Smart Watch for outdoor rowing

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.
Post Reply
Alowicious
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: November 15th, 2021, 9:27 am

Smart Watch for outdoor rowing

Post by Alowicious » November 15th, 2021, 9:34 am

Hi, my husband is a rower, he goes out on the river in an 8 every weekend but also trains indoors in the week. I want to get him a smart watch that will record his outdoor rowing and give him some stats as he is rowing (HR and stroke etc). Can anyone recommend a smart watch that will do this please? I have read about Garmin Fenix 6 and it sounds great that it can connect to a PM5 monitor (he has a concept indoor rowing machine), however the sleep stats seem to be inaccurate and he needs to also keep track of these. He used to use a HR strap and Polar watch but he wants other data than just HR information.

What have you found works for you?
Thanks, Alice

Tsnor
2k Poster
Posts: 439
Joined: November 18th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Re: Smart Watch for outdoor rowing

Post by Tsnor » November 15th, 2021, 1:08 pm

Alowicious wrote:
November 15th, 2021, 9:34 am
Hi, my husband is a rower, he goes out on the river in an 8 every weekend but also trains indoors in the week. I want to get him a smart watch that will record his outdoor rowing and give him some stats as he is rowing (HR and stroke etc). Can anyone recommend a smart watch that will do this please? I have read about Garmin Fenix 6 and it sounds great that it can connect to a PM5 monitor (he has a concept indoor rowing machine), however the sleep stats seem to be inaccurate and he needs to also keep track of these. He used to use a HR strap and Polar watch but he wants other data than just HR information.

What have you found works for you?
Thanks, Alice
Smart watches work poorly for detecting heart rate for rowing, but if any can do it then the Fenix 6 will be one of them. Fenix 6 is high end, and does have a rowing app. As you can see from this forum append, people use HR belts to improve HR accuracy on wrist mounted smart watches even for cycling, and the rowing motion is tougher on wrist mount technology than cycling. https://www.reddit.com/r/Garmin/comment ... _hr_strap/ If you get the Fenix 6 and his heart rate doesn't make sense during short intervals he can later also get a polar h10 belt with dual outputs so he can connect to both the PM5 and the fenix while giving both accurate HR info. (Short intervals are toughest for wrist watches, the motion is harder, the rate of HR change is large so algorithms that rely on heavily smoothed data to combat data read errors don't work, and sweating doesn't help the optics)

re: " a smart watch that will record his outdoor rowing and give him some stats as he is rowing (HR and stroke etc)." A smartwatch will let him look at data after he rows, or during the row when the boat is stopped. But he can't look at the watch while rowing, the rowing motion prevents that. Single scullers use monitors that can be read while rowing like this one https://nksports.com/category-all-produ ... oach-gps-2 but that's rare for someone rowing in an 8. A few of the foot stretchers on our club's boats have speedcoach mounts, I only know of one person who uses one in an 8.

Assume he currently uses his belt while rowing indoors, and is looking for something similar for rowing in the 8. If he's not currently using his heart rate belt and ErgData suggest he try it. A belt connected to the PM5 will capture all of the information possible and send it using the ErgData app to the Concept2 log, from there summary info can be sent to various place (garmin, polar, strava, etc.). The PM5/Ergdata captured data will be more complete and accurate than the same smart watch data. (Smart watch do a lot more, like the sleep logging, HRV, training load, number of steps, etc. so having both a belt and a smart watch can make sense). I'd guess your husband already does this, but if not have him try it. It works well.

Post Reply