Submitted: 01-11-2011 by Sergio
9 minutes and 27 seconds for 1500 meters; good indicator I am not a racer. This is the result of my first 1500, my first work out on the Speedstroke - and it was a great workout. I'm a sea kayak enthusiast my interest is kayaking through rock gardens and taking the kayak for a surf, aside from just paddling/exploring. I'd been toying with the idea of a paddling ergometer for a while and through a chance comment to a friend/coach I end up with an e-mail from Grayson - owner of Kayakpro - saying that if I had any questions to feel free to e-mail or call him.
Echoing the experience of others the accessibility of Grayson and Steve Tingay is amazing - they respond to e-mails quickly and have no problem if you call with questions/concerns etc. I ended up calling Grayson on the eve of his departure to British indoor championships while he was in New York. Can't think of many (any?) other owners that will do that. Gray was great in answering any concerns I had without hyping or trying sell me.
So I took the plunge - everything from purchase to delivery went amazingly smoothly - they shipped to Canada - and took care of all customs/duties etc. One day (not long after ordering) two packages arrived. Putting it together (one of my concerns) was easy -instructions are good and easy to follow.
The Speedstroke is solidly built and well engineered - everything fit exactly as it was supposed to. Also it was great to get everything I needed (wires, connectors etc) should I wish to eventually upgrade to the i-race etc; there was even a spare bungee and rope(it'll be awhile before I wear out the one it comes with but nice to have the back-up). The paddling is very smooth and quite realistic - or at least I believe it to be; it is not hard for me to close my eyes and imagine pulling through a swell.
So why buy the ergometer?? Well, my winters are definitely not paddling times (an occasional day but far and few in between) and even in season there are times that being on water is not feasible. So I wanted some way of maintaining any hard gained stroke improvements through the inactive times, plus the overall fitness value of being able to "paddle" as realistically as possible without being on the water.
As noted, dealing with Kayakpro (Gray and Steve) is a pleasure and the machine is excellent... the one downside is price. But I've considered that as well - the price is very commensurate with quality - it is excellent value for many. That's the immediately tangible - the other perhaps more intangible is that it is an investment. It's an investment in the sport I enjoy and hope to continue for as many years as I have and it's an investment in my health....looked at in that light, the cost is a small price to pay.
I would and will encourage any of my friends and any of you out there to certainly consider Speedstroke - come to your own conclusions - but I don't believe you can do better than Kayakpro.
Thank you Grayson and Steve.