DIY Kayak Ergometer Plans now available!

FinalErgDesign

I recently completed the instructional video on how to build your own kayak ergometer from a Nordic Track ski machine. The plans and part list for this new, more compact design are available at the link below for $20 as I promised on Jan. 16, 2018:

And here is the final result:

Once you purchase, I’ll send you an email with links to the parts list and instructional video.

I’m the same guy who built and shared the original design online in 2013 and since then I’ve gone through several iterations of the design to get it as short and smooth as possible.

You will find other such DIY ergometers online but many of them are very long and look like they have bed frames attached to the front of the device which causes ropes to rub, require a lot of space, and are not really portable.

These plans assume you will be able to obtain an older style Nordic Track ski machine made from a wooden frame as you will be using some of the mechanical and wooden parts from it.  You might want to check on local availability first, but this video will also offer tips on how to get one for a great price or even free.

The device can be built with either the square legs or the rounded ones and the video discusses both approaches.

Don’t be fooled.  Buy the video plans from the original designer!

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Thank you!
Dave

Be sure to allow email from dave (at} cvillepaddlers.com.

Buy the parts list and video plans now for $20 USD
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The device can be built with either the square legs or the rounded ones and the video discusses both approaches.

29 thoughts on “DIY Kayak Ergometer Plans now available!

    1. Dianne, Your email address was indeed captured and came through via PayPal and your ordered was just processed. Thank you so much! Please let me know if there is any problem with the email or the instructional video. Happy indoor paddling! Dave

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      1. The youtube video shows a device with a rounded bottom for balance training. It does not look like this one has that so I am confused as the link in the youtube video brought me here.

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      2. I am looking on craigslist for a Nordic Track ski machine there are many of them. How do I know which will work? Is there a list of models somewhere that have the correct parts? Is there a sticker on the Nordic Track ski machines that will help with this?

        Thanks,

        Jeff

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  1. Hey Dave. The foot position you use for your Kayak Ergometer has your feet almost touching together – looks like a surf ski type position to me. I paddle sea kayaks and my feet are more widely spread. What modification would I have to make to the ergometer to accommodate a wider foot spread? It seems that wider foot board might interfere with the ropes.

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      1. I want to do the same mod. However, It seems if you make the foot rest wider the ropes from the paddle will hit the foot rest. Wich seems to imply the entire rope path needs to be wider?

        Thanks,

        Jeff

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  2. Hi,
    I purchased your plans a while back. I live in Ireland and well no one in Ireland seems to know what a nordic track thingy is and getting a second hand one seems impossible. We don’t do skiing in Ireland. Can you help me out I am not the most technical but I am willing to try anything because I really want this machine.

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    1. No. As stated in the blog post, this assumes you will source and obtain a ski machine on your own to use many of its parts, including the flywheel. The video plans also include a written parts list of items that’s you’ll need in addition to those that will come from the ski machine. The video does, however, give you tips and techniques on how to get a ski machine for free or very little money.

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  3. How hard would it be to swap between the stable legs and the balance ones? As I get more comfortable with the setup I was thinking of switching up. I also have an old hydraulic rower I was thinking of scavenging the foot braces from. Would those be easy to incorporate or just get in the way? Just brought the nordic track home so I’m about ready to give this a go. For tools, would a drill and jigsaw be enough or are there others I might need?

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    1. It isn’t hard to swap out the legs. I’d actually suggest you build both sets initially and then when you graduate up to the rockers its just a matter of a few screws and re-running the rope. Or built it with the rockers and then use “wheel chocks” until you are ready to paddle without them (rolled up towels bent into a U-shape work nicely.) As for the foot braces from the rower, I don’t know. I’d have to see them. As for tools, yes, assuming you also have screwdrivers and a spade bit or two for your drill you should be fine. My biggest suggestion is to watch the video the whole way through first to get a good idea what you’ll need so you minimize trips to the hardware store. 😉 Please send me photos or video when you have it completed!

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      1. Thanks for the ideas for the rockers. Those sound a lot easier than swapping bases back’n’forth. Does the design incorporate any of the electronics from the nordictrack to track distance and whatnot? I’m used to more traditional rowers and trying to think of ways of tracking workouts besides a timer or heart rate monitor.

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      2. If you are lucky enough to have gotten one with working electronics then yes. I have the computer on my personal ergometer mounted using Velcro just in front of the flywheel. There is a magnet in a sleeve on the shaft that you must use and then mount the sensor close enough to it to detect the revolutions. (I accomplish this using a bend nail and some hot glue.) I don’t show this in the video because the computers on these things are widely variable and very few of them still work. Most people left batteries in them years ago and the internals are corroded. But yes, if you’ve got a working one use it!

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  4. Dave I’m curious about building one of these. 2 questions for you: 1. how similar is the motion to truly paddling a kayak? 2. Which nordic tracks provide the correct flywheels? I want to look around and see if we have any for sale in our area but I’m not 100% sure which models to look for. Thanks!

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    1. I’ve gotten the motion as close to paddling a real kayak as possible. As long as you cut the “paddle” to the right length for your body and adjust the rope to the proper length, it will be very, very close to the real thing. As for the models of Nordic Track skier, if it is an older ski model made with a wooden frame it will work. I’ve previously used the 505, Pro, Sequoia and Achiever models.

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