Submitted: 11-02-2009 by JeffN
I recommend the VASA kayak ergometer enthusiastically. The unit has a very realistic feel. The resistance unit was originally designed for elite swimmers, so it is not surprising that it replicates the progressive resistance of water so well. Resistance is adjustable, so it range from from the level of resistance you experience paddling a fast kayak at speed (I paddle a Van Dusen Mohican, which is very fast once up to speed) to paddling shallow water in a slow boat (good for transferring weight room strength to early season power). The unit is also extremely versatile.
In addition to the kayak mode, one can replicate canoe paddling (especially good if you buy a wall mount, which allows you to switch sides without worrying about a central support shaft getting in the way. The computer monitor is excellent, and calibrated to monitor kayak specific distances and speeds. The point that distinguishes the VASA unit from other top-level units is its versatility. The unit can also be used for swim training, and with the right options (ask the company about this when ordering) it can be used for cross-country ski double-pole training as well. Finally, Rob and Karen at VASA are fantastic- they really care about the needs of athletes, and want to do everything they can that helps the unit meet those needs.
In sum, the VASA trainer has a great water-like feel, it's very well made, and it's extremely versatile. It really is a great investment.