Dave The Kayaker

Kayaking, musings, and my mid-life fitness journey. DaveTheKayaker


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Building the next kayak ergometer

Now that it is the off-season for kayaking, this evening I started building the next kayak ergometer from a NordicTrack ski machine.

I’m going for a further refinement of the last design and placing the flywheel more toward the center of the device, underneath the bend in the knees of the paddler.  This will allow me to shorten the overall length of the machine while also creating a device with better balance characteristics while also allowing for a smoother feel.

When complete, I will disassemble it and create step-by-step plans and a “build your own” video for all of you who have been asking since the original design.

This model will be know as The Tortorich.


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Another indoor kayaking workout

The weather in Central Virginia was very hot today and I was pressed for time to squeeze in a workout so I decided to head to the basement do some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on the kayak ergometer that I built from an old Nordic Track ski machine.  It was a great way to get my cardio in for the day while watching the Olympic K1 kayak races on TV.

I’ve been able to collect 3 or 4 more Nordic Track ski machines over the past months and will soon be building my next kayak ergometer.  (If you’ve got an old ski machine that you’d like to donate for the cause, please contact me.)

I’ve been thinking about a new design that will place the flywheel toward the middle of the device under my knees and this will help make the device both shorter, thus more portable, and assist in balance since the flywheel placement will act more like a gyro.

When I say thinking about a redesign, I mean just that.

I’m not an engineer and do not work through any aspect of the design on paper first.  Rather, I just think about what will go where and visualize it in my head until I’ve mentally gotten most of the details worked out.  Then I start building and modify the design as needed.

My plan is to video record the building of the next ergometer and then share the step-by-step instructions so others may build their own.  Since I posted my first design on YouTube,  I’ve been contacted by many people around the world asking for instructions on how to build their own.

The challenge is I have no written instructions and just about every old Nordic Track ski machine I start with is slightly different so I start with slightly different parts each time.

If you are interested in a step-by-step video or would like to purchase an ergometer from me then please contact me.  I build these things one at a time in my spare time so there is no production schedule or inventory, but having a buyer certainly helps motivate me to build the next one.