Velocitek’s Makai SUP specific GPS is a welcome product in a sea of non-specific gadgets of similar ilk. When we first heard about it being used by the world’s top SUP athletes (Connor Baxter et al) we were intrigued to try one ourselves and were like kids at Christmas when the package eventually arrived.
It’s quite a large GPS – we were actually surprised by how big. But when you consider this’ll be attached to your board and you’ll be wanting to clearly see the readings from standing tall then it makes perfect sense.
Having affixed the Makai via sticky 3M pad located on the rear of the device, it’s a simple one touch button interface that scrolls you through the menu and lets you set your desired metric. You can clearly see distance covered, speed and elapsed time – all at a glance and without having to interrupt your stroke. We did find we were concentrating fully on the numbers clocking up – both a blessing and curse. In some ways it’s great to have your mind diverted during longer paddles. But likewise it does have you wishing for the pain to end… or maybe that’s just us?
But having a bulky GPS nugget attached to your sled isn’t exactly hydrodynamic is it? Well, the guys at Velocitek have certainly done their homework and put the hours into R&D. As such, the Makai GPS is built to effectively disperse the flow of water around its large housing and cause as minimum disruption as possible to your paddle speed. Also, being developed on Maui, it’s a gadget built to withstand extreme conditions and take a pummelling – heavy dumpy shore break has no chance against the Velcoitek Makai GPS.
The Makai’s Li-ion battery has a long life – up to 40 hours paddling time before it needs a shot of recharge juice. This will be extremely welcome with marathon paddlers. And all you’ll need to do is plug it into your Mac or PC to get its lifeblood flowing again.
Supplied with two low profile mounting plates, it can easily be slotted on/off between different boards – a nifty little solution that can show how your performance is across multiple sleds.
The accuracy of the Velocitek Makai GPS falls to a minute 0.1km/h. Measuring your Doppler shift in GPS signal and using it in conjunction with our wrist mounted GPS we found the Makai extremely accurate. After a couple of sessions it was something we felt we couldn’t be without. It was immense fun measuring how quick we were on downwinders and grinding out the miles actually began to have even more of a purpose, great if you don’t have a training partner to spare with.
Velocitek really need to be commended for their SUP specific GPS design. The Makai is a serious bit of kit that could really help paddlers nail the difference between winning and losing. Even for paddlers who don’t race, it’s a great gadget that lets you assess how you’re progressing on the water – downwind speed runs, in particular, take on a whole new lease of life. With its smart design and easy to use nature, the Makai is a product that (although you might not think at first) will become an essential part of your kit box.
Price: £280 – trade enquiries welcome.