There are a lot of options to track your paddleboard training. Countless apps will provide information like speed, distance, and time, many have some type of GPS that will show you a map of your travels. For most people that is plenty of data. But for those of us who like to keep track of more and use those measurements to influence the way we train, there are only a few devices that go above and beyond those basic measures. For paddleboard specific data tracking, the NK SpeedCoach SUP 2 is generally considered the most comprehensive. Neilsen-Kellerman (NK ) has been making tracking devices for the rowing community for a long time, and in recent years they have transferred and adapted that technology to help you track your sup training with the SpeedCoach SUP 2.
Important features on each SpeedCoach SUP 2
- Time elapsed
- Strokes per minute (SPM)
- Distance per stroke
- SUP specific calories burned
- On unit data recall and the ability to store up to 25 hours of training data
- Backlit display
- Rechargable battery that lasts approximately 8 hours
With the optional Training Pack, you get these additional features
- Heart Rate Monitoring (with a Bluetooth Heart Rate Belt)
- Wireless transfer of data to your computer with the ability to export data in .csv or .fit files for further examination
- Communication with NK’s connected environment of apps, web analytics, and sensors.
- 5 preloaded workouts, and the abilitity program your own
The unit is pretty intuitive to setup and use. The main menu gives you the option to select or program those workouts, recall your data, link to your computer and set up your profile and preferences. There are just a few other basic things to know…how to start recording, how to scroll through the fields to pick your two flex fields, how to recall your data, and how to transfer your data if you have the training pack. Piece of cake.
The SpeedCoach SUP 2 offers real time measurements of strokes per minute (SPM) and speed with two flex fields, so you choose what you want to visibly track each time you go out. It will still measure everything. But by only displaying four fields, the display remains very easy to read, and it’s easy to check your stats at a glance. If you tweak your SPM, you can see how it affects your glide per stroke. Or you can focus on getting the most glide per stroke and see how that affects your speed. This device allows you to choose how you wand to track your sup workouts and focus on whichever factors you want to focus on on a given day..
The SpeedCoach SUP 2 does not come cheap. It is $399 without the training pack, and $449 with it. But for those of you serious about traking your paddleboard training, it is a fantastic tool! The instant feedback allows you to make adjustments on the fly and to try different things with a clear view of the effects they have on a variety of metrics.
Last year while training for the CCBC I wished I owned a SpeedCoach SUP 2. But alas, I was holding out for version 2 so it would be able to communicate with the computer. It would have been a very useful tool for timing intervals and measuring HR. Being able to keep track of my HR and speed at the same time would have been very convenient since maintaining the prescribed pace for 34 miles was my biggest concern. It is one of very few devices that can mount to your board and be visible enough to view your data as you go. The real time feedback is invaluable. The unit attaches with a standard GoPro mount, but some friends tipped me off to tie the unit to my board and just stick it under the tie down so I didn’t have to put a mount on each demo board that I am inclined to use. With it tied to the board, it is easy to reach so I can stop it or change a field on the fly.
The data is easy to understand, and there is a LOT of it. Things are broken down by the .1 mile. You can get as crazy (or not) as you choose and still get a wealth of information to help you maximize your efforts on the water and become a more efficient paddleboarder. NK’s customer service is also excellent. There is a Facebook group for SpeedCoach SUP 2 users, and any questions you have are quickly addressed. They are incredibly responsive and helpful. If you are a data geek, or just value being able to see real time feedback, you can’t go wrong with this device specifically designed to track your sup training .