Boat Acceleration

Rowing in Motion uses the accelerometer sensor found in modern smartphones to give you highly accurate and instant feedback on boat acceleration. Boat acceleration is the direct result of all forces that are applied to your boat at any instant in time. This makes boat acceleration an interesting metric to evaluate and improve proper rowing technique as it represents “net”-boat force.

Processing of Boat Acceleration

Rowing in Motion uses special algorithms to process the raw boat acceleration data and split it into three components: acceleration in movement direction, vertical acceleration and sideway acceleration. This gives you an accurate view on the part of acceleration that affects boat speed and any other “losses” during the stroke that don’t move your boat forward. Rowing in Motion takes great care to give you the most accurate feedback on boat acceleration possible, so these algorithms have been validated both theoreteically and empirically.

The precision of the measurements depend on the sensor that is built into your device. For practical purposes however, most accelerometers provide a sufficient precision. Other factors, such as natural flucatuations in a crew on a stroke-by-stroke basis outweigh by far the measurement errors of typical accelerometer sensors. The App samples acceleration at a frequency of at least 100Hz, which equals 100 sample points per second.

Working with Boat Acceleration

By analyzing boat acceleration, coaches and athletes can get deep insights into the actual propelling force generated during the stroke. The acceleration graph allows you to find structural deficits in a crews’ force distribution over the stroke. An optimal force distribution is key to achieve higher average boat speeds. However, there’s no such thing as the “true” or “optimal” boat acceleration graph. Too many factors affect a boat’s speed (crew dynamics, physilogical constraints etc.). On the other hand, there are a handful of simple guidelines to identify opportunities for optimisation based on a given acceleration graph.

You can learn more about these in our online guide Optimize Your Rowing Stroke with Rowing in Motion.