the purpose of measuring speeds on the wave, no?

So, I checked out the Polar and Suunto's top range.

The reviews of the Polar V800 are generally very positive, especially in terms of GPS accuracy. But the band on the Polar needs a much wider wrist than mine. And even though I would use the watch mainly on water, I would still like to be able to put it on the wrist without it being funny.

Suunto has the new Spartan line at an exceedingly high price. In addition, the reviews are mixed and even on the negative side, so I'd skip that.

The Suunto Traverse seems like an interesting choice as it has a relatively reliable GPS accuracy, there are some nice features like flashlight and red night vision lume, plus the wrist band attaches to the case really close to the bezel, making it better for the smaller wrists. Although it is still a huge watch :D

I also like Kwolfe's suggestion to buy a discounted unit with the main functionality at a reasonable price. I will wait and see what happens in the spring when the Garmin 5 watches arrive to the shops. Maybe the prices on the previous models will drop somewhat. But there needs to be a sufficient saving from that, otherwise it is psychologically difficult for me to buy an older piece of technology, if I could get a new thing that will be relevant for much longer at a fraction higher. If those discounts don't happen, will look again at the Traverse.

Thanks to those who share their opinion and please feel free to correct or advise me on this post too :)

Current: Carbonology Boost double, Jantex Gamma Mid
Previous: Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus
Attachments:
Last edit: 5 years 5 months ago by SurfskiEstonia.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 5 months ago #27907 by WingSuit
Help me out. How again do you know that Garmin GPS is not accurate? If you are wearing any GPS device in your wrist while you paddle is won't be accurate. It needs to be affixed to your boat. I have had a few Garmins over the years and have checked them with paddling partners, cars, other GPS units etc and have never had one differ from others.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 4 months ago #27915 by SurfskiEstonia
This is a valid question :) I don't want to hate on Garmin, it's just the signals I've been getting from different sources:

1) my personal experience comparing the readings from my Vivoactive strapped to the ski footrest and the Garmin Virb XE data mounted on the ski (Vivoactive a couple km/h higher).
2) my personal experience comparing data from the a Vivoactive on my wrist with a Polar v800 and Suunto Ambit also from paddlers wrists (Vivoactive much higher: 17 vs 13 km/h).
3) This link does for GPS watches what SurfSkiRacing.com did for surf ski reviews: fellrnr.com/wiki/GPS_Accuracy . Here the Garmin pieces are all on the weaker side of the chart (apart from the 910). The flagships Fenix3 and Epix are rated really low.
4) Issue with instant speed accuracy are also discussed on the Garmin's official forum: forums.garmin.com/archive/index.php/t-340940.html
5) I was really keen on getting the Garmin Epix for it's mapping capabilities, but whichever review I read, it speaks about the super weak GPS accuracy :|

I am not hating on Garmin, they have nice designs, user-friendly interfaces on hardware and GarminConnect, but it seems they are sub-par to the competition in terms of instant GPS accuracy speed-wise.

No? :)

Current: Carbonology Boost double, Jantex Gamma Mid
Previous: Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 4 months ago #27916 by WingSuit
I will find out for myself, after I get over the cold that I have! I will strap my 920XT to my footstrap, set up my Motionize/iphone, then put my Garmin Edge 510 bike computer someplace on my boat where i can see it. Maybe I'll wear my Gopro to document what they all say, so I don't get too distracted. Maybe I'll set it all up on my bike too, and do some comparisons at paddling speeds. I'll get back to you! I it works I'll post the screen shots. Hopefully no one will take a picture of me with all that stuff on my boat.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Atlas

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 4 months ago #27934 by jfudo
Replied by jfudo on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
Last year I acquired a Garmin Edge 25. It is meant for bicycles. I got out my trusty needle and thread and sewed the backer plate to one of my footstraps. Then I just twist it in and out as needed. Works perfect for me. I can reach it to stop and start, can read it perfectly in any light. I have it set to display time, speed and distance. If I want to upgrade to have it show cadence, then it is compatible with a cadence sensor. Speed is down to one decimal point precision (and seems to be accurate too) and has been very helpful.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 4 months ago #27948 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
I'm looking forward to your update WingSuit. I'm particularly interested in your experience with Motionize. What HR strap are you using to connect with your iPhone?

Current boats
Epic V10L Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV X, Fenn Bluefin, Nelo 510, Fenn XT double, Nelo 600, Expedition Kayaks Azure

Previous boats
Spirit PRS, Fenn Swordfish, Fenn XT, Fenn Swordfish S, Think Zen, Epic V10L Club, Epic V9 Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV
Most with DK rudders

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29944 by davgdavg
Anybody have any updates on this topic? 7-8 months seems to be a long time in the GPS world. Interested in the same thing as the OP.

