Thank you for the opportunity to road-test the Coxmate GPS. Overall this is a good little unit for the price you pay. Initially when I opened the box I was pleased to see several ways to attach the unit to the boat, as well as the lanyard. This is great as I am a club member and do row in several different crews, I can take it with me in any boat.
The actual unit itself, I liked it because it has big buttons (great for the early mornings if you are wearing gloves.) Using the USB port made it easy to charge. The screen is clear and like your bike GPS unit, if you are wearing gloves you can still manipulate the screen. The unit has an orange rubber stripe around it that has extra grip. The downside for me is that the unit itself is smaller, therefore reading it was a bit harder particularly when you had the 5 pieces of information displayed.
I am familiar with the NK, so I read through the manual, I am glad I did as there are several different features that were interesting, particularly the ‘ratio’ feature. I wonder if this feature would assist in improving technique as you attempted to increase your percentage. I did find the initial set up a little tricky, but I am sure as you become more familiar with the unit this would be less of a problem. I like that you could easily switch from a “just row” to a workout that had been pre-programmed.
The battery life was less than the NK, this tripped me up a couple of mornings when I went to use it and the battery was flat, just have to remember to charge every couple of rows!!
In terms of the price, I know that it is very competitive. You really get what you pay for.
The GPS is great because it does not require the hardware to capture the rowing moment. However, the lag time as it catches up is noticed when you have been used to using an impeller.
To make it even better in the future I would suggest syncing with smartphones. Just a suggestion.
I use the information from the unit to keep myself ‘honest’ in the boat. If I don’t feel like rowing one morning I have put on a program, that way I know if I stick with it I will feel much better than doing a slack “just row”.
I also use it to track leading into an event. To check the speed is increasing as technique is refined by coaches.