Buying a piece of sporting tech is a risky proposition. Spend a lot of money on your cycling watch and fail to finish the Argus and people will think you are rich and lazy.
Spend too little and fail to finish the Argus, and people will think you are poor and lazy.
What you need to do is finish well – then the watch you wear becomes irrelevant.
The only way to do well in a competition, however, is to train continuously and improve on your practice performances on a regular basis.
This means working hard and tracking your efforts – and now the watch you wear does become relevant.
The following sporting tech gadgets will help you improve and monitor your fitness, speed, and power, and also let you know when a storm is coming.
The Suunto Core Crush range is aimed at outdoor enthusiast who run the risk of getting lost in a mountain range and need to navigate their way out.
The watch features and altimeter, barometer, compass, temperature gauge, storm alarms, a depth meter for snorkeling (up to 10m), along with normal watch features like time and date.
Besides English, watch menus are also available in German, French, and Spanish. Pricing starts at just over R4,000, with a range of colours available.
Tangram Smart Rope
The Tangram Smart Rope is for those who like skipping, but not counting very fast. The Smart Rope uses a strip of LEDs to display the number of skips you have completed as the rope turns, providing a heads-up display for the user.
The rope is also compatible with the Smart Gym app, which tracks your skipping statistics and provides feedback on various data points.
Price: $70, due to ship in September 2015. The Engadget video below shows the rope in action.
Zartek Waterproof MP3
Swimming is a great workout, but doing laps with only the sound of water against your silicon cap is not very motivating.
This is where waterproof MP3 players, like the Zartek model picture above, come in.
The player has 4GB of memory, a 10-hour operating time, floats on water, and connects to your PC via USB for charging and music transfers.
Expect to pay around R650 for the headphones.
Fitbit Aria Smart Scale
On a quest to lose weight or stay in shape, tracking your progress can serve as a powerful motivation tool.
Fitbit’s Aria Smart Scale measures your weight like a regular scale, but can also be used to track weight gains or losses, body fat percentage, and body mass index.
The scale transfers data via a Wi-Fi connection to fitbit.com or the Fitbit app, which allows up to eight users to view their collected data through a series of simple graphs.
The Aria scale sells for R2,000 at Sportsmans Warehouse.
Garmin Edge 810 Bike Computer
The Garmin Edge 810 is designed for “competitive cyclists” who take their data tracking seriously.
The touchscreen device records distance, speed, ascent and descent, grading, and is compatible with ANT+ sensors that measure heart rate, cadence, and power.
Fellow riders can also track your progress during a race through the Garmin’s Live Tracking functionality, while the weather function let’s you know the conditions you will be riding in before they hit.
Smartphone and Garmin Connect app wirelss connectivity are standard, along with a promised 17-hour battery life for the device.
The 810 HRM Bundle sells for R7,800 on Garmin Online.
Polar V800 Sports Watch
Polar’s V800 Multisport Watch is aimed at “professional athletes looking to reach peak performance”, according to the company.
The watch features GPS tracking; Smart Coaching features; fitness tests which evaluate maximum oxygen uptake; altitude, ascent, and descent readings; a heart rate sensor, water resistance up to 30m, and Polar Flow app compatibility.
The V800 also tracks your swimming performance with automatic detection of your style, distance, pace, strokes and rest times.
If it’s good enough for 2013 Ironman triathlon world champion Frederik Van Lierde, it’s good enough for you. Depending where you shop, pricing ranges between R5,500 to R6,500 for the V800.
Garmin GCS10 Speed Sensor
The Garmin GSC10 sensor is relatively simple compared to the other gadgets featured, measuring the speed and cadence of your pedal strokes when you cycle.
Track your pedalling strokes per minute and receive feedback wirelessly by connecting the sensor to the frame of your bike and a pedal.
The GSC10 is compatible with Garmin Edge 305, Edge 305CAD, and Forerunner 305, among other devices.
GoPro Hero4 Black Edition
If you work out and don’t record it, does anyone know you’ve made gains?
The GoPro Hero4 Black Edition is billed as the ultimate sports camera for amateur and professional extreme athletes, with the ability to shoot 4K (3840 x 2160) video at 30fps, 2.7K (2704 x1 520) at 50fps, and 1080p at 120fps.
The camera’s waterproof housing allows it to be used at depths of up to 40m, while built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth means connecting to devices and the GoPro App is wireless.
Budding sports filmmakers can pick up a Hero4 for R7,250 from Takealot.