Also, can anybody answer what software/GPS people like Oscar C. use to make their videos with the speeds and sometimes tracks in the video?

Thanks,

David

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29946 by Kiwi Dave
I use DashWare (www.dashware.net) to do the video overlays (video from Sony action cam, GPX data from Garmin watch) ... its very flexible but a little complex at first.

Most cameras with GPS builtin (Garmin Virb say) provide their own overlay functions in their own software which is a lot faster for quick jobs but less flexible depending on what you want to do.

This is an example with some gauges I made ...
The following user(s) said Thank You: davgdavg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29949 by SurfskiEstonia
In the beginning of August, there was an interesting update on this topic: www.surfski.info/forum/1-general/19006-h...ance-heart-rate.html

PeteCress displayed something I was initially looking for: an accurate speed GPS used in sailing


Under the first link there's a good photo by PeteCress of his setup.

After I posted this question, I went out and bought a Garmin Epix, a discontinued model: It's a great piece of hardware, really long battery life etc. But the current GPS speed accuracy is horrible. Paddling on flat water it updates constantly like this (in KM/h): 8,6; 7,8; 8,8; 9,2; 8,5; 9,1; 8,6; 7,3 etc. From this I deduct that my speed has been around 8,5 km/h. And it doesn't matter what's frequency of data (1 sec or longer), it stays the same.

I am considering the Speedpuck seriously, but am a little weary of its charging system - AA batteries? Not sure that everyday extraction of batteries can't be super-healthy for relatively low water resistance. PeteCress, could You shed some light on this? Also the attaching system needs to be perfected - maybe a safety line in addition to the velcro?

If anyone else has got any interesting alternatives, please share :)

Current: Carbonology Boost double, Jantex Gamma Mid
Previous: Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus
Attachments:
The following user(s) said Thank You: davgdavg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #29952 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
Just been through this whole watch/GPS pre-purchase thing myself.

First will declare prejudices I'm aware of. Used Polar Accurex way back twenty plus years for triathlons and fantastic, loved them. These days I find Polar off the pace no pun intended and outdated in a range of ways I won't go into, but can't rekindle original love affair. Since have had multiple Garmins, couple of 510's, a 910XT and up until recently a 920XT. Though loved my my 920XT just now expired after nearly 3 years, Garmin itself as been less endearing for me. I include Garmin Connect, Garmin Training and Garmin Express. All at some points difficult, clunky, non-responsive ("Please connect your device" - my #&*% device has been connected and reconnected 50 @$&*# times already!!! same on my phone) .

Anyway cut to the chase here - I'm getting a Garmin 735XT having considered everything else - and note PRICE NO OBJECT. Not a wholehearted endorsement of Garmin, but presently this product meets my immediate needs best. Everyone will have their own preferences for the devices we are talking about here, favouring some elements over others, so I'm not saying my choice is the bees knees, nonetheless here are a few things to think about.

Before the alternatives though a real gripe that has come out of my current search. Garmin pre-eminent company focus is marketing - it is overwhelming consumers with product choice, corporate time and energy spent getting onto the market as many differently niched products as possible to maximise profits. To Garmin's credit they cover the marketplace effectively - their watch range automotive, sport/rec, marine, aviation, activity tracking. Of these there are 30 plus subsets. Good on them, well done. But look at Multisport watches and there are 9 subsets, of which one subset has eight watches, each of which has two or three options! Jesus wept. What is confusing is that within subsets are common watches. My 735XT either found in or I know can be used in all of these categories so I'm having to forever cross-reference. My point is I think consumers can become bewildered by the choices and forever beguiled into up-buying. "Hey, 735XT looks pretty good but hey there's a 935, whoa wait a minute a Fenix with sapphire face .." etc and up we go. There's my bitch anyway.

SurfskiEstonia, had a close look at the Garmin Epix (cannot for the life of me remember after bazillion watch views what dissuaded me about it) but regarding your gripe check your settings. Data access can be smoothed so watch doesn't record every few secs. Secondly if you have the watch on your wrist rather than footstrap there will be higher chance of recording data like this.

Going from top dollar down I lusted after all the specs of the Garmin Fenix watches - all the stuff they could do despite not needing most of it - and some of those sexy bands (apologies I hadn't clarified this earlier but I'm chasing a one-fits-all watch use all the time rather than just in the boat or on the bike, run, swim). However at this point, leave the monitor GO TO A SHOP AND PUT ONE ON. Sorry Garmin (and many other brands) but bloody hell who wants this very unattractive (yes subjective) metal brick thing to weigh your arm down. Most of these high end Garmin's are very unappealing (to me) because they are big hunks of metal, cumbersome as buggery. Going down into the "plastic" range 935XT top of range but I don't need some of this stuff. My eyes then down next to Miss Eye-Catcher to Miss Not Quite So High-Maintenance Hottie. Mmm maybe a keeper here.

But looking around the room as it were, are the likes of the Suuntos (I liked the Ultra especially because of the size because I'm long-sighted) Polar. Suunto has plenty of upsides but not enough to sway me. And then heyy Apple! Now Apple is an interesting one because the new watch Series 3 now waterproof (for our purposes) genuinely has some activity settings that are on paper close to all I need. I came really close to trying one (leaving the hottie analogy now) however AU$600 plus plan for my model of choice. The Garmin 735XT which is to be superseded in December (I'm happy with current features) is currently on special AU$400 all up.

So there's my money on the counter. But having done that I may be a mug because even though my 920XT was great it did just crap itself one day, on Save went into Garmin screen mode and despite online assistance, manual advice etc refuses to budge. Garmin doesn't repair, only offers rebate on same model, refurbished. This costs $150. By way of "repair" one could argue that I get a new watch for $150 however I'm not happy to pay $150 just to get "my" watch back. FU Garmin. Yes I'm buying another, see how we go.

Enormously ponderous response to your query SurfskiEstonia but looked at wide range of alternatives and final choice not necessarily THE watch/GPS unit to buy. Pretty obvious but each of us has his/her own preferences. Size, weight and style may be subordinate to one or two other functions. Next time around I'm likely to try the Apple all other things being equal because for what we do it really does have things to offer. "Hey Siri, I'm in the shit. Phone home now!" And hands free. Well as long as there's no unauthenticated wifi nearby B) .
Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Watto.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia, davgdavg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29955 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
Garmin Virbs have it all and super easy to edit and sync. Used one or more for years. Oscar uses the latest Garmin Ultra 30 while mine are the Virb Elite that is discontinued but work very well though some bugs and can be found online for 170.00. Super cheap. I will be upgrading shortly to the Garmin ultra 30 and/or 360.

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.
The following user(s) said Thank You: davgdavg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29956 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
Misread the question. I use the Garmin 920XT for paddling though still have my Garmin 910xt and my 310xt(orange) that all work fine. My fenix 3 I use for running, erging and I use it for my everyday watch since battery life if exceptional. I just read that the Garmin Edge cylcling 820 is IPX 7 rated so waterproof. The screen is large so easy to see so that maybe my next on water GPS. Just have to research best way to attached to the footstrap.

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.
The following user(s) said Thank You: davgdavg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29957 by SamTaylor
Personally, I find a Garmin 220 to be just fine for day-to-day- distance, time, HR, speed (broadly, though there's a lot of lag time in the speed response). Hit laps to do workouts. Etc. I just don't care that much about EXACTLY how fast I'm going for any instant... but then, not really training for racing.

That said, working as a professional rowing coach, I'm surprised more people aren't using the www.nkhome.com/rowing-sports/speedcoach-ocNeilsen-Kellerman SpeedCoach GPS . I've tossed one from the team I coach on the ski a few times and it works great- stroke rate, time, distance, speed (updated 5xsec, very accurate), etc. All downloadable, you can program workouts, etc, etc. They've got an OC version now (I'd assume physically identical to the rowing version, but probably better for estimating stroke rate for a ski). If I were super picky and wanted the best unit for training, I'd buy one (well, I'd keep using the free one I have access too, but, you know.

Sam

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #29959 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic The optimal GPS for surf ski
HI Wes. I've used my cycling Edge 520 plenty of times with no water issues, sure there have been times when its swum in my SES. On hairy days when a swim possible I've just whacked a bit of tape across the rubber recharge port.

My attachment below, using Spectra 2mm rudder line and the Garmin supplied adaptor. The line goes down between the velcro, not at the back to rub against your foot. Someone else stitched theirs on in another thread (haha).



Reason this not my go-to is why I prefer a wearable - it's with me, on me, I can see its charge state. Countless paddles I've found it under-charged, uncharged or haven't found it because I left it behind, often the case if paddling after work and packing gear in the morning - just another bit of stuff to remember. Different I guess though when the device is central to the session, less often the case with me.

While I'm at it, any observations about relative Garmin accuracy, speed in particular? Strava always reduces Garmin Connect speeds. Is this a Strava thing rather than Garmin?
Attachments:
Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Watto.
The following user(s) said Thank You: wesley

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
4 years 9 months ago #29962 by Kiwi Dave
Nice and easy way to mount Wesley, I did a similar thing with the quick release for my 310XT ... kinda off topic but here is a pic. Another easy to make composite project to get started with.
Attachments:
The following user(s) said Thank You: wesley

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Protected by R Antispam