A couple of years ago, during my first open-water SUP expedition, I realised while bobbing around in the deep blue sea that I had no means of contact if something went awry. The conditions on this maiden deep water voyage from Currumbin to Burleigh were relatively calm, but navigating my humbled self-powered vessel almost one kilometre offshore and weaving amongst high-powered fishing boats made me realise just how exposed I was to the elements, not to mention to nature and to my own capabilities.
Still to this day, that first open-water trip is one of the most memorable I’ve ever undertaken. But I vowed afterwards to become more responsible with tracking my route and my whereabouts. I mean, who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us sometimes!
So I bought an Apple Watch SE Cellular 44mm, motivated by its ability to track my activity in the ocean and waterways and promptly installed the Paddle Logger app, my focus for today’s review. Read on to find out more about this awesome Standup Paddleboarding GPS Tracking app.
What is Paddle Logger?
Paddle Logger is a GPS tracking app dedicated to paddle sports, including standup paddle boarding, outrigger canoes, surf-skis and kayaks. It’s currently available for download on Apple Watch and iPhone, and the best thing is, it’s free to get started tracking your routes! Upgrading to the Pro version unlocks additional features including more in-depth data analysis, satellite maps and the most Paddle Live, which allows the user to notify a contact as soon as a session starts and automatically fire alerts if a user doesn’t check in after a specified time.
Paddle Logger Review
Installing Paddle Logger on Apple iPhone is a breeze. The setup process is streamlined and intuitive, with only a couple of unobtrusive questions including your preferred style watercraft and unit of measurement (i.e. kilometres, miles, or nautical miles) required before you’re up and running…or should I say…paddling. Once you’ve set up the Paddle Logger app on your phone, if you’re a bit of a tech nerd like me, you can then sync your account with your Apple Watch.
When you’re ready to start paddling simply hit the big ‘Go’ button on either device and you’re off!
Marking your journey as complete is equally simple, plus you also have the ability to pause your trip timer if required (in my case, this is usually to snap few photos of something that caught my eye).
As you can see below, there’s only minimal data displayed from your trip on the Apple Watch app. Most of the post analysis for your recorded journey is done on your iPhone, which makes sense because of the screen size.
On your iPhone, you can observe your precise route using the map overlay tool, as well as your trip duration, distance, average and maximum heart rate (Apple Watch only) and even calories – but more on this shortly.
As you start to amass data, you can assign trips to specific folders to keep your information organised. I use this feature to track progress towards goals, such as my 30 day distance challenges.
Paddle Logger Calories
Paddle Logger has the capability to measure the calories burnt during a workout. This data can be synchronised with other apps such as Apple Health and MyFitnessPal, to assist with monitoring nutrition and weight management. This sets Paddle Logger apart from other generic sports tracking apps such as Strava, which don’t offer calorie logging for paddle sports.
Paddle Logger Pro
While the free version of Paddle Logger really is awesome, Paddle Logger Pro is even better. Offering advanced features including simulated race mode, the ability to drop pins and to export data, and those vital safety features provided by Paddle Live.
The Pro version is priced at $9.99 per month or $54.99 per year.
Paddle Logger Support
One thing I must absolutely highlight is the Paddle Logger Support. During the time I was using the free version of the app, I was facing an issue with the app’s Logbook feature. I messaged the support email address and within 24 hours I had received the helpful response I needed to resolve my issue. If every app developer was this customer-focused, the app store would be a better place.
- Highly recommend this well-supported app!
- The rich set of features in the free version of Paddle Logger make it a no-brainer for recreational standup paddle boarders, particularly if you have an Apple Watch.
- Life-saving features incorporated into the Pro version ($54.99 per year) make it a worthwhile investment for anyone who paddles alone, particularly those venturing into the deep blue.