We live in an increasing technologically driven world that’s dominated by smart phones, tablets and hardwiring yourself into the Matrix. As outdoor enthusiasts you’d think we’d escape, at least for a few hours, the digital plugin that we call modern life. On the surface, this would seem an accurate assumption; scratch below and you’ll find we’re actually as entwined as ever with tech and our outdoor pursuits. Chances are, even if you eventually pack your iPhone or Galaxy away, you will have used some form of app to help you decide on your put in of choice, what the weather is going to be like, be armed with the day’s tide times and what route you’re going to take. (If you’re determined to stay connected during paddles then there are apps for this). Whether you have an Android device or subscribe to Apple there are plenty of kayaking apps available. Sitons.com decided to check some of them out.
Kayaking GPS (Android)
Kayaking GPS has been developed especially with paddling in mind. The team behind the app are enthusiasts and therefore understand the wants and needs of average kayakers.
The app allows you to identify your exact location using GPS and then, with the icon feature, you can mark points of interest for future sessions. All information is stored to SD card and can be backed up once back home in front of your laptop or PC. You can also use Kayaking GPS worldwide.
The Paddler is a free e-zine that features paddlesports from many different corners of the globe and all disciplines. A monthly published read, this is the place you’ll find plenty of stories from the colourful world of kayaking and paddlesports.
Developed by surfers as a way to accurately predict wave size and quality at a plethora of breaks around the world, Magic Seaweed sets the bar high in terms of forecasting sites. Over time the app has improved and now offers the option of adding your favourite spots to a quick find list.
Windguru is similar to Magic Seaweed in that it aims to provide a large amount of forecast data applicable to a variety of users. Although its main focus is wind, it still gives accurate, if slightly hard to understand (to the amateur meteorologist anyway), swell and general weather info.
UK Tides – Tide Prediction (Apple)
UK Tides is an app that helps you plan your routes and sessions around that gravitational anomaly known as the tide.
Canoe Kayak Trip Planner (Android)
A great app for anyone planning a paddling trip; arrange all your journey information into a handy check list.
With the ability to set alarms for outstanding tasks – complete with priority levels – duplicate old lists so as to not go through the hassle of re-entering, sort into alphabetical order and/or priority and add extra notes; this is a must for kayakers who love a bit of distance paddling.
If you’re an avid kayak angler then What Fish UK will allow you to identify your catch whilst on the move.
Another very friendly weather app that will automatically detect your location through device GPS, let you make favourite lists, provide weather warnings and breaks down each forecast into easily digestible three hourly bite size chunks.
For kayakers the app provides accurate UV forecast maps, wind speed and direction and temperature information including the ‘what it feels like’ feature.
The Red Cross first aid app is filled with videos, interactive quizzes and simple to follow step by step first aid advice and guides that are easy to understand.
It also includes 18 ‘everyday’ first aid scenarios that you’re likely to encounter with tips on how to prepare for severe weather and accidents. The techniques you’ll learn could literally be a life saver during paddling missions. Many other apps are available with a bit of searching, and we’d love to hear your opinions on this subject. Let us know what you use and why you love it over on our Facebook page and we may add it to this list.