The spring has been a busy one with Quiske participating at the Spin SportsTech accelerator by Loughborough University in London, switching from training mostly on the C2 to RP3 and learning the ins and outs of the new indoor rowing machine, selling our new RowP system, planning the next release of our RowP App, as well as training for and helping with arranging the 17th Finnish Open ErgoMarathon. It’s been a while since our last blog so this write up summarizes a number of our recent adventures...enjoy!
This spring I’ve been experimenting with dynamic indoor rowing, namely comparing my own results on the C2 on slides with those on the RP3. This experiment is highly subjective and the results cannot be generalized to anyone else, but in my case I’ve been able to go faster on the RP3, on almost all distances.
I didn’t have time to complete all the distances I had planned so my experiment will continue still, but so far the situation looks like this:
What can I say about this?
Most importantly, for me rowing on the RP3 feels much better than rowing on the C2 on slides. The reason for this is that due to being lightweight there is quite a big relative difference in the weight I’m pushing against between the C2 on slides and the RP3. This is also why I’m able to go faster on the RP3, I think. In my opinion the RP3 feels much closer to real on water rowing. My ergsperiment continues for sure and there will be more musings on indoor rowing later...
The Finnish Open ErgoMarathon
This year the dynamic category made a debut at the ErgoMarathon. In addition to the traditional static C2 the competitors were able to race the half or full marathon, or even a 100km distance on either the C2 on slides or on the RP3.
Four women and four men chose this new option and I was one of them doing half a marathon on the RP3. Some of the contestants, like myself, were used to rowing dynamic whereas others were new to the category. Rowing dynamic comes easy to anyone who also rows on water. In general rowers get faster results on dynamic than on static, but only if they have good technique. The feedback from the contestant on dynamic was exclusively positive. Especially there were positive comments regarding the feeling in the body after the race. Dynamic rowing is more gentle for the body and recovering from the marathon is faster.
Dynamic rowing raised a lot of interest and some rowers tried this category for the first time. For example, the legendary Antti Varis, who broke the 60+ Marathon world record on the Static C2 at the ErgoMarathon this year, tried the RP3 after his race and his comments were overwhelmingly positive regarding the rowing feeling on the RP3 machine: “the leg work feels really good!”
There’s rumors that next year dynamic will be the default category of the ErgoMarathon... please do join the race April 2019!
Sportstech Startup Accelerator in London
Quiske was invited as one of 25 companies from over 120 applicants to join the SpinLab Loughborough bootcamp in London in January during which based on selections by judges listening to pitches by the Startups, 12 companies continued to the full program. The accelerator was a virtual one, with weekly virtual coffees, presentations, and one on one coaching. For a small startup this kind of coaching is very valuable and it is efficient in terms of time management and affordable to join meetings online rather than face to face.
Last week Quiske team travelled to London for a final demo day where we pitched our product to a group of investors and sportstech enthusiasts. The most valuable outcome from the demo day was meeting the other sportstech entrepreneurs and to share advice and knowledge with each other. It was also useful to talk with a number of business coaches. The coaches answered our questions and also shared advice to help us going forward:
- Make sure you’ve a great team and have passion for whatever you’re working on
- Don’t build something the customers don’t want
- Listen to your customers and sell them what they need= tailor the message according to your audience
- Don’t give up
- Be agile
- Networks are super important: a small startup needs people opening doors…
The demo day happened to take place at the Lee Valley VP in the Olympic Park which for us is a place with lots of good memories. Our team has brought home 5 medals of all three colors in the past 3 years at the British Indoor Rowing championships 😊
Having graduated from the Spin Accelerator program I’d like to recommend it to any other sportstech startup.
By coincidence there was a pitching competition organized by Finnish Smash just a day before the Spin demo day. The pitching competition had Finnish and British sportstech startups battle against each other at the Residence of the Finnish Ambassador in Kensington.
Btw, in London we revealed that RowP will be rolling out on iOS this summer! Stay tuned ;-)
Summer has arrived in Finland and we're spending as much time as we can on water. Today for example, with lovely flat water, I did a bit of experimenting with my hands away at finish, and measured the impact with the RowP pod on my left oar: