GPS watch to track speed/distance ect..

I have read mixed reviews about some of the Garmin products so I am looking for some answers here. Can't spend a fortune but would like to purchase a GPS watch for my husband's birthday. Is it better to buy a watch or a GPS that is attached to OC-1?

Any suggestions?


Submitted by paigea808 on Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:57pm

Just download a phone app for free. I use Endomondo

#1 Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:17pm

I use a 310xt. It's a watch style GPS that has a nice big screen. I put a velcro watch band on it and I wrap it around the front iako. Other people like to put them around the bungees in front of the footwell. They're $176 on Amazon. I also use it for running and biking. They are also more waterproof than the older models like the 305. I went through a 201 and two 305's before getting the 310xt, which has lasted me a while.

Garmin has several other more compact models that are made for running and have much smaller screens that are harder to see while you're paddling, so I'd stay away from those.

#2 Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:56pm

I'm with MalikoJunkie. I had a Garmin 310xt that I used for years with no problem. The battery life is approx 20 hours and it is waterproofed to down to 50 meters. Garmin also has a website where you can download all your data for analysis (or posting to FB - whatever). UnfortunatelyI left it on my truck's bumper following a paddle session and lost it between Kaimana Beach and Mililani. To get over my grief I upgraded to a Garmin 910. Had it for approx a year and love it.

#3 Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:26am

This might be an option. Stroke count included:

#4 Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:09am

I used a garmin 220 until it was stolen LOVED it, also was a heart rate monitor and used the HR strap during paddling and swim workouts.

#5 Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:45pm

Nelson & Kellerman GPS unit.
Even has stroke rate plus all the rest of the functions.

#6 Thu, 07/24/2014 - 6:42pm

I have a garmin 305 walmart online had it for like $110 before. monitor speed,distance,heart rate.,etc.... love it when in serious about paddling.

#7 Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:48pm


Nelson Kellerman SpeedCoach SUP. Expensive, but worth it. Order a flat mount for an extra $5, it'll expand your mounting options. If you live in Hawai'i, ship it to somebody you know on the mainland, then have that person ship it to you USPS; way cheaper than their shipping options. Their customer service is top flight, I just mentioned that I had condensation on the screen of the first one I ordered and they shipped me a new one right away.

#8 Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:40am

The Nielsen Kellerman stuff looks very interesting. Anyone know the difference between their "rowing" GPS models and the SUP models? Will the rowing version work for outrigger?

#9 Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:04pm

There's no differance in the GPS units themselves , only in how you mount them to what ever craft you have.
I have a variety of brackets that allow me to use them on 0C2,0C1,V1,0C6 & a SUP ( if I had one anyway ).
The stroke rate is the function that sets them apart from Garmins etc.
Expensive but the best

#10 Sun, 07/27/2014 - 3:19pm


Check the website. There's an impeller you can buy as an accessory that'll send information to the rowing versions of the SpeedCoach. I think it's supposed to give more accurate speed measurements. Otherwise like Bambam62 says they're essentially the same. The unit uses a built in accelerometer to measure stroke rate and distance per stroke and it works when it's flat. The readings get pretty weird when it's bumpy. In truth, I like it cause the readout is big (I'm 56, it helps) and I can mount it where convenient.

#11 Sun, 07/27/2014 - 8:29pm

Impellers can be a bit of an extra hassle to mount and take care of but they give accurate boat speed which GPS's do not ( gps's do speed over ground; only accurate in flat ponds and small lakes). If you paddle the coast and are geeked out on measuring speed, a mounted impeller is really your only option. Unfortunately the impellers available not be cheap.

I'd buy one but my Garmin Forerunner 305 still works and I don't care much for accuracy...ball park is good enough for now. (when training I usually record time and tide for repeatable routes so I have an idea of actual speed)

#12 Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:10am

Hmmm, what's the definition of "actual speed"? The impeller will tell you exactly how fast you are going relative to the water, just as accurately as the GPS will tell you exactly how fast you are going relative to the land. They're both telling you actual speed, but if you paddle regularly in moving water, the data from the impeller is much less useful.
If you do an eight mile paddle in one hour, your GPS should tell you you had an eight mph average speed. If that water was moving with or against you, your impeller could say 4 mph average if the water was moving with you, or it could say 15 mph average if the water was moving against you. Either way, you paddled for an hour and went eight miles. So which one's more accurate? I'd say both. It just depends what numbers are more helpful to you.

#13 Tue, 07/29/2014 - 7:13am

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