Sensor-Equipped Kayak Paddle can ‘talk’ to Your Watch

New Zealand-based One Giant Leap this week unveiled a kayak paddle shaft that can “talk” to your sports watch.

Using an embedded module and the ANT+ wireless protocol the Kayak Power Meter measures data including power output, power balance and stroke rate.

The product — called the Kayak Power Meter — is a carbon fiber shaft that connects to paddle blades. You can get a readout of the data via the ANT+ signal type and view it on a compatible kayak-mounted monitor, watch, smartphone, or a tablet.

The company cites “detailed reading of each stroke’s performance” via the Kayak Power Meter’s internal gauges, which include inertial sensors.

Kayak Power Meter shaft has gauges inside

Basically, each paddle shaft side has a set of “bumps” or channels. Each bump contains multiple gauges, and both halves of the paddle contain two sets of channels so it can measure left and right independently.

Its inertial sensors are the patented part of the tech, and they contain sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. This lets the product measure stroke rate and other output.

The product will be available in September 2013 for about $800 U.S. Serious paddle junkies only should apply.

—Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.