Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the SpeedCoach but Were too Afraid to Ask: Part I
No matter how much you know about rowing, it's easy to feel uneducated. It may have been ten days or ten years since you've figured out that "coxswain" is pronounced "cox sin," "gunwale" is pronounced "gunnel" and "weigh enough" means "stop," but there's still a whole world of terminology, measurements and equipment to understand.
Is it a StrokeCoach or a SpeedCoach? What is the difference?
Most people use the terms StrokeCoach and SpeedCoach interchangeably, which can be confusing.
The StrokeCoach measures stroke rate, stroke count (a running tally of the number of strokes taken in the piece) and time—the same things the CoxBox measures, but without the audio.
The SpeedCoach has all of the features of the StrokeCoach, but measures speed as well. It also combines multiple measurements to create unique metrics; for example, rate, time and distance are combined to give distance per stroke.
You might also find this chart useful. It shows the individual functions each item in the StrokeCoach/SpeedCoach product line.
How are stroke rate and speed measured? Do I need wires in my boat?
Unlike the CoxBox, which uses a magnet under one of the seats to measure rate, the StrokeCoach and SpeedCoach measure rate wirelessly using an internal accelerometer. All models of the SpeedCoach are compatible with and can measure speed using an impeller, which is placed underneath the hull of the boat and connected by wires to the SpeedCoach. The SpeedCoach GPS can also measure speed wirelessly using a built-in 5-Hz GPS unit.
How accurate is the SpeedCoach? Does it still work when there's current or wind?
The SpeedCoach GPS is generally accurate to within 1%, which translates to under 1.5sec / 500m in most conditions. Keep in mind that the GPS measures pace relative to land, so it doesn't account for help or hindrance from moving water. An impeller measures pace relative to the water, so using an one with your SpeedCoach will improve its accuracy, especially if you calibrate it correctly.
Is the SpeedCoach waterproof? Does it float?
All NK products are waterproof to the IP67 standard, which means they can be placed underwater to a depth of one meter for at least 30 minutes. The StrokeCoach and SpeedCoach do NOT float on their own, which is why each one comes with a lanyard to loop through any fixed part on the boat. New SpeedCoach GPS units also come with a small float (from experience, we HIGHLY recommend keeping it on).
What model do I have? What can I do with it? What accessories can I use with it?
Use this chart to compare StrokeCoach and SpeedCoach models.
Can I update the software on the StrokeCoach or SpeedCoach I already have?
The SpeedCoach GPS 2 can be updated from the NK website. We release new firmware about every six months to add features and fix small bugs. We recommend making sure you have the latest version. Other models are not updatable.
Can I trade in my StrokeCoach or SpeedCoach for a newer model?
Yes! Use the table at the bottom of NKSports Trade In, Trade Up Program page to see how much you can get for your old NK product, even if it doesn't work anymore